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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.

Why guns?

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.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Life's essentials? Also Human Rights, codified. (9+ / 0-)

    The US is a signatory to the UN Declaration of Human Rights, which enumerate all of those "life's essentials" as human rights.

    'Course, ya might not know that, based on the way many elements of US guvment and civil society conduct themselves...


    •  True. Human Rights. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      That would include not being mowed down by semi-automatic weapons.

      Another thing to think about. There is no "right" enshrined in the Constitution when it comes to buying things like cars, washing machines, refrigerators. Yet people buy them, and no one fears "confiscation" from the government of those things.

      Why guns? It's an inanimate object, a piece of metal. Why the special rights for that piece of metal? Why the fear if there is no Constitutional "right"?

  •  I Live In A State (IL) Where Guns (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lyvwyr101, Oh Mary Oh, Calamity Jean

    are more restricted then most. I don't own a single gun. But I am permitted to own them, cause my father is worried he'd pass away and then all his guns would come to me and he doesn't want me to own them illegally. Now of course there are laws where I don't need to do this, but alas I don't often argue with my dad :).

    My dad isn't a liberal, but alas even he doesn't find this, gun restriction if you call it this, to be that taxing ....

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 11:42:31 PM PST

  •  The 2nd Amendment Has Not Kept Up..... (5+ / 0-)

    w/ technology.  It just hasn't.  The only people using muskets & carrying a horn for powder these days are Civil War enactors.

    The rest of us have to put up w/ this mania for assault weapons.  If you are not in the military or a cop.....why do you need an assault rifle?  Can't you shoot straight?  

    •  snapples: my Lackland instructors told me (0+ / 0-)

      that "auto" was for when there are 3,000 angry groundhogs coming after your sandwich ....

      No. You don't need full-auto. That's why the "assault weapons" everybody's so hot to ban don't offer it. A true fully-automatic firearm is a highly restricted weapon under current law, even in the absence of an AWB. The licensure requirements are stricter than those for opening a firearms dealership that doesn't handle fully-auto weapons. I don't think you'll find anybody from RKBA who'll quibble with the need to keep that system in place; most of them, from what I've read, are for NICS checks (altho we want a better system) for all sales, too. That protects the seller as much as the buyer, by the way, since it's illegal to sell a firearm to someone who's barred from owning one by law.

      A Bushmaster, favorite weapon of the wannabe-swat/ninja/assassin crowd, is a semiautomatic magazine-fed bolt-action gas-operated rifle, .223 caliber.  Looks almost exactly like the AR-15/M-16. Fires in exactly the same way in civilian hands unless illegally modified: take the safety off, operate the charging handle, and the bolt goes forward for the first shot. Gases from the exploding cartridges take care of readying the bolt for all subsequent shots through the last round in the magazine. So all you the shooter need do is pull the trigger to send one bullet down range. You can pull the trigger pretty damn fast, and if you're deranged, careless, lazy, or untrained, you count on that speed to make up for your lack of / refusal to aim.
      Responsible shooters don't mistake rate of fire for accuracy or effectiveness. It goes without saying, does it not, that they also don't invade theatres, schools, churches, or malls and open fire at random?

      Contrary to popular belief you can't thumb a Bushmaster over onto Auto and cut down trees or shoot open vehicles.

      Need to cut down trees? Call in a B-52 strike.
      And take cover 'cause there'll be lots of nasty shrapnel.

      Need to shoot open a vehicle? Get either a belt-fed heavier-caliber weapon, a big team together, shotguns, or some combination thereof.

