In the United States, every citizen benefits from the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution, but apparently very few can actually name the liberties protected therein.
According to an annual survey from the Freedom Forum Institute, 40 percent of Americans could not even name one right — free exercise of religion, freedom of speech, freedom to assemble, freedom of the press and freedom to petition the government — guaranteed by the First Amendment.
And of the 1,009 American adults surveyed, only one respondent correctly named all five of the rights protected by the constitutional amendment. Thirty-six percent of those who participated in the study could name one right while only 12 percent could name two.
Of the rights people were able to name, 56 percent recalled the freedom of speech, 15 percent referenced the free exercise of religion, 13 percent noted the freedom of the press, 12 percent named the freedom to assemble, and only 2 percent remembered the freedom to petition the government.
Interestingly, nearly 50 percent of respondents apparently believe freedom of speech shouldn’t extend — at least not unhampered — into the realm of social media:
A new First Amendment study from the @FreedomForumIns found a whopping 48% of respondents “strongly agree” or “somewhat agree” the government should require social media sites to “monitor and remove objectionable content” https://t.co/NFVaP8o5Gs pic.twitter.com/PbtlkATmks
— Tré Goins-Phillips (@tregp) August 4, 2018
Perhaps most shocking, though, is the fact that 23 percent of Americans believe the First Amendment “goes too far in the rights guaranteed.” Seventy-four percent of respondents disagreed.
The right respondents most frequently named incorrectly as a First Amendment right was the right to bear arms, a freedom guaranteed by the Second Amendment. Others erroneously suggested the First Amendment protected the “right to vote.”