Amazon tax deal
cheats N.J. customers
In the past, I have questioned companies that have charged the New Jersey state sales tax on purchases made over the Internet. Their response was that as long as they had a warehouse within the boundaries of New Jersey, they were obliged to charge me the 7 percent tax.
Amazon.com plans to build a distribution center in Robbinsville, and to start shipments from this location in early 2014. But in an arrangement with state government, the company will start charging the state sales tax in July.
This deal brings in revenue to state government coffers but penalizes every New Jersey Amazon customer. Until Amazon has a viable physical presence in New Jersey, it should not charge the tax. This is a sneaky way of taking money from New Jersey customers beforehand.
DAVID M. LEVIN
Revel smoking policy
is being scapegoated
Regarding the Jan. 7 story, "Revel may be rethinking no-smoking policy":
For Revel to use smoking as an excuse is ridiculous. Eighty-five percent of people are nonsmokers. Everyone is always saying how nice it is to breathe fresh air.
I know most hard-core gamblers are smokers, but they are so determined to gamble it won't matter what other vice is available. I know money is all that matters in the industry, but don't use non-smoking as an excuse for business decline. There are other reasons: the economy, competition and Sandy.
To put more people at risk by allowing smoking is just another way casinos show a disregard for employees and customers. I urge everyone not to fold to peer pressure, just as your parents told you when you were young.
for children is insane
Recently I was watching the late news when I was shocked by what was being shown. I could not believe my eyes.
They showed a full line of children's outerwear and backpacks, which were very fashionable. However, they were bulletproof for our children to wear to school. What's next, a suit of armor? I can't fathom that gun violence has become so out of control that a bulletproof line of children's wear should be even thought of let alone marketed.
God bless Gabby Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, who now have a mission to take on gun lobbyists. I not only pray for their success but also for their safety and for others who are trying to keep guns out of the hands of irresponsible people. I say to hell with a right to bear arms without better laws controlling that right.
Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the National Rifle Association, said, "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." What a lunatic.
I am beyond being angry.
We must act boldly
to control gun abuse
There is only one choice for gun-control legislation: Be bolder.
Our lawmakers must pass new legislation now, and anyone voting against it should be voted out of office.
The violence allowed in this country is unacceptable. I would not want my name associated with voting against any real reform. Lawmakers should have to explain their decision to vote against reform to the families of gun-violence victims in person. I don't think they could look them in the eye and try to explain why the killing of innocent children and others should be accepted.
The National Rifle Association can say whatever it wants. Most Americans could care less any longer about what that group thinks. The children who died in Newtown, Conn., mean more than the right to own lethal weapons.
Restrictions on types of guns, ammunition and assault weapons - and universal background checks - must be adopted. No longer can we accept these tragic events nor the argument that it is the person who does the killing, not the guns. Without guns, it wouldn't matter what a disturbed person wants to do.
Our proposals must be bold. Anything less, and the blood of future mass killings can be attributed to those who vote against needed changes.
Before you use a gun,
do you know the law?
A lot of people want to protect family and property using the Second Amendment. I have one problem with that.
At some point, law enforcement will be involved, and you had better know just what the law is in this matter. I don't have a clue and most households do not have a library of law books. So just what is the law that lets you protect the things you own and the people you love?
It is certain the man in blue will tell you ignorance of the law is no excuse.
JAMES B. FROST SR.
in many temperaments
As a former school administrator involved in teacher supervision, I would like to add my own observations to the debate on arming teachers.
Teachers, like workers in any job, come in a wide variety of temperaments, insecurities, fears and emotional states. Trust me, I met them all over the years, from the perpetual worrywart to those who would go directly to the police instead of following the school's chain-of-command discipline policies.
Unpredictable things happen in moments of frustration or panic. Many parents and grandparents are apprehensive about the idea of armed teachers.
Personally, I always welcomed the daily presence of our trusted, trained school resource officer who offered, overall, the best assurance of safety and security to our students and staff.
West A.C. motels
should be razed
West Atlantic City has too many derelict motels. Those motels were hit hard by Sandy. At least most of the bedbugs have drowned, but there was always mildew and now there is more growing. And the debris has increased.
Restoration of these properties requires approvals from Egg Harbor Township. These pits of desolation and despair should not be permitted to continue to exist.
Many of the owners of these motels do not have mortgages or flood insurance. They must use their own funds to repair them. It would be money wasted. Their tenants, past and future, are a threat to this potentially lovely community. Drug dealers, prostitutes and fugitives have found safe haven in these motels.
My home has been robbed four times by the residents of these motels. I know because they were caught by township police. After I installed a security system in my home, my new garage was robbed. I will now expand the security system to cover my garage. Is this any way to live?
This is an appeal to the motel owners to sell and get out. I'm sure you would have a willing buyer in the Township Committee with some help from the county and possibly the state.
This flood damaged all of us. But it is an opportunity to improve our community and remove these forsaken and derelict motels that are a drain on the growth in West Atlantic City.
West Atlantic City
GOP defeats effort
to improve voting access
In the last election, people waited many hours to cast ballots. It was no coincidence that those inconvenienced were voters in areas that historically voted Democratic, and the roadblocks were placed there by Republicans in charge of the voting process. State legislators were implementing bills crafted by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a right-wing think tank.
ALEC was behind the huge redistricting effort after the 2010 election that gave Republicans the edge in states such as Wisconsin, where they gained House seats through gerrymandering.
According to the Brennan Center for Justice, Republicans have passed restrictive voter laws and instituted executive actions in 19 states since the beginning of 2011. They also reduced the number of hours available for early voting, the number of polling places, the number of machines used for voting, refused to repair broken polling machines and issued misleading instructions regarding voting dates and polling locations.
Earlier this month, Democrats in Congress introduced a resolution that called for reasonable voting periods, the reduction of long waits at polling places and providing enough working voting machines for unhindered citizen voting. It was defeated by a party-line vote of 194-229.
Regrettably, ALEC member Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-2nd, backed his party rather than America's voters.