Letter to the Editor

LETTERS: NO ON BOATS, YES TO BAN COCKFIGHTS

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To the editor:

I guess it's too late for "I told you so." Several years ago, Citizens Against Riverboat Gambling and others told this newspaper that falsehoods were being told by the gambling industry. We said riverboats would turn into land-based casinos and this so-called gaming would impact lives in a negative way. A great many economic scholars and get-rich-quick schemers -- even this very newspaper -- said we were all wet about the ills of gambling. They said it would bring great-paying jobs, the gaming commission would keep it controlled and it was just a form of family entertainment.

The truth is gambling plays on the one human weakness inherent in all mankind: greed. This increased desire to get something for nothing leads to addiction. Left uncontrolled, gambling increases bankruptcy, which in turn increases homelessness, suicide and divorce. It increases crime when people see their lives are being adversely impacted. The disclaimers have been put up at the casinos that if you have a gambling problem, here is the number to call. Most people won't call, because most people don't think they have a problem. They point to all the people who win. If the casinos didn't let some people win sometimes, nobody would play. Of the people who win, most put the money back into the machine hoping for more money.

That brings me to another issue: cockfighting. I am surprised this newspaper is saying to vote against Proposition A banning cockfighting. All laws are written by attorneys and meant to be litigated. We could take any law on the books and write and rewrite it. Does that mean we should have no laws forbidding inhumane behavior? This is the age of lawsuits. There is no such thing as a pure law. Most language is deliberate and confusing for just that reason.

Animals have very few rights where humans are concerned. God gave man dominion over animals, but in a just and humane way, not to harm and mutilate them for personal and financial gain and amusement. We have become so desensitized and self-centered that we can still subscribe to this form of pain and suffering and death and call it tradition. For what purpose? Greed and gambling lead to the bloodshed of human life and animal life. When will it end?

We can put a stop to an age-old barbaric sport. I'm even surprised by the fact that many supporters of cockfighting claim to be Christians. I've even heard people say we should kill unborn babies, yet they tolerate inhumane treatment of animals. I don't think Jesus would approve of either practice. You shouldn't either. When you allow cockfighting, dogfighting or any other form of brutal treatment to continue and you have the ability to stop it, you're an accomplice whether you participated or not.

I urge you to vote no on Amendment 9 on boats in moats and yes on Proposition A to ban cockfighting. Mistakes of the past can be corrected by the actions taken Tuesday. It's a beginning to the solution. It's the right thing to do.

MARYANN "MIKI" GUDERMUTH

Cape Girardeau