The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


May 21, 2013

Readers' Forum 5-21 | Gun laws, former inmates and 2nd chances

— Regarding John Skubak’s letter of April 30, “A change of heart on background checks,” about Second Amendment rights: I want to go beyond that scope.

Owning a gun is a right, not a privilege. I am a former convict and cannot own one, but do I not have the right to protect myself and my family?

The problem with society is we never let former inmates forget that they are “ex-cons.” I was in trouble 10 years ago and have since turned my life around. But I still can’t get a break.

I applied for work at a local cable company and was told that I was qualified, that all that was needed was a background check.

Needless to say, I never heard from them again. Even though they still “rob” me every month, I forgive them.

And that is what we need to do: Give second chances. It is the reason why criminals go back to being criminals. They try it the right way, but just can’t get a break.

Business owners who interview someone, see that he or she has made mistakes, and automatically disqualify them are part of the problem. Give people a second chance – they have done their time and supposedly paid their debt to society.

The biggest crooks are running our country, but Americans give them second chances.

Not all criminals want to do the right things, but they are not the ones sitting across the desk looking for a break.

Donald Titus Jr.


Shopping locally not always best choice

We all hear people say, “Shop locally. Don’t support chain stores.” And I always agreed, until recently.

I frequently shopped at an area fruit market. Sure the prices were a bit higher, but it is locally owned, so I spent the extra money.

I recently took my 3-year-old with me and, as you can imagine, he is a curious child. He handled a tomato while I was checking out and a worker at the market proceeded to grab the tomato and scold him.

I asked the worker to refrain from speaking to my child in such a manner. He responded by telling me that if I didn’t like it to shop at Walmart.

Now I do shop where I save money and time, and my children are treated with respect.

So much for keeping it local.

Danielle Ribaric


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