Cannibalizing the Constitution: On Terrorism, the Second Amendment, and the Threat to Civil Liberties

This article explores the links between internet radicalization, access to weapons, and the current threat from terrorists who have been radicalized online. The prevalence of domestic terrorism, domestic hate groups, and online incitement and radicalization have led to considerable focus on the tension between counterterror efforts and the First Amendment. Many scholars recommend rethinking the extent of First Amendment protection, as well as Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendment protections, and some judges appear to be listening. Yet the Second Amendment has avoided this consideration, despite the fact that easy access to weapons is a necessary ingredient for the level of threat posed by online incitement. This article clarifies the way these civil liberties interact to create the threat, suggesting that pro-democracy rights such as protections on speech and privacy should not bear all the burden of compromise for the sake of protection from terrorism.

Tags: Constitution, Radicalisation, USA