Editors note: This column is a response to a July 7-13, 2004, The Rock River Times article, Say NO to Rockford casino by Michelle Skolaski.
First, I do believe a casino in Rockford would be a good thing, not a bad one. It will bring an excitement that is long overdue to this dull city. The additional fun and excitement is needed very badly. Also, a casino would tremendously improve Rockford financially, especially downtown. It will not only bring the much-needed additional entertainment, it will also have the Wal-Mart effect by paving the way for development and other businesses to move into the surrounding area. It will also be one more big reason for people from outside Rockford to spend money here on a year-round basis.
Next, I am really tired of Rockfords overly-religious or ultra-conservative people pushing our Rockford leaders around. They have lobbied and gotten their way, and kept Rockford a boring city for far too long. Although there is nothing wrong with being religious or conservative, taking your beliefs and abusing them by not allowing the people of Rockford to have any fun is wrong.
As far as the complaint about gambling being an addiction goes, yes, I agree that gambling can be an addiction, but it is a mental addiction, and people are responsible for their own actions. If a person is stupid enough to take his/her paycheck to the casino and gamble it away trying to gain fortune while their kids go hungry, then that person is an idiot. Also, if a person is too much of a sucker by going to the ATM machine for more money after losing their initial nightly limit, in hopes of winning it back, then that is their own fault. If a person is too mentally weak to resist these temptations, then that is their own fault, not the casinos. There is nothing wrong whatsoever with taking $40-$100 to the casino a few times a month for some entertainment and a good time. People in Rockford already waste much more than that on restaurants, shopping and entertainment, but no one seems to be complaining about the over-abundance of restaurants, shopping facilities or other means of entertainment. So dont let a few morons that cant control themselves ruin it for the rest of us.
Next, Id like to address the awful example in [Skolaskis column] about someone losing at the casino, then blowing their brains out rather than facing their kids a loser. If a person is that mentally weak and pathetic, then they were already a loser in the first place, before they even stepped one foot into the casino. Besides, a person that mentally unstable has no business having and/or raising kids in the first place, and their kids are probably better off without them, and should be raised by someone else anyway. Besides, there would be one less idiot in the world taking up space and ruining the environment for the rest of us.
I applaud the effort some people are making to try to prevent the casino from coming to Rockford. I think it is great to stand up and fight for something that you feel strongly about. But if you are going to spend time fighting for a cause, your time would be better spent fighting the roots of most of the problems in the world, which are bad parenting, overpopulation and poor educational systems. So if you really want to make a difference in the world (or just Rockford), then spend your time lobbying and fighting for stricter parenting laws, birth control awareness, and improving our educational system.
Lastly, I agree that good family values should be the main focus of what Rockford stands for, but there is nothing wrong with adding some much-needed fun and excitement to the city at the same time. So stop being Nazi, and let the people of Rockford have a little fun. BRING A CASINO TO ROCKFORD!!! Dave Dettman is a local resident.