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Santorum and SOPA, Clinton and Gun Control: The “Need” to Limit Freedom

January 21, 2012
William Grigg, Republic Magazine

Rick Santorum, the butt of one of the Web’s most notorious cyber-jokes, served up a frothy cocktail of collectivist rhetoric defending the infamous SOPA Internet censorship bill – and in doing so he embraced one of Bill Clinton’s favorite themes in promoting gun control, namely the need to limit freedom when it’s being “abused” by irresponsible people.

“My general feeling is that we have a free market, and the free market should work,” Santorum began during a campaign stop Q-and-A exchange captured on video and posted to YouTube.  “But like any freedom, there has to be regulation. You’re not unlimited in any right, even rights that we have in our Constitution; they’re not unlimited rights. There is, and can be, limitations on that. Freedom of speech – there are things you can’t say. You can’t cry `Fire!’ in a crowded theater. There are limitations to all freedom. They’re not absolute rights. They are rights that have responsibilities that come with them. And if you abuse those rights – piracy – you have a consequence of abusing those rights.”

Although Mr. Santorum has claimed to have a “firm grasp of the Constitution,” he clearly doesn’t understand its function. The Constitution doesn’t list individual rights; it assigns limited and revocable powers to the general (or federal) government. The purpose of the Bill of Rights is to forbid government interference in a small selection of the numerous and indefinite rights that inhere in individuals as a function of our humanity. The Bill of Rights, which provides what have been called “auxiliary protections” to liberty, was never intended as a comprehensive roster of individual rights.

And now… the rest of the story. …..

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