Stores being robbed?

Make them gun-free zones

Regarding the March 1 article, "2 arrested in Atlantic City armed robbery":

Why don't store owners follow our government's advice and make their stores "gun-free zones"?

That should eliminate robberies because when the perpetrator enters the store, he'll see that large, prominently displayed sign. He will then, of course, immediately get scared, change his mind and quickly run out of the store. Armed-robbery problem solved.

RAY MILLER

Brigantine

Paying union wages

improves communities

The Feb. 27 Mike Proto column, "Big Labor poised to exploit New Jersey's Sandy relief aid," conveniently ignored the favorable effects that union wages have on communities, especially those attempting to recover from a severe recession. The author fumed over the idea that many construction jobs available in the wake of catastrophic Hurricane Sandy will go to union members. But these are just folks demanding fair compensation for their efforts.

A strong union presence raises wages and benefits for all workers in a region. And when hard-working folks have more money to spend, they purchase more goods and services, stimulate local economies and pay more taxes. Over time, this raises the overall standard of living for many families, especially those barely making ends meet. It's a win-win for everybody, including New Jersey taxpayers.

Furthermore, skilled union workers do quality work and take pride in their work. Taxpayers will get what they pay for. Indeed, fair pay for a good day's work is what makes not only New Jersey but all of America strong.

LAWRENCE UNIGLICHT

Galloway Township

Death with Dignity Act

protects doctors, patients

As noted in Joan Mahon's Feb. 18 Citizen Columnist piece, the Death with Dignity Act makes perfect sense.

Medical science has made enormous strides in increasing the length but not necessarily the quality of our lives. As the population ages, more of us have had the opportunity to witness the futile end-of-life struggles that our loved ones often endure and are deciding that we do not want that for ourselves.

The Death with Dignity Act is a well-crafted bill that protects the dying from unwanted medical intervention that prolongs suffering; the bill also provides protection for medical professionals who assist the patient's requested humane and legal means to an end.

The writer of the Feb. 15 letter, "Death with dignity is already available," has suggested that such a law is not needed because dying people can get "all the drugs you need" and can be "basically killed" in hospice. While tacit arrangements to end a life no doubt occur, they are illegal. And drugs, as acknowledged by health care professionals, do not always alleviate pain in terminally ill patients.

This is a sensitive issue that has been addressed comprehensively in the Death with Dignity Act.

If it becomes law, it will bring comfort to those who wish to have an option at the end of their lives when death comes as a friend.

SHEILA McLAUGHLIN

Ventnor

Raise minimum wage

to boost the economy

Minimum wages in the United States are 25 years behind other industrialized countries. Raising the minimum wage will help get workers off public assistance. They will pay income taxes and spend money, helping the economy.

If employers can't afford to pay living wages, they shouldn't be in business.

JOHN LONGINETTI

Little Egg Harbor Township

Dr. Benjamin Carson

has what U.S. needs

I am an 85-year-old who has never missed an election. This is the first time since Ronald Reagan that I have been so excited about a potential candidate - Dr. Benjamin Carson, the head of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

Carson has gained a great deal of attention since his recent speech at the Congressional Prayer Breakfast. He has subsequently appeared on a Sean Hannity special devoted to restoring one republic. Carson espouses several methods of combating our national debt - a flat tax that he compares to the biblical traditional of tithing, and medical savings accounts.

Carson, 70, plans to retire this spring. He stated that he is an independent with no political aspirations. But Democratic, Republican and independent viewers in Hannity's audience ate him up. Near the end of the program, he was asked if he would consider running for president. He said only if God grabbed him by the collar. Please, dear Lord, grab the good doctor's collar. Our country needs him to unite our nation in this time of crisis.

JAMES STEELMAN

Ocean City

Fix law to stop penalizing

hard-working immigrants

I would like to ask, for me and my fellow immigrants, for people to support immigration reform. We only come here to work and contribute to the growth of this country.

Some of us have been here from 10 to 15 years, without seeing our children grow back home, without seeing our parents die. We know that leaving the U.S. means having to take the risk of not being able to come back. Why? We have built our lives here to make a better future for our children and families.

Whether it is raining or snowing, we are working - picking vegetables, packing food in the warehouses to provide good food to this country or shoveling the snow so that people won't have accidents. We ask that you support immigration reform that will allow families who have been torn apart to be reunited, to provide stability to immigrant families so that all of us, citizens and immigrants alike, can work together for the progress of this nation.

FRANCISCO J. RAMOS

Vineland

Rape is horrible,

but so is abortion

Regarding the March 6 letter, "Anti-abortion letter was pure nonsense":

A woman who is raped does not "have to look at a baby who reminds her every day of the rape." The baby can be adopted. Being raped is horrible, but so is aborting a baby. Does one wrong right another wrong?

Right-to-life organizations are there to care for the woman if she chooses to keep her baby or have it adopted. We are not forcing our beliefs on others; we are just trying to save the lives of innocent babies. The writer talks about women's rights - maybe he should think about the baby's rights.

AMY ZABINSKI

Little Egg Harbor Township