The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

January 6, 2013

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

Submitted by Readers

— 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


Real gifts come from family and friends

What gift have we to give this holiday season? What resolution did we make for the new year?

I’ve got news for everybody, it’s not in Fort Knox.

The gift comes from family and friends who sacrifice for one another and don’t ask for anything in return except their love, health and happiness. Within this realm is true wealth, riches and security.

United we stand, divided we fall.

Stephen Jendricks


Fiscal cliff bill doesn’t cure ills

After two years of doing nothing to deal with the exploding $16.5 trillion federal deficit, our Congress pulled a last-minute, all-night session to produce a 154-page bill (that few legislators read before they voted) that can only be characterized as a stupid stunt.

This bill produces $41 in federal spending for every $1 of tax revenue, an example of President Obama’s “balanced ap-proach.” There are no promises to cut spending, but the bill contains numerous tax credits and subsidies for NASCAR, green energy, appliance makers and the Hollywood film industry, just to name a few.

The Senate version of the bill set aside $60 billion for victims of Hurricane Sandy, but it was filled with pork and legislators’ pet projects.

This bill does not address the fiscal cliff, but add tens of billions of dollars to special-interest groups, which Obama clearly campaigned against.

Oh, by the way, one of our astute congressmen recently suggested that the federal mint make a gold trillion-dollar coin, to be held by our treasury, as a “rainy

day fund.” With what will we back this coin?

Wake up, America, for this sounds much like the Roman Empire ... just before its collapse.

Dr. J. Michael Moses

Central City

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