By David B. Rivkin Jr., Andrew M. Grossman David B. Rivkin Jr., Andrew M. Grossman
In the aftermath of horrific terrorist massacres such as the Orlando nightclub shooting, the natural impulse of the American people is to ask what the government can do to prevent such tragedies. Securing public safety is indeed the government’s most important job; keeping guns away from terrorists has obvious value. But this must be done in a way that complies with the Constitution.
This admonition has animated much of the recent debate about the rules governing National Security Agency surveillance of suspected terrorists. Regrettably, it has not been embraced in the gun control debate unfolding in the aftermath of Orlando.
Yet the Constitution’s due-process protections are the vital safeguard of individual liberty and mitigate against arbitrary government action by setting the procedures the government must observe when it seeks to deprive an individual of a given substantive right.
Those agitating for firearms restrictions now should understand that the precedent they set is a dangerous one that extends far beyond the realm of the Second Amendment.
Constitutionally “appropriate” procedure varies based on the importance of the right at issue and the risk of an erroneous deprivation of that right, and the government’s interest. For example, while government officials may …Read the Rest
Source:: Cato Institute