First we had the post-9/11 passage of the Patriot Act and its creation of a national security surveillance state that tracks and records Americans’ digital communications despite the absence of probable cause, legal warrants, or explicit consent. Then we had the Department of Homeland Security’s recent flirtation with a “disinformation board” meant to regulate speech and censor points of view at odds with the government’s officially sanctioned “narratives.”

Now we have a renewed push for “red flag” laws intended to deprive Americans of their weapons without proper due process or criminal conviction. Over the last 20 years, America’s First, Second, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments have been under sustained attack, and, amazingly, it has been elected officials sworn by oath to “support and defend” those same amendments who have led much of the charge.

There’s nothing so dangerous as a politician who undermines the Bill of Rights during a moment of tragedy or crisis. Those rights, set forth as the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution as a redundancy to make explicitly clear what is beyond the scope of the federal government’s enumerated powers, are not wishy-washy suggestions meant to be ignored during times of “emergency.” On the contrary, it is during such times when their safeguards become most critical.