One third of Americans have no idea what The First Amendment to the Bill of Rights is, according to a study undertaken by the Newseum Institute.
The interactive museum of news and journalism, located in Washington D.C., found that 33 percent of Americans couldn’t name one of the five freedoms and rights that the First Amendment guarantees.
They are, of course, the freedoms of Speech, Religion, Press, and the rights to Petition and Assembly.
The question Newseum put to over 1000 Americans throughout all 48 contiguous states was hardly confusing or misleading, it simply asked “As you may know, the First Amendment is part of the U.S. Constitution. Can you name any of the specific rights that are guaranteed by the First Amendment?”
Shockingly, fewer than one fifth were able to identify Freedom of Religion as a right under the First, while even fewer, only 10 percent, were able to identify Freedom of the Press and Right to Assembly as guarantees under the Amendment.
Only a paltry TWO PERCENT were able to identify the Right to Petition as a right under the First Amendment.
Fifty seven percent correctly identified Freedom of Speech, yet that is still a very low majority, and represents a huge drop from 68 percent in 2014.
The First Amendment reads:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or abridging 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.”
After reciting this to respondents, the surveyors asked Americans whether they agree or disagree that “The First Amendment goes too far in the rights in guarantees.”
Almost one fifth, 19 percent, were of the opinion that the First Amendment goes too far!
However, while you may wonder who on earth would think the First Amendment goes too far, it is pertinent to note that 13 years ago, in 2002, Newseum recorded that FOURTY-NINE PERCENT said The First Amendment guarantees too many rights. So, at least there has been an improvement on that front for Americans who value their freedoms.
Newseum notes that spikes in those who agreed the First goes too far came after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001 and the Boston bombing in 2013, highlighting that perceived terror threats have a significant effect on Americans’ confidence in The Bill Of Rights.
The findings come at the same time as two viral videos, highlighted by InfoWars, that reveal most Americans have little or no idea why July 4th is celebrated as a holiday.
Steve Watson is a London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.