The burning embers of the Twin Towers had a way of being invoked when a particularly dicey part of the Patriot Act needed selling 11 years ago.
This was the smart play. Watering down constitutional rights is not easily undertaken. So scaring Americans and then using that fear to explain why this egregious assault on their rights is for their own good is genius. This is exactly why the right protecting against unreasonable searches and seizures of Americans is no longer absolute, thanks to the Patriot Act, and a right to a speedy and public trial by jury was only days ago finally reaffirmed in the Senate, with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) so eloquently arguing, “If we relinquish our rights because of fear, what is it exactly, then, we are fighting for?”
Yes, tragedy is a dangerous time for the Bill of Rights because somebody is always there to wave a flag or an orphaned baby and use that to explain why we need to voluntarily give up rights our Founding Fathers so wisely gave to us. And so it is with this Jovan Belcher tragedy.