Freedom of speech is the concept of one being able to give their opinion verbally in public with out the fear of being censored or punished. Yet do we truly have this freedom?
Freedom of expression is protected under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution but it does carry some exceptions like anything else in life, Mainly copywrite, commercial speech and the Miller test for obscenity, though rarely comes to play.
However to what extent can we claim Freedom of Speech? Walking along the road if you were to hear someone screaming racial slurs is this person safe from slander suits or defamation of character because it is their opinion? It seems our Freedom of Speech stops when it comes to minority issues, opinions of the government, opinions of things we are programmed to feel a certain way about. They are grey areas and people have been founded guilty of slander when stating opinions. This is only one scenario.
Peaceful protesting has been allowed for years. As long as you do not disturb the peace and act in outlandish ways. Though it sometimes may seems when the “right” person does not agree with a protest it is quickly broken up, arrests can be made, and sometimes brute force used.
As long as one does not touch on the 100 or so taboo subjects then they can express their freedom of speech but what may be taboo to you is a lifestyle for another. It seems now a days when someone uses this freedom to speak freely about there opinions and it has a chance to mold to many people they are quickly shut down. It is safe to say if your opinion is only reaching a limited few you are protected under the right of freedom of speech and can go about spreading your opinion.
If today I exercised my freedom of speech to talk about the war, bombings, and terrorist by building a website asking for people to support the terrorist. I would expect a visit from some government office at some point. They would check me out fearing I was someone working against the war and for the terrorist. Would I be asked to remove my website, They might try would they succeed I guess it would come down to who had the money to fight it and what pro freedom of speech support one would get. This is just another scenario, this writer has no plans to build such a site now or ever.
It boils down to freedom of speech is evolving as we come across new ideas dailies. Will the First Amendment every be altered or changed? It depends. Is Freedom of Speech just another phrase? Or does it really mean something and to what cost does it come to us?