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First Amendment column: A 'flash' of insight on just how free is our free speech

10:37 PM, Feb. 19, 2014
Getty Images/iStockphoto
Getty Images/iStockphoto
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If you associate the First Amendment more with the rarified air of constitutional debate, or powdered wigs and colonial days, try thinking in more modern terms - say speed traps and blinking headlights.

For most of us, much of the Bill of Rights comes into play infrequently, if ever. A few examples: According to a 2013 survey, only one in three U.S. households are home to a firearm (Second Amendment). And thankfully, protection in our lifetimes against illegal search and seizure (Fourth) or self-incrimination (Fifth) will be more legal theory rather than active tool.

But the First Amendment ...

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If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports