Re May 7 editorial, "No Thanks to Ford's Casino":
I was shocked by your attitude on gambling in South Carolina and hope you never have to defend your position in a debate.
Robert Ford of Charleston has the reasonable solution to many of the state's problems. In fact, The Sun News recently reported the state had a $500 million deficit, was cutting the education budget, and had a number of other problems.
First, it would be wise to examine the state constitution of 1868 and compare it with the present one adopted in 1895. The first was far superior and much more democratic. The latter was primarily intended to restore power to the landed gentry and very upper-class whites while disenfranchising the blacks and lower-class whites. You mentioned the state Supreme Court banning the poker machines a decade ago. Polls of that time showed over 60 percent of the populace was in favor of keeping them and a referendum was scheduled. At the last minute the court ruled it was "illegal" for the people to vote on this issue. I was astounded. Really, I would like to see your paper print a copy of the two state constitutions mentioned above. It is apparent it is certainly time for a state constitutional convention and radical changes to return power to the people and solve many of the states' problems.
Statistics show that more than 80 percent of those visiting Las Vegas do not gamble but go for the other attractions. Las Vegas leads the nation in the number of building permits issued each month. Nevada has no state income tax. The Nevada Gaming Commission strictly supervises all gaming in the state and keeps out the bad elements. If South Carolina ever decides to enter the 20th century and legalize gaming controlled by a strict state gaming commission, most of the economic problems would be greatly reduced.
The very idea of not allowing the poker machines is ridiculous, considering the state has the lottery, many types of scratch-off tickets, casino boats, and high stakes bingo. What hypocrisy and bigotry.
South Carolina is at the bottom of all states in education. It is the fourth most dangerous state for women. The social services are overwhelmed. Horry County alone has thousands of deadbeat dads who pay no child support.
Maybe it is time for towns and cities in South Carolina to follow the lead of Myrtle Beach and pass their own laws. They destroyed the bike week by demanding bikers wear helmets in spite of the state law. Imagine a tourist area doing all possible to drive away tourists.
I hope to live long enough to witness some progressive, and logical, thinking by those in position of leadership.
The writer lives in Calabash, N.C.