Students should exercise First Amendment rights

Times are tough. With talk of the national debt, the fiscal cliff, the growing tension between Democrats and Republicans, the economy, the job market, discrimination and terrorism, the world of American government can be very scary.

With all the hustle and bustle in Washington, D.C., it is easy to forget that the people have a voice and that they should use their voice because they have a right and the freedom to be heard.

This country was founded on the principle of freedom, especially the five freedoms that are listed in the First Amendment to the Constitution.

These freedoms are freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, freedom to petition and freedom to peacefully assemble.

When used the right way, these freedoms serve as a voice for the people that can be heard across the nation.

When faced with a fear, the natural response is either to stay and fight or run away. Sadly, it seems that these days, the people are running away from our country’s problems and leaving the politicians in Washington, D.C., to figure them out. Americans care more about the latest episode of “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” than they do about our government.

Americans get all fired up about the issues during an election, but by the time the inauguration comes around, the people have retreated so far back into their daily lives that they probably couldn’t tell you what day the inauguration was held. However, they could tell you what happened on ”American Idol” last week.

Before Americans can use their voice, they must become informed on the issues because if a person speaks up about something he or she knows nothing about, it is as bad as not speaking up at all.

During GHC’s First Amendment Awareness Week, be informed about what is going on in this country, both nationally and locally, and use the freedoms for which others have fought.

Instead of running away from a problem and leaving it for someone else to deal with, speak up and let the government know that Americans are paying attention to the government, and that Americans care.