In September of 2014, Senate Democrats voted to repeal the First Amendment. They were enraged by a Supreme Court decision holding that ordinary constitutional protections for free speech prohibited the government from punishing political activists who had shown a film critical of Hillary Rodham Clinton in the run-up to the 2008 presidential election. This was a straightforward case of classical political speech — critics of Mrs. Clinton arguing that she’d make a poor president and distributing a film making that case — and Democrats, including every single Democrat in the Senate, insisted that that isn’t what the First Amendment is intended to protect.

They started at the beginning, and are making their way down the Bill of Rights, with the Second Amendment and the Fifth Amendment. The Second Amendment holds that “the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” while the Fifth provides that no one may “be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” These are what are known as civil rights, meaning the rights associated with citizenship, rights having to do with the relationship between people — or “the People” as the Constitution puts it — and their government.

Many Americans do not think of the right to keep and bear arms as a civil right, but they are mistaken.