A little political (civics, government, whichever) information quiz

I’m having a little debate with a friend of mine and I’m just curious if you all could answer the following questions for me (please pay particular attention to the last question):

Do you know what the First Amendment is?

What does it talk about?

Do you know what the Second Amendment is?

What does it talk about?

At what age should someone have a mastery of the above stuff?
Grade school (ages 5-12)
Middle school (ages 13-14)
High school (ages 15-18)
College (ages 18-24ish)
Never. The above isn’t basic information, so it doesn’t need to be submitted to memory.

Do you know what the First Amendment is?
Sure.

What does it talk about?
It guarantees freedom of assembly, press, and religion.

Do you know what the Second Amendment is?
Yes.

What does it talk about?
The importance of a well-regulated militia and the right to keep and bear arms.

At what age should someone have a mastery of the above stuff?
Grade school. This is real fundamental stuff.

**Do you know what the First Amendment is? **
Freedom of speech

**What does it talk about? **
That people have the right to express themselves, through religion, assembly, and the press.

**Do you know what the Second Amendment is? **
The right to bear arms.

**What does it talk about? **
That an armed people are necessary to ensure the freedom of the country and that the government shall not infringe upon the people’s right to bear arms.

**At what age should someone have a mastery of the above stuff? **
I think by the end of grade school/the beginning of middle school, the basics of the amendments should be covered. By the end of high school, the greater implication of the amendments should be discussed. Does the first amendment cover pornography? Does the second amendment make waiting periods when buying a gun unconstitutional?

Do us forners have to know this?

(I admit it comes in useful, especially when trying to understrand some of the debates here…)

Omg! :eek: Why do you hate America, Sunspace? :frowning:
Obviously no, you don’t have to know this, though with the way the rest of us babble on, on this board, it probably wouldn’t hurt heh.

In reality though, this quiz is more than likely limited to the U.S.of A.

Without looking at other replies:

Do you know what the First Amendment is?

Yes – it is the first amendment to the US Constitution, first of ten amendments called the Bill of Rights.

What does it talk about?

It talks about freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, and (I believe) of religion.

Do you know what the Second Amendment is?

Yes – it’s like the first one (see above), only it comes second.

What does it talk about?

It states that “a well-ordered militia” being necessary for the protection of the people, all US citizens shall have the right to keep and bear arms.

At what age should someone have a mastery of the above stuff?
Grade school (ages 5-12)
Middle school (ages 13-14)
High school (ages 15-18)
College (ages 18-24ish)
Never. The above isn’t basic information, so it doesn’t need to be submitted to memory.

A mastery? That’s kind of a high standard. I would expect most American middle school kids to be able to give about the same quality of answer as I did. I think in grade school they should be aware of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, but certainly wouldn’t expect the youngest of them to know which amendments guarantee which rights. I think high school and college-age students should be able to speak about some of the ramifications of the rights included in the 1st and 2nd amendments.

Yes.
Freedoms of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition
Yes.
The right to bear arms.

I think American kids should have a general idea of the Bill of Rights by the end of elementary school and be able to have a not entirely idiotic conversation about First and Second Amendment rights by the end of high school. “Mastery” is very high standard, but it is basic enough information that Americans should have familiarity with the subjects.

I knew, but it was more of the tentative unsure knowing until I verified by reading a few posts.

However, I think y’all are high if you think this is common knowledge for Joe and Jane Q Public. How many times have we seen late-night talk show hosts do the man on the street with a mic bit that demonstrates how little “average” folks know?

Out of curiosity, I polled a few people at work today. Granted, it’s a factory but these are tax-paying child-rearing working adults that vote and stuff. Asked 8 people, two hunters knew the second but not the first, two people knew the first had something to do with free speech but nothing about the second and a whopping two individuals got them both right.

I bet if we’d have polled them while they were still in high school and taking history/civics classes the numbers would have changed for the better. Sure you can make a student memorize and regurgitate info, but the concepts of militias prepared to war with the government or the idea that the right to assemble had to be specifically granted…those don’t resonate well with most kids.

Well, I was asking because I was having a discussion with someone where they were contending that just saying something like “The First Amendment” isn’t description enough for most to know what you are talking about.

To me, it seems that saying “The First Amendment” is fairly universal in the US and I’d assume most folks would have some idea of what we’re talking. It’s not quite like if I were to say the same thing about, say, the Seventh or Fifteenth Amendment, because Amendments 1 and 2 seem to be the most commonly known. I was just curious of that was the case to me.

I suppose as I see it, most kids (at least by middle school, so therefore most adults) should know that First Amendment= Speech/Religion/Protesting (at least one, but preferably any combo thereof) and that Second Amendment=Guns ((both of those at the most basic of levels)). I would expect that if I were to say to most (adult) people, “I’m against/for the Second Amendment,” they’d know it, at least, had something to do with guns.

One poor guy responded “Thou shalt not kill?” when I asked him today. :smiley:

I did find it interesting that two of the four people who knew what the First meant mentioned the Larry Flynt movie.

Actually, I’d say the best-known one is the 5th, at least the part of it that says you cannot be forced to testify against yourself.

counts on fingers

OK, that’s two, plus two, plus two…equals… :frowning:

If I’m counting correctly, Queen Tonya, you’re saying that two of the people you spoke to didn’t know either of them. Is that right?

Actually, I’d agree with you that it’s up there. It’s my natural assumption that most folks would know 1,2, and 5. I wonder how true that is though.

If you were to quiz ten random people, I don’t even think you’d have to say the word amendment; you could just go, “what’s the Fifth?” and most of them would be able to give you at least the basic idea. :slight_smile:

Well see, and that’s what I think, but it seems that some folks don’t agree with me there.

I wonder if there are any official stats on such a thing?

It’s a shame the plural of anecdote isn’t data, because I feel as if Jay Leno quizzes random people on this kind of stuff on an almost daily basis. :stuck_out_tongue:

(puts on political science hat)

Well, clearly Jay is only airing the worst of the worst. I like to think that maybe, just maybe, the data is skewed by that fact and perhaps most people are a big smarter than the ones that make it to air.

To me the most important is the 3rd. That’s why I love America.

I can’t think of one of them that’s not important, but only the 3rd appears to be safe from the current and previous few administrations.

To answer the OP -
First: Yes - Speech, assembly, religion, petition.
Second: Yes (I’m a gun nut, after all) - Right of the people to keep and brew beers

Should be covered in grade school and high school, and everyone should have a basic familiarity with all 10. Discussing any but I, II, IV, and V, I’d probably toss in some brief explanation (like - “The seventh, ‘trial by jury’”)

I kind of lose track about VI, and frequently get the last 4 out of order, although I think people need to pay more attention to IX and X

Bingo, including the one poor guy that didn’t understand that amendment/commandment thing.