I have a right to use

the best gun protection

The so-called gun debate isn't a debate at all. It is an attempt by people who choose to ignore common sense to convince those of us who have it to "do something," even if it doesn't make sense.

Common sense dictates that armed criminals and the mentally deranged will not comply with laws, no matter how they are written, and bureaucratic oversight has proven ineffective. So new laws banning guns or limiting magazine capacity are feel-good nonsense.

If I choose to provide for my own and my family's protection with a gun, I want as many rounds as the piece will hold. Reloading can cost me my life. Self-defense is my right. The police investigate a home invasion, robbery or shooting after it occurs, and I'd like to be the one still telling my side of the story when they get there. Law-abiding people must have a right to choose their protection.

Let's educate owners in the legal use and care of their firearms. A background check is good too, so let's start a cottage-industry - gun-safety education. It will create jobs, and we need jobs more than we need a foolish crusade to ban a tool used for self-defense.

And don't tell me the people pushing gun control really aren't against my right to legally own and use a gun. Of course they are. And I'm not talking about owning rocket-launchers, machine guns and cannons. If someone chooses to shun gun ownership, that's OK with me, but my practical approach is to prepare - like an insurance policy one hopes he will never use.

ROBERT S. VIOLA

Somers Point

Loss of EHT arboretum

an insult to volunteers

During the past decade, The Press has chronicled the growth of the award-winning Egg Harbor Township Arboretum and Nature Center. Originally conceived by the members of the township Environmental Commission, the buildings and gardens were created by volunteers and donations.

The gardens became a haven for wildlife, full of small mammals such as rabbits and chipmunks, loaded with lizards and frogs. They attracted birds of prey on a daily basis. In the summer, you could walk among clouds of butterflies and gentle bees. It was an official Monarch Butterfly Waystation, a Wild School Site and was recognized by the Audubon Society.

The garden was developed with an $11,000 federal grant and hundreds of donated shrubs, bushes and trees. Thousands of volunteer hours went into turning an old dump site into a place of quiet beauty. Students from Eagle Academy and Boy Scout groups spent days and weeks moving dirt, compost, and mulch, and then planting.

But the gardens are gone now, mowed down in less time than it took us to fill a wheelbarrow with dirt. Since establishing the Scullville Park ad hoc committee a year ago, neither Mayor James "Sonny" McCullough nor the Township Committee nor the township administration has so much as acknowledged the decade of effort that went into building that park. Now I understand why; they have nothing but contempt for the volunteerism and naivety of the people who actually thought they were creating something good for the township.

JANIS HETRICK

Scullville

Exercising gun rights

saved Washington woman

Regarding the April 5 story, "Washington state grandmother shoots at intruder, gets badge":

I applaud the Associated Press for distributing and The Press of Atlantic City for printing this story, about Sandra Mize defending herself with a handgun.

What would have happened if that grandmother of 10 children did not have her Second Amendment right to own, possess and to fire a handgun to protect herself?

Every law-abiding citizen has the right to own firearms. That right should not be infringed upon simply because of the idiotic acts of criminals. We don't need any more laws restricting law-abiding citizens. We need to enforce our existing laws with stiffer penalties for those who illegally use firearms.

This great country of ours has the best law enforcement of any country in the world, but they can't be everywhere all of the time.

Thankfully, that woman's rights saved her life, and no one had to die in this incident.

RICHARD J. SHAFFER III

Mays Landing

Barnegat Light offers

plenty of beach access

Regarding the April 30 editorial, "Beach access/Not a problem":

I live on the "northern tip of Long Beach Island," in Barnegat Light. We have excellent public access to our beaches. We also have a fine dune system that doesn't need any replenishment. The town of Harvey Cedars also has good public access to its beaches.

The problem of beach access occurs in Loveladies and North Beach, which are part of Long Beach Township. These two sections have no businesses, and their boulevards are used as a revenue maker by the loal Police Department.

I just wanted The Press to know that we are not all "wealthy homeowners who like to make it difficult for visitors to get to the beach."

ERIC SVELLING

Barnegat Light

Hamilton Township

should be renamed

Regarding a recent story about a man charged with selling drugs in Hamilton Township:

Living in Mays Landing and having grandchildren nearby, I was concerned about the location where the drugs were sold. After reading the story, I was relieved to observe that the Hamilton Township referred to was the other Hamilton Township, in Mercer County.

I constantly get calls from friends and relatives out of the area, asking about news reports on situations that have taken place in Hamilton Township. I have to explain to them that it is the other Hamilton Township.

I believe it's time to give serious consideration to changing the name of our municipality from Hamilton Township to Mays Landing. The name Mays Landing has been around for a long time and is easily recognizable, and this would eliminate any conflict with our counterpart in central New Jersey.

TED HESSER

Mays Landing

Obama hypocritical

on morning-after pill

Regarding the May 2 story, "U.S. appeals morning-after pill order":

The story says, "The Obama administration on Wednesday appealed a federal judge's order to lift all age limits on who can buy morning-after birth-control pills without prescription."

The president does not want to allow girls younger than 17 to be able to buy the pill. He supports abortion rights.

It seems evident that the president does not have any difficulty making taxpayers pay for the murder of viable fetuses, but does not want to allow young women to prevent pregnancy.

BOB FORD

Galloway Township