"First Amendment No Big Deal, Students Say"

 Posted by on 31 January 2005 at 9:18 am  Uncategorized
Jan 312005

From this recent story:

…[T]he First Amendment is a second-rate issue to many of those nearing their own adult independence, according to a study of high school attitudes released Monday.

The original amendment to the Constitution is the cornerstone of the way of life in the United States, promising citizens the freedoms of religion, speech, press and assembly.

Yet, when told of the exact text of the First Amendment, more than one in three high school students said it goes “too far” in the rights it guarantees. Only half of the students said newspapers should be allowed to publish freely without government approval of stories.

This is a trend worth keeping abreast of, especially given that loss of freedom of the press is one of the four key characteristics that Ayn Rand identified as a hallmark of a dictatorship. (The full list can be found in her essay “Collectivized ‘Rights’” in The Virtue of Selfishness, and it includes “one party rule — executions without trial or with a mock trial for political offenses — the nationalization or expropriation of private property — and censorship”.)

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