Opinion: March madness

By Former Assemblyman Steven Sanders

Out of Cleveland, Ohio comes a strong contender for the title of worst idea of the year.

Cleveland will be the site of the Republican Party National Convention over the summer. Nearly 40,000 people, many Ohioans (most of whom will not be in attendance), have signed a petition to allow participants of that convention to carry firearms into the arena.

So the pushing, punching and aggression which has been on display at various Republican candidate rallies in recent weeks seems to have led some to the conclusion that arming opposing political factions with guns is a really neat idea.

Who thinks this stuff up? And what kind of a mind believes this would be a good thing for our political conventions, especially at a time when passions are running so deep and tempers so short?

If guns were the answer to America’s problems, you would think we have no crime and no issues. There are 300 million guns in circulation in this country, more than any nation on earth. And yet America has more violence and more gun related deaths… by far, than any country in the world.

The people who signed the petition do not believe that there should be any “gun free zones” such as in and around schools, day care centers or playgrounds. They argue that by creating these zones where violators will be punished severely, the gun toters will know they face no opposition there and will be attracted to those areas causing more violence, not less. Yes, they believe that!

Some people also believe that Elvis Presley is really alive and living in obscurity!

Don’t get me wrong… I have been to Cleveland and I like the city a lot. Great corned beef too. But really, what are they putting in the drinking water these days?

And on the subject of drinking water…Town & Village residents have long complained about the episodic discharges of brown water from their faucets. Whenever that would occur residents would be assured by the City Department of Environmental Protection that the sediment that was stirred up and infiltrated the water posed no risk whatsoever. Of course, the residents of Flint, Michigan were given similar assurances about lead content in their drinking water which has proven to be stunningly false.

And recently several New York communities and school districts upstate have now discovered that what they thought was their own pristine drinking water system was falling short of standards and compromising the health of their residents.

It turns out that in older industrial states like Michigan as well as New York State, and I suspect many others, the infrastructure which is supposed to protect our drinking water is old, and antiquated. They have not been well maintained especially during this political era of “no new taxes” to support the operations of government resulting in the subsequent need for cuts in services to balance state and local budgets and that has shortchanged necessary maintenance.

So while I do not know what in the world is in the drinking water in Cleveland, I sure would like to know what is coming out of the faucets here in New York.

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