BELOW is a letter from an extraordinary American citizen. White, professional class, retired – sort of – professor emeritus, artist and musician. I had asked him what ordinary Americans feel about recent outrages over police shooting black people:

First of all more than half of the population is armed, either a single handgun tucked away safely for an emergency (truth is few know how to use them and they kill more children and innocent people than the bad guys). The serious gun holders believe that our second amendment (written by those who organized our first 4th of July) believed in every man owning a gun or having an arsenal including a tank or two.. Those first guns were the single shot muskets that we aimed at guys in red coats (so sorry for that). Today the same amendment allows for anyone to own a gun that pumps 120 bullets out in 5 seconds. This population, and it is huge, believes the need to protect themselves because everyone else has guns. Does that make sense? Well the bad guys all have excellent guns and they know how to use them. The truth is many shootings are between bad guys trying to control their or someone else drug sales, working girls, territory or favorite bakery store. Chicago for example has on average 8 to 10 gang killings a week. You would think they would run out of gang members. Of course they are lousy shots and wind up killing a child or three every other week or a mom or grandfather reading the paper on his front steps. Police are almost helpless even when they patrol the streets at 5 times the number than non gang neighborhoods. Chicago, as is the case in most very large cities have sizable pockets of low income areas populated with people of color and the fatality statics show that. It is almost impossible for poor kids to escape the poverty, get a decent education, afford to advance in society and survive gang influence. Some do, thank God but it is like living in hell. Gangs Rule!