Has freedom of speech given people too much freedom?

Has freedom of speech given people too much freedom?

Rachel Gray, Student Life Co-Editor

Freedom, this is essentially the definition of America. We have the freedom of speech, religion, press, the right to peaceably assemble and to petition for a governmental redress of grievances. Many people picture the freedom to voice their ideas as a dream come true, though in reality, it’s a double edged sword.

As of recently, it has been proven to be especially hurtful with the North Korean hacking of Sony due to The Interview which is a film starring Seth Rogen and James Franco whose characters work for a news station, Skylark Tonight. They get an interview with North Korean leader Kim Jon Un, so naturally the CIA asks them to assassinate him. Writers Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Dan Sterling were well aware of the negative effects. If you plan to make a movie on the assassination of a temperamental leader of a foreign country, he will retaliate. They may have technological advancements equal to a gameboy. They may have daily power outages throughout their country, but he will utilize everything he has in order to attempt to ensure the movie does not open, and the creators pay for their actions. Everyone in Hollywood emphasized how the cancellation of the film’s release in several theatres throughout the US was a violation of our freedom of speech.

“Dear Sony Hackers: now that u run Hollywood, I’d also like less romantic comedies, fewer Michael Bay movies and no more Transformers,” Ben Stiller said via Twitter.

North Korea should not have control of our cinema, but at the same time we shouldn’t be making films like this. Then we had celebrities like Stiller, who can’t differentiate you from the letter u, raging as though there was nothing wrong about it, but I can guarantee that if there was a movie about the fictional assassination of Obama they would say it was horribly out of line. As many know, The Interview was also released On Demand and on Netflix. So one night, I decided to watch it to see if I was wrong. Maybe there was some amazing benefit to this movie, or maybe my initial judgement was right. I personally don’t believe that two hours of a handful of James Franco’s mediocre jokes was not worth any of this.

In short, a person is smart, people are dumb. Few of us can truly handle the power of complete freedom. I’m not stating this as though it were a black and white matter in which our freedoms should be banned completely, but there needs to be limitations on our power. I myself am entitled to my opinion on everything. Politics, sports religion, whatever it is, I’m entitled to an opinion. Note, I am a 16 year old girl who knows maybe two of the cabinet members, watches a whopping 10 minutes of ESPN a week, and has gone to church maybe 5 times. I am aware of how childish my examples are, but imagine what mass amounts of intelligent full-grown Americans can say or do through their ignorance, love, or hatred for any subject that ever has been or will be. There are approximately 316.1 million people within the US, nearly 3 percent of which are incarcerated. Would you like to tell me you trust every single one of them with such an immense power?

I believe there need to be limitations similar to banks. We trust them with our life savings, and they put their pens on a leash. We trust the government with everything, and they give us a muzzle, because like our pen stealing ancestors we are unable to handle even the slightest of freedoms.