The Supreme Court decision removing local and state restrictions on the possession of hand guns has opened the door to G-d knows what crimes, accidental deaths, suicides. During the past week we have had two serious assaults in our ordinarily crime free Riverside Park on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. With the addition of easy access to guns in our city, who knows what increases in deadly crimes we may be facing. Some decades ago crime was a common phenomenon in our neighborhood. Then police and other efforts virtually eliminated it here in Morningside Heights and West Harlem.

Manifestly the current Court dominated by 5 conservatives cares not a whit for our other organs of government and their efforts to protect us.

Since Reagan cut back regulations of institutions by our governing bodies, the Republicans have been continuing their themes of no taxes and no government supported by them to protect us from crime and personal economic emergencies. Our children will suffer in the future — not because of the costs of Social Security and Medicare which are easily funded, but because American education for them is being gutted and other nations are pulling ahead of us. Where are the jobs — they have been exported to our economic competitors by our corporations — particularly to China which is now prospering at our cost.

We can no longer dominate the world with our vastly expensive military — we are locked in economic wars now, not military ones.

Obama has talked of ways of getting out of this mess, but can he do it in the face of economic interests bent on saving jobs in their domains such as producing pointless military stuff fit for the long gone Cold War.

With our Supreme Court and too many legislators bent on playing killing games with pointless weapons, we may be seeing the ending of the U.S. as a major world power — sad for those of us who care for the next generations.

Let us not forget that one of our presidential candidates, Adlai Stevenson, killed a playmate with a gun kept in his home. I expect that we shall see many more of these in the future — how to get rid of a wife or husband, too, with the claim that one heard an intruder in one’s home — beyond a “reasonable doubt” is a classic murder defense. With the current economy stressing us all out, how can we expect better.

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent [blind copies]

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