No one produces anything anymore

Regarding the Dec. 20 story, “Ex-worker of Stockton trustee gets interim job”: This tale about a former employee of a Richard Stockton College of New Jersey trustee getting a newly created $90,000 position as “interim associate director of the Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club” got me wondering about the national debt, the economy in general, and the meaning of life.

Not to mention questions of fairness and justice. Aren’t too many people being paid good money to move nothing but hot air around? Aren’t there too many professional conferences to the great benefit of no one except Danish pastry makers?

At a recent gathering of wine and cheese heads, held in my own living room, I looked around and realized that not a single one of us actually produced anything, not even a widget.

This gravy train has got to stop. Maybe we should all be assigned to six months “under the Boardwalk,” where we could contemplate the meaning of life and then issue reports. 

RON GASKILL Northfield 

Assault weapon made carnage easy 

I can’t get the image out of my head. Some of those little 6-year-old children in Newtown, Conn., were shot 11 times. What part of their bodies was left to shoot at after 11 times? Why 11 times? The children certainly were dead well before the 11th shot.

The only answer I can come up with is because the shooter had an assault weapon, and he could. He didn’t have to think much about each shot; he just kept shooting because he could. If his gun didn’t have that capability, maybe they would have been shot only once. Maybe some would have been wounded, but alive. Maybe some would have had the opportunity to run. Maybe.

Isn’t maybe enough? Yes, there may be other reasons why people commit these horrendous crimes, but if one of those reasons is access to assault weapons, why the argument to have the right to own one?

Some gun enthusiasts say they like to use them for target shooting. Well, the next time you are out target shooting with your assault weapon, try to get the image of 6-year-olds with 11 gunshots in them out of your head. Maybe you can do that, maybe you can’t. If you can’t, then maybe we can all agree that those kinds of guns don’t have a place in our society. 

KATHY O’NEILL South Seaville 

Armed citizens make us all safer 

Enough already. The Supreme Court has made clear that the Second Amendment does, in fact, permit a citizen of this country to own a gun. In fact, the crime rate in most of the states that have enacted concealed-carry laws are lower than in the other states.

Nationally, the crime rate has been on a significant decline for about 20 years. This time line is consistent with the adoption of concealed- carry legislation in most of the states. Yet the media continue to ask why the crime rate has been dropping.

The National Rifle Association publishes a monthly magazine called “First Freedom.” Each issue has a page called “A rmed Citizen.” That page lists a number of citizens who have protected themselves, or who have come to the aid of another citizen or to the aid of a police officer, with their permitted guns. Why don’t we see or hear about those gun stories in the media?

For the most part, the kind of mass killings that we have seen in recent years were perpetrated by mentally unstable individuals. More needs to be done to identify such behavioral traits early on. Passing more restrictive gun laws will not change devious behavior. Such laws would only tend to make us less safe. New Jersey residents would be safer if it was easier to get a concealed-carry permit in the state. 

AMBROSE C. O’DONNELL JR. Egg Harbor Township 

Warning signs should prompt decisive action 

Sometimes a decision regarding the care and well-being of another family member, perhaps someone suffering from a mental illness, must be made.

There are many flags that go up to warn us of the need to make these important decisions. Unfortunately, those who are too close to the person who needs our help often don’t see the flags or choose not to pay attention to them.

There are many friends and concerned citizens who see these flags, but it is the true friend or the truly concerned citizen who will say something. People need to listen and take the needed action. These decisions are very difficult, but very necessary for everyone’s wellbeing, for all too often the actions of one have an impact on so many others.

God will not take away our burdens, but he will give us the graces — the strength and courage — to carry out the necessary actions.

So if you see a flag, do what needs to be done. 

LINDA M. KEYSER Somers Point