The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


December 19, 2012

Readers' Forum 12-19 | Examine underlying cause of rampage

JOHNSTOWN — May God grant peace and comfort to all involved in the shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Now is not the time to get hysterical about gun control. Guns don’t kill on their own. The person holding it does.

In China, a man went into a school and slashed 33 students. You don’t hear people calling for knives to be outlawed.

If guns are outlawed, we will have the same problems as during Prohibition. Haven’t we learned from the past?

Instead of cutting funding for mental health, we need to increase it. That’s the only way we can keep this from ever happening again.

Esther Weyand-Landis


Lottery proposal will hurt seniors

I read in The Tribune-Democrat on Dec. 5 about Gov. Tom Corbett wanting to give oversight of our state’s lottery away. Only one bidder, too.

Camelot Global Services doesn’t care about us Pennsylvanians, only about its profits.

This deal would take away our senior citizens’ benefits, like the property rebate, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance  program and the Pharmaceutical Assistance Contract for the Elderly program.

Our lawmakers in Harrisburg should stop Corbett if they can.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Ralph Gutshall


Child-care program has its pitfalls

I read with dismay and concern about the program developed by the Cambria County court, in cooperation with the county Child Development Corp., to provide free child-care services for prospective jurors. The impetus for the service is to take away the excuse given by parents and grandparents that there is nobody to care for their children if they are selected for jury duty.

These parents and grandparents are expected to quickly drop off their children into child care at an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar personnel, as if the children were inanimate objects in need of short-term storage instead of treating them as human beings with emotional needs. Some children might need time and extra emotional support to adjust to a change.

As a mother and grandmother with a professional background in early childhood development, I am truly saddened to imagine the emotional distress of a child forced to adapt to such a situation on a moment’s notice, or to sanction such a practice and assure a parent or grandparent that he or she should feel OK about doing it.

This is not to disparage the staff of the child-care center, which undoubtedly provides compassionate and loving care for children in its programs on a regular basis.

To propose this service as a positive solution to the problem of a dwindling jury pool is shortsighted and demonstrates a disregard for the emotional welfare of children.

Marcia Kokus


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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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