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Published:March 31st, 2006 09:50 EST
The First Amendment  - Taking it too far?

The First Amendment - Taking it too far?

By Clarista Griggs

It is said that most of America knows the five family members of the Simpson`s before they know the five rights in the first amendment. In other countries, you can be killed for what you say, but in America, we can say and print what we please, because we simply CAN.
 
People have written how to books on how to kill people. So if someone is actually killed as a result of reading that book, should the person who killed the person be punished or the person who wrote the book? However, we have freedom of speech and print. Right? Why are we scared to use it at times? When we do use are first amendment rights, to what limit do we use them? Giving our first amendment rights a limit, does it then defeat the purpose of even having them? How far should it go before we are shut up? Either we have the first amendment or we don`t. There`s no in between. 
 
America: land of the free home of the brave, Right? Well some artists have gotten brave with there drawings, along with the publishers who published them. 
 
At least five people have been killed and 20 injured in Afghanistan as protests against European cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad swept across the country. But should the artist be to blame or the people causing the harmful actions. Granted people have to be responsible for there actions. The only action these people took was putting pen to paper. Was this action sensitive or insensitive of them to print these photos? These photos have caused chaos around the world.
 
Journalists should not duck and hide when publishing offensive material. America media has been very whimpy about publishing these photos.  But the media has the right to print them. It is a journalists right to get this out to the world. I can see why they would get offended about them. Muslims love and respect the Prophet Muhammad. I, being a firm believer in Christ, would get extremely offended if someone drew a picture of him in that nature, but ultimately I am responsible for my actions that stem from the controversy, not the person who drew it.
 
Some claim that the cartoons are culturally insulting, Islamophobic, blasphemous, and intended to humiliated. Supporters of the cartoons claim they illustrate an important issue and their publication exercises the right of free speech. They also claim that there are similar cartoons about other religions, arguing that Islam and its followers have not been targeted in a discriminatory way. (www.wikipedia.org)

Does the 1st amendment right give us the right to be offensive?

These articles are under no hesitation offensive, but as I said before we as Americans are responsible for are actions, not printed words.

People such as Larry Flynt have been taken to court over his free speech and print rights for obscenities in the magazine Hustler ".

The old saying, Sticks and stones may break my bones but word will never hurt me ", is just an analogy, but are woods really weapons? Should word possession be punished just as severe as gun possession?

Ultimately, the constitution does not protect all free speech. We cannot yell FIRE in a crowded theatre and be expected to be protected under the 1st amendment. The first amendment stops when the health and welfare of others begins. We are all ULTIMATELY responsible for our actions.