2012-02-17 / Letters

Why Raise To 21?

Dear Editor,

I would respectfully disagree with New York State Senator Joe Addabbo Jr. legislation to raise the legal age for gambling to 21.

At 18, you are old enough to vote, pay taxes, own a car, take out a bank loan, serve in the military, die for your country or be sentenced to life in prison with no parole for the murder of others. Then not being able to legally gamble makes no sense. At 18, there are no legal restrictions for other forms of gambling including purchasing New York State and out of town lottery tickets. Anyone can go to the race track, legal or illegal betting parlor and place a bet.

Creative entrepreneurs will always provide products or services to meet the citizens’ desire, regardless of government approval including access to gambling for those between 18 and 21.

Our tax dollars would be better used if police and judges spend more time prosecuting those who commit real crimes against individuals or property than going after those under 21 who attempt to gamble.

Citizens have more to fear from murder, arson, rape, muggings, robberies, auto and identity theft or home breakins along with ever-increasing levels of confiscatory taxation and debt by government than allowing individuals 18 to 20 gambling. Law enforcement authorities should be free to pursue those who commit real crimes against citizens and property.

There is more to fear from poor and middle class people over 21 becoming addicted to government sanctioned gambling and spending their life savings going broke than allowing 18- to 21-year-olds access.

Individual economic and civil liberties prosper best when government stays out of both the bedroom and marketplace. Eighteen-year-olds are adults and should be treated as such.

LARRY PENNER

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