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This is What Happened When College Students Were Asked What the First Amendment Protects

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is the most basic, fundamental, and important part of the founding document. One of the Bill of Rights — the first 10 amendments — the First Amendment doesn’t grant us rights. It bars the government from violating the rights we already have, rights necessary for individual liberty.

Too many Americans think our system of government — our very way of life — is the default, not the exception. Too many Americans don’t know the history of the Bill of Rights and why the Founders codified these freedoms. Too many Americans don’t understand why these rights are precious and worth protecting.

That’s why the following video, which might strike some as funny, will be sad for others. It’s not just that they couldn’t name all five freedoms. They believe the First Amendment shouldn’t protect “offensive” or “hurtful” speech or speech that expresses “intolerance.”

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