At the University of Illinois they discovered a poem that had not seen the light of day in quite some time. It was simply titled, “A revolver.” They took the time to read and analyze the word, and the academics say, “I think it’s so interesting that Sandburg says poetically what we all know about guns: that they are the final word, But he takes the idea one step forward to meditate on the effect of guns on freedom of speech – how the First Amendment is watered down by the Second Amendment. If somebody has a gun to your head, you can’t speak freely.” (Read more here.)
The theme, the 2nd Amendment waters down the 1st Amendment, does run thorough the poem. I am of the belief that in the United States of America the 2nd Amendment assures the 1st Amendment rather than water it down. What Mr. Sandburg suggested may be true on an individual level, if one man has a gun to another man’s head – the man in the weaker position would say almost anything to get out from under the gun. I feel rather, that the Constitution goes beyond the conversation between two men. In our country, our government will not prosecute a person for saying almost anything, with a few exceptions. We can even speak against the sitting administration if we so desire. In some other countries with fewer guns than the US, but also without freedom of speech nor a 2nd Amendment of their own, perhaps Iran would be a good example. The people are not free to fully speak their minds, and if they go against their government, they may be severely punished. In such countries, the power of the government and their firepower ensure the people are NOT free to speak, just like Carl Sandburg’s poem.
We already have the freedom of speech, it is a right. In this country, the people have a lot of power, more power than the government if they were organized. Thus, we have the right to assembly as well. Other countries can only dream of these rights, all of them – and it is each one of these rights, among others, that keep us free. If any one of them were to cease to exist, the rest would begin to fall as well.