Are 1st Ammendment Rights still protected?

Most news sources are ignoring the story of Dave Ridley so I would like to take this opportunity to share with you all what I consider to be nothing shy of a gross violation of First Amendment rights.

Dave is a member of the Free State Project.  He moved to NH with a goal of seeking less government interference over his life.  Dave being opposed to the war in Iraq is among the growing number of Americans upset with the fact they are forced to fund something they oppose.

Now whether or not you agree with Dave's views is not important at all here.  Personally I feel we are required because of Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution to fund the military and hence fund wars even if we disagree with them but as I said that is irrelevant.

Dave being opposed chose to utilize his First Amendment Rights to address his grievances with the government.  The First Amendment states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

That last part I underlined is the key portion to pay attention to.

Dave created a handout with a list of his grievances with the IRS.  He then proceeded to pass out his petition at the IRS office.  When asked to leave he did so.

Shortly there after Dave was visited by members of Homeland Security whom issued him with a $125 citation for illegal leaflets.  Dave asked how can this be as the first Amendment allows him to "petition the government for a redress of grievances", which is what he was doing.

Subsequently he went to court and made it clear he would not pay the fine he deemed unconstitutional.  The judge proceeded to lock him up for 4 days in jail.

Since Dave was doing nothing more then the First Amendment to the US Constitution states he can do why hasn't this story made national news?  Why isn't the ACLU jumping to defend him?

My theory is that we have become numb as a country.  The Constitution is no longer considered word of law but instead viewed as a "living" document who's meaning changes with time.  We no longer flinch when the government spends our money on programs totally outside the scope of what the Constitution allows them to.  We no longer flinch at violations of our rights and privacy by the government as long as they tell us it's for "our own good".

We need more people like Dave.  People who peacefully continue to exercise their Constitutional rights and bring attention to it when they are fined and or imprisoned for trying to exercise those rights.