The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


January 6, 2013

Readers' Forum 1-6 | More emphasis on mental health problems

— Regarding two letters in the Readers’ Forum of Dec. 29: Dr. Bill Choby’s  “Obama response to Newtown wrong, too” and Gene Davis’ “Antidepressants play major role in slayings”:

Choby states that violent video games and movies are to blame for senseless shootings. These are the same scapegoats that are used every time a tragic shooting happens. While video games might be a trigger in a very mentally ill person, they should not be considered the root of the problems. My friends and others I know play violent video games, but wouldn’t pick up a gun and kill innocent people. We need to stop labeling violent media as the root of the problem.

Davis argues that antidepressants are dangerous drugs that are only allowed because of the interest of pharmaceutical corporations.

The firsthand experience I have with these medications suggest the opposite. I know that many people have been helped by these medications. They have been able to overcome depression and live much happier lives. Davis’ letter puts the focus on medications, instead of mental health issues.

I truly believe there needs to be a ban on guns that can shoot 100 rounds a minute. Who needs to be able to fire that fast?

We also need to study the mental health issues that contribute to such shootings and not blame medications such as antidepressants.

Garrett Short


Kwanzaa detractor too judgmental

Calling attention to Dwight Owen’s Readers’ Forum letter on Jan. 2, “Writer rants on Kwanzaa; celebrant replies”:

I’d like to inquire, why can’t we just get along? Must he come down so very rudely on black nationalism?

He should get on his knees and ask forgiveness from whomever he worships.

How can he be so judgmental? Was he ever in their shoes?

Has he ever been in need? I have, and I’m appalled.

Hasn’t he read the news of late?

Nancy Arnone


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What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

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