Today is Human Rights Day, a day when we commemorate the respect for individual rights, which are largely responsible for the human flourishing enjoyed in recent centuries. In the U.S., human rights are enshrined in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. They guarantee basic rights like freedom of expression, self-defense, and due process.
Historically, human rights are most threatened in times of war – bad news considering the seemingly perpetual (and expanding) War on Terror. In the video below, George Mason University Professor Christopher Coyne explains how human rights are being sacrificed in France following the recent Paris terrorist attacks, with the declared state of emergency allowing warrantless searches, curfews, and control of the press.
Political leaders should resist the urge to “do something” in response to such attacks, says Coyne, otherwise we risk undermining the human rights that we’ve worked so hard to protect.