Can a mass shooting happen here?


My hometown newspaper, The Press of Atlantic City, recently published an article asking the question “Can a mass shooting happen in South Jersey?” No matter the location the answer to that question is always tragically yes. This is almost the equivalent of saying “We didn’t think it could happen here” after a shooting. South Jersey almost had a mass shooting back in 2006 when a plot to attack Winslow Township High School was uncovered.

As I’ve said before I can’t think of a mass shooting in recent history that took place in a major urban area like New York or Philadelphia. There almost always in suburban or rural areas as in small town America. So yes, they can happen here no matter where here is in our country.

The Fall of Atlantic City

I grew up in the shadow of Atlantic City so I’ve been sad to hear about the casino closings and the loss of jobs that are going with it. Unfortunately this has been a long time in coming and it seems like America’s Favorite Playground didn’t do a while lot to prevent it.

I’m old enough to remember when the casinos first moved into Atlantic City. At the time of their initial openings there was only legal casino gambling in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. The casinos injected a cash flow into the city that in my opinion went a long way to improve the city. While it never was white picket fence America it wasn’t exactly Camden either.

Then other locations started legalizing gambling but they were so far away that it didn’t really affect A.C. In the northeast there was the Foxwoods casino but that only took a small bite from the overall casino pie. It was at this point that Atlantic City should have been looking into alternative industries to support the city. When Las Vegas was facing a serious downturn in their tourism market they made a sweeping change and became a family destination. In my opinion it seems that Atlantic City’s death knell came when neighboring Pennsylvania legalized gambling. Most of the casino traffic in A.C. came from the Philadelphia market but now that they had their own casinos there was no longer any need to plan a trip to the Jersey shore when they can just hop on a bus or the El to go to their local casino.

Atlantic City is not without hope though. They went from a major tourist town in post-World War II to a blighted city then bounced back with the ushering of casinos. Hopefully the city that I do have such fond memories of can bounce back again. The problem is can they do it this time without taking decades?

Teflon to stick around prison for a while

Javon "Teflon" Gordon

Javon “Teflon” Gordon

Vineland man sentenced for transporting minors in sex trafficking ring:

If you call yourself ‘Teflon’ I am going to use the stick joke every single time. What’s not a joke is what he did.

I originally posted about Javon “Teflon” Gordon here. Back in August of last year he pleaded guilty to running an Atlantic City prostitution ring on craigslist. Not only did the ring include minors but he also used threats of violence and intimidation to keep the girls working for him.

This past week Gordon was sentenced to 15 years in prison. While it’s more than the 10 years I thought he was looking at it’s still not enough.

We are talking about modern-day slavery here. How appalled do you get thinking about slavery in this country prior to the Civil War? Why are you not just as appalled as what goes on today. The only difference is that it transcends racial lines and it involves children being sold for sex and not enough people are fighting against it today.

Child prostitution charges stick to Teflon

Javon "Teflon" Gordon

Javon “Teflon” Gordon

Man admits running prostitution ring that brought girls as young as 14 to Atlantic City:

And here I thought that Atlantic City had cleaned up its prostitution problem but it seems that with the advent of craigslist it has returned.

28-year-old Javon “Teflon” Gordon of Atlantic City, New Jersey pleaded guilty to federal charges of child prostitution. Gordon prostituted at least two girls who were minors. One was a 14 and the other was 17.

One of the venues that Gordon would use to traffic these girls was of course craigslist.

Again the federal government refuses to take these charges seriously as he’s only looking at 10 years total for both charges.

Atlantic City craigslist pimp convicted

Pleasantville man found guilty of prostituting underage teen girls from Allentown, Pa. in Atlantic City:

27-year-old Kevin R. Mayfield of Pleasantville, NJ was convicted yesterday of pimping out minor girls on craigslist in Atlantic City.

Mayfield also took nude pictures of the girls to use on the craigslist ad.

Mayfield’s cohort was 25-year-old Casson L. Coward who pleaded guilty back in 2007 and was sentenced to 10 years for his part.

Again I say who says there’s no victims? Are two underage girls not victims enough for you?