Originally Posted by stephen
The US gun situation is actually a very good argument against enshrining rights in a constitution because societal attitudes as to what is right or important and technologies change over time, leaving some constitutional rights looking outdated and silly. It's no coincidence that violent crimes are far more common in the US than in most other western democracies.
An important difference is that the US constitution (the bill of rights specifically) places certain fundamental limits on the power of the government, not the citizenry (e.g 'Congress shall make no law' instead of 'All citizens are allowed...'). Meaning it is implicit that the citizens have many more rights than are explicitly spelled out in the constitution - but these are the limits that are placed on the institution of government to stop it from tyranny. I think those limits are very fundamentally needed, otherwise there is nothing to stop a government, in times of public hysteria or crisis, to do whatever it wants.