This will be a relatively short diary entry, though I may update it later.
Main reason for writing it? I'm just gobsmacked that we, virtually alone of all developed nations, enshrined the ownership of guns as a right, while not doing so for safe food, clean water, shelter, clothes, health care or any of life's essential necessities.
This should give pause to any thinking person.
Seriously. Guns are in no way a necessity. But clean water, safe food, shelter, clothes and health care most certainly are. A safe environment, one that doesn't poison our food, water, air and land, is definitely vital for us. A good education is far and away more important than owning a piece of metal. Yet, none of those things gets a "right" in our Constitution.
One can see a partial, though not adequate, rationale if we stick to the time it was written. In the 18th century, many Americans lived on the frontier, hunted for their survival, and had to defend themselves from Native peoples reacting to the invasion of Europeans. One could also add the fact that we had just finished fighting a war against Britain, and few thought that future wars with them were now off the table.
But that was more than two hundred years ago. We are no longer living in conditions even remotely like the 18th century. There simply is not a need for a gun in 2012 for the vast majority of us.
But safe food, clean water, shelter, clothes, a safe environment and access to affordable health care -- at a minimum -- are still essential needs and will be for countless centuries into the future.
In short, the 2nd amendment is absurd in the 21st century, while the absence of "rights" to food, water, shelter, etc. etc. is unconscionable.