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January 6, 2016

The Danger of ‘Balancing’ Constitutional Rights

A slippery slope.

Fox News’ Todd Starnes flagged this remark made by Barack Obama during Tuesday’s gun control lecture: “Second Amendment rights are important, but there are other rights that we care about as well. And we have to be able to balance them.” The Left sees this assertion as a harmless approach to implementing “common sense” gun restrictions while supposedly respecting the boundaries set forth by the Constitution. But it’s a downright dangerous view. Why? Because the word “balance” is code word for “stretching the law as we see fit” — the antithesis of Rule of Law. For example, consider this analogy posited by Media Research Center’s Craig Bannister:

Under Obama’s new rules, doctors can now report people deemed “mentally ill” to the FBI so they can be denied gun licenses. … If, as Pres. Obama has repeatedly claimed, climate change is a greater threat than terrorism, then aren’t people who deny the climate threat “a danger to themselves or others” and unfit to own guns?

Think such speculation is preposterous? Think again. “The idea that climate skeptics are mentally ill is nothing new,” Bannister adds. “Oregon-based professor of ‘sociology and environmental studies’ Kari Norgaard has declared climate skepticism a mental illness that must be ‘treated.’” And last year, Psychology Today wondered, “Are You in Climate Change Denial? Three Signs to Look For.” The list goes on.

Which gets us to the next part of Obama’s lecture. He continued, “Because our right to worship freely and safely — that right was denied to Christians in Charleston, South Carolina. And that was denied Jews in Kansas City. And that was denied Muslims in Chapel Hill, and Sikhs in Oak Creek. They had rights, too.” What about the Catholic organizations being forced to offer abortifacients against their will? Todd Starnes opines, “Obama said that we have to balance our constitutional rights. Mark my words — that kind of thinking is how the left will attack religious liberty.” Indeed, leftists already are. And nobody — including climate skeptics — are considered unfair game. The rhetorical call to “balance” our constitutional rights will be how the Left abolishes religious liberty and the right to bear arms, the two most important pinnacles of a free society.

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