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Opening of State Lottery

October 11, 1985

I weep for the poor people of California as I read about the opening of lottery ticket sales. Why do we human beings torture ourselves, like charmed birds, by doing the very thing that gives us most pain?

The lottery touches two very sensitive nerves in all of us: that almost uncontrolable urge to get something for nothing, and the prospect of getting rich quick.

The sad part of it is that it will take family expense money from those who can least afford it. Even though hope springs eternal, the sadness, the disappointment, and the crushed spirits of millions of people, is the legacy of all widespread gambling activities. Isn't it strange that benevolent governments themselves would participate in inflicting such pain?

I'm ashamed of our greedy professional educators, who allowed their exalted names to lend respectability to such a sordid activity. Isn't it rather ironic that those in the forefront of the character building or our youth, are co-sponsors, with the amoral racketeers, of foisting statewide gambling on an apathetic, and pathetic people?

It has been said that gambling is even more addictive than drugs, because it's appeal is to a more dramatic frailty of man. The easiest gambling temptation to resist is the first. The man who never buys a lottery ticket will never be personally harmed by it.

In many respects I am as weak as the next guy, but when I hear the siren's song of the easy-money singers I automatically turn off my ears and brains to such sickening sweet melodies.


San Marino

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