The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Editorials

December 29, 2012

Readers' Forum 12-29 | Antidepressants play major role in slayings

— In the aftermath of recent tragic mass shootings by mentally disturbed individuals, antigun forces are in full combat mode attacking the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Gun-grabbers desire to remove the means of law-abiding citizens for self-protection from those who refuse to obey gun laws, no matter how many are passed.

History has proven that gun removal results in an increase in crime and loss of protection. Just Web search “a little gun history.”  There is a reason that businesses choose armed guards rather than a “Robbery free zone” sign.   

If our leaders were truly interested in stopping these mass murders, they would investigate the role mind-altering pharmaceutical drugs play in these tragedies. 

A close examination of the mass murders that have occurred over the past several decades concludes that in the vast majority of them, the murderer had been prescribed mind-altering selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor drugs.

Don’t take my word for it, Web search “SSRI violence,” “SSRI suicide” and “SSRI murder.”   

Will our leaders continue to blame inanimate objects – guns – or will they investigate the role of antidepressants?

I surmise that they will continue to serve the financial interests of pharmaceutical corporations and their lobbyists. The Constitution will be ignored by those who swore an oath to defend it, and the vast population of law-abiding American citizen gun owners will be punished for the actions of a few sick individuals.

Gene Davis

Johnstown

Middle Americans are facing tax boosts

Several months ago, I warned in a letter about our government planning to nationalize, i.e., take over, everyone’s qualified retirement accounts (IRAs, 401(k)s, 403(b)s, etc.).

Many probably thought I had taken too many slaps to the head. But I’m here to alert readers to the incremental tinkering the liberals and socialists in Washington have outlined in their most recent scheming. Their ideas to confiscate our retirement accounts are outlined in bills being prepared in Congress.

Since the Tax Reform Act of 1986, Congress has cut 401(k)s by 70 percent. It now is proposing further cuts, limiting our tax-favored accounts as follows:

* Max deferrals will be cut to $10,000 from $17,000.

* The matching, profit-sharing or other deposits of workers and their employers are “cut” to limit total sheltered savings to $20,000.

Didn’t President Obama say he wants to tax the rich only (a little extra to be fair)? But what does that mean to you?

Any amount you can no longer shelter through your IRAs or 401(k)s deferrals will now be subject to income, FICA, etc., taxes – your take-home pay.

How fair is that to “middle America”?

What don’t folks understand that if the “Bush tax cuts” are repealed and we go back to the previous higher tax rates on all income levels, we are going to be paying higher taxes. So much for Obama protecting the middle class.

Wake up, Americans, and start opposing these socialists in Washington.

Edward C. Denk

Lakewood, Ohio, formerly of Johnstown

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