In their frustration, Democrats are increasingly suggesting that the Constitution is a hindrance to their agenda that they are willing to reject if necessary. Representative David Cicilline, a Democrat from Rhode Island, shouted ” spare me the bulls*** about constitutional rights” during a House Judiciary Committee meeting last week, and President Biden himself claimed that constitutional rights are “not absolute.”
Constitution not absolute?
The latest gun control push means that these comments are all focused specifically on the Second Amendment, but Biden and Cicilline appear to be convinced that the entire document is malleable.
Cicilline claimed that Republicans are letting the Constitution mandate that potential mass shooters be guaranteed the right to own firearms.
The Constitution, according to Cicilline, is getting in the way of efforts to save lives by preventing future mass shootings when Republicans use the Second Amendment to oppose gun control.
Biden expressed similar sentiments, arguing that constitutional rights are “not absolute” and that they were not intended to be absolute when they were initially enumerated.
The president has repeatedly made this claim in relation to gun control. He insists that the Second Amendment as originally written did not permit citizens to own certain weapons.
This has been consistently disproven by historians and constitutional experts; the Second Amendment, like the First Amendment, originally had no caveats and was not intended to provide any.
Second Amendment under threat
Both men are primarily focused on gun control, but their belief that even rights specifically identified by the constitution have limits has much broader implications.
Biden and Cicilline claim that restrictions must be placed on the Second Amendment to save lives and keep the public safe.
The unstated implication is that this same logic could extend to other amendments if Democrats are convinced that allowing too much freedom has become a public safety hazard.
The White House has made combating “disinformation” a major agenda and speech that it sees as hateful or extremist is already subject to scrutiny from the Justice Department.
Biden and Cicilline emphasized that action is urgently needed to stop gun violence and that there is no time to waste in debating the limits of the Second Amendment.
The refrain is that America must “do something” even if that something is seen by much of the country as an attack on constitutional rights.