Bias was clear in hearing
on Assembly gun measures
Regarding the Feb. 13 story, "Assembly panel OKs gun control measures":
I'm disappointed that the Associated Press and The Press chose only to refer in the article to what are, arguably, the four most innocuous-sounding bills of the 21 that were approved by the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.
A complete listing of all 21 bills, with a competent legal analysis of them, would show rational and objective readers that the bills are nothing but an Orwellian assault against the constitutionally guaranteed rights of law-abiding citizens and will have no impact whatsoever on crime, school safety or mental health.
Also, coverage of the actual proceedings would have exposed the committee's shamefully biased treatment of witnesses based on their positions on the proposals.
All who wished to testify were made aware of a two-minute time limit. But it quickly became obvious that witnesses testifying in opposition were cut off at the two-minute limit while proponents were being allowed to far exceed the limit.
As state Sen. Loretta Weinberg, D-Bergen, was being allowed to speak for six minutes of emotion-invoking drivel, I vocally demanded from the floor that the chairman apply the rules fairly and equally to everyone. He responded by ordering the sergeant-at-arms to eject me from the chamber.
So much for a Democratic majority's understanding of equality, fairness and democracy in the political process.
THOMAS D. KENDRICK
Employers need to know
about criminal records
Regarding the Feb. 12 editorial, "Jobs for ex-offenders/Ban the box," endorsing a bill that would prevent employers from asking prospective employees about their criminal history until after a job offer has been made:
I strongly disagree with The Press' position on this bill.
As a painting contractor, I and my employees are often provided with our customer's home and cell numbers, work, vacation and school schedules, garage door codes, house keys and more. Additionally, the very nature of the work requires that we be in their bedrooms and bathrooms, where jewelry, personal papers and medications are kept.
I and my customers have a right to expect that the individuals we send to do the work are of sound character. We should not be prevented from asking pertinent questions of job applicants for the sake of what amounts to an experiment to reduce recidivism.
PATRICK J. SHEERAN
This swim meet
was an inspiration
I have been officiating swimming meets for many years and have enjoyed every meet I have worked, but a recent meet between the Atlantic City High School girls and Southern Regional High School, in the first round of the state tournament, had to be the best.
Southern knew it would take a miracle to upset Atlantic City, but that did not keep the team from competing as hard as it could. More important, it did not keep the Southern Regional swimmers from having a good time.
When the meet ended, both teams lined up for the traditional handshakes, and every one of the Southern Regional swimmers shook my hand, as well, and thanked me. I've had the occasional swimmer do that in the past but never an entire team. It was gratifying.
But it was how the meet started that was the most inspiring. When all rose for the playing of the national anthem, the recording did not work. After a bit of awkward silence, people began to sit down again. But one of the competitors began to sing, and then another and another, and it grew and kept growing until it reached the upper deck where the fans were sitting. They stood up again, and soon the whole pool area filled up with the words to "The Star Spangled Banner." Even without the music, it sounded beautiful.
I hope all who were there left feeling something special had happened. I did.
Let spending cuts
take place March 1
As the March 1 deadline approaches, government agencies are increasingly sounding the alarm about the impact pending budget cuts could have. Cabinet secretaries were on Capitol Hill last week warning that if the sequester were to go into effect, the country would have fewer guards on the southern border, face deep cuts to early childhood education and be less prepared to defend itself.
Haven't we heard this all before? All we hear is how it will effect this or that. Apparently, reducing the debt isn't a priority.
I'm not a millionaire, but I can understand why you can't continue to tax them. Reduce the loopholes, yes, but increasing the amount the rich pay isn't right. A flat tax would be the best. This way everyone is paying the same amount, like a sales tax. Just do away with the ways they can hide money.
The bottom line is that drastic changes need to be made in the way we fund all the things we do. Let the cuts take place. This way they can all be blamed and voted out of office, which would benefit the entire country.