Rights and Responsibilities © North Carolina Community College System Clip art from http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/clipart/default.aspx Everyone living in the United States has the rights that are in the first two amendments to the Constitution. The First Amendment gives everyone the right to • freedom of expression, • freedom of speech, • freedom of assembly (freedom to gather together peaceably), • freedom to petition the government, • and freedom of worship. The Second Amendment gives everyone • the right to bear arms. But some rights are only for United States citizens. These are 1. the right to vote in a federal election, and 2. and the right to run for federal office. Some responsibilities, too, are only for United States citizens: 1. voting in a federal election, (Voting is both a right and a responsibility!) Citizens vote for leaders to represent them and their ideas. The leaders support the citizens’ interests. 2. serving on a jury. The Constitution gives citizens the right to a trial by a jury of their peers. A jury is made up of U.S. citizens. There are many ways Americans can participate in their democracy. They can • vote, • join a political party, Democrats Republicans • help with a campaign, SHRINERS • join a civic group, • join a community group, Race for the Cure! • give an elected official an opinion on an issue, • call Senators and Representatives, • publicly support or oppose an issue or policy, Lower N.C. Gas Taxes! • run for office, and • write to a newspaper. People who are not citizens can participate in seven of the last ten activities. Can you find which seven? In our next lesson, we will look at the promises people make when they become naturalized American citizens.