      Am I for a ban on Bushmasters? Eh. I don't have one or want one, so technically it wouldn't affect me personally; besides they're ... not to my taste. But, as with media, vehicles and religion, just because I don't like the thing doesn't make me the arbiter of taste (otherwise, there'd be ZERO rap music on the air, bleached jeans wouldn't be high style, six-inch heels would be illegal, SMART cars would be available for in-town on-demand rental, and Rush Limbaugh would still be a jobhunting overweight loser, instead of the don of the GOP; the news would still operate under the Fairness Doctrine, libel and slander would still be a crime,  TV shows would still come over the air for free, and hits would be "Star Trek" or "Sky King" or "Apple's Way" instead of barf-inducing "reality" backstage-manipulated muck like "Survivor." Oh, and Steve McGarrett would too run out of bullets at least once an episode, not to mention have more than one bad guy per show dodge pursuit successfully. Plus also too churches would all have to pay property tax and preachers would have to pay income tax, and if they got on TV or the radio to beg for money they'd be subject to showing positive results for what they did with it other than live the high life a la Robert Tilton / Jim Bakker. Positive results meaning, you know, furnishing no-charge health care for sick people or feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, housing the homeless.)

      Look, shooting sports are legitimate Olympic events, and there are world championships for handgun and rifle. I don't want to see a ban.
      I want to see more and better education, including familiarization; I'd be all for a militia on the order of that the 2nd Continental Congress outlined, provided it wasn't limited to rich straight white guys between 18 and 45. Women can and should know how to use the tools, and the education part should start around 10 years old, or maybe earlier with air-rifles. Also, our over-50 folks are at risk enough I wouldn't want them to be readily identified automatically as not able to defend themselves, their homes or families, or their livelihoods effectively. Owning a firearm shouldn't be just another 1%-er perq, either. Leaving out black people or GLBTQ folks is just stupid, too.

      LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

      by BlackSheep1 on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 12:14:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Throughout time, we as a people have decided (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lyvwyr101, FloridaSNMOM

    That parts of our constitution were outdated or violating the spirit of the document itself. Thus, we have either amended the constitution, or decided on different reading of it through court decisions.

    With that said, I'm in no way in favor of repealing the 2nd Amendment. However, as we have done time and time again, we surely can put strict limitations not only on the types of guns that may be sold, but those that are legal to own as well.

    Last time we were on the verge of banning Rapid Fire Weapons and large quantity clips, magazines, and drums, the gun companies flooded the market with them in an effort to defeat the spirit of the law.

    This time, we ought to be sure that we outlaw these arms altogether,making these guns and clips ILLEGAL to own.  Im personally a fan of the whole 6 round revolver/bolt action rifle plan. We could offer a nationwide incentivized buy back. It would save us a lot of money and numerous lives in the long run.

  •  For the impotent, potency is more important (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Oh Mary Oh, lyvwyr101

    than sustenance. Besides, since the beginning of the nation, property rights have trumped human rights. We have been led to accept the ownership of things as a substitute for respect for our properties (speech, perambulation, association, recreation, etc.). That's because free men are difficult to control. When they are attached to their belongings, they are easier to manipulate. Neither liberty nor equality are desired when the object is social control. And social control is a necessity for people who have few if any talents with which to sustain themselves.
    The incompetent are impotent. So, it makes sense that they crave the power to make others care for them. Lucky are those whose gift for gab enables them to dissemble and coerce what they need for themselves without having to resort to physical threats.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 03:18:56 AM PST

  •  What a great Diary this is. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FloridaSNMOM, Oh Mary Oh

    A nation where gun ownership is enshrined in our Constitution--but: food-clothing-shelter-education- healthcare.......are not.


    Those are some very interesting priorities.

    I had no idea the right to "purchase" was so major!

    The Onion says----scholars have discovered---the Mayan word for "Apocalypse" in fact---translates more accurately as: "Time of pale obese gun monsters."

    by lyvwyr101 on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 03:24:52 AM PST

    •  you do realize that clean air & water weren't (0+ / 0-)

      considered rare, or restricted to the moneyed / royal few, back when the Constitution replaced the Articles of Confederation, right?

      Arms, on the other hand, were restricted, and highly so, throughout most of Europe. You had to be a member of the correct class.

      LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

      by BlackSheep1 on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 12:22:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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