The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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March 9, 2013

Readers' Forum 3-9 | USPS not broke, crisis is manufactured


— NRA supports checks, opposes database

On March 3, The Tribune-Democrat published a column by Clarence Page in which he accuses the National Rifle Association of being against gun purchase background checks. This is utterly false.

The NRA supports background checks. What it opposes is the government retaining the data in a permanent database.

Right now, by law, this data must be destroyed within 24 hours. To retain this data is the same as registering the gun and owner. No government entity has the right to know what guns a law-abiding citizen owns. This data would be public record.

If the government decided it wanted to confiscate guns, the data would make this very easy. Law-abiding citizens would be disarmed and helpless when it comes to self-defense.

In New York, you must have a license to possess a gun, and all of your guns are registered. A newspaper, The Journal News, used public records to obtain the names and addresses of every handgun owner in the county it serves and then it published this information. Criminals now know the home addresses of police and corrections officers and anyone else (neighbors know you have a gun. What about your anti-gun boss?).

Registration has led to confiscation. Lists fell into the hands of the Nazis in Germany and the leaders of other conquered countries. Guns were confiscated.

In the Soviet Union and in Eastern Europe (after World War II), registration led to confiscation.

Is President Obama more trustworthy than leaders of some of those countries?

I think not. What executive order might he issue next?

Bill Gallus

Richland Township

Taking away son’s benefits family tragedy

I have a special-needs son who lives with me. His mother passed away eight years ago. Since then, he and I have been on our own.

My son has Downs syndrome and cerebral palsy and is completely dependent on me and his caregivers. He doesn’t walk or talk. He doesn’t feed or dress himself, or use the bathroom without assistance.

Until recently, he had been receiving in-home care services paid for by his HMO. These services allow me to go to work during the day.

Now, his HMO is refusing to pay for these services, saying he doesn’t need them, which makes no sense because he can’t do anything for himself.

Without these services, I will be forced to stop working – which I cannot afford to do – and stay home and care for him 24/7.

My son needs these caregivers, and I need them, too.

What’s wrong with this country and state? They take benefits away from the truly helpless and give more benefits to people of sound mind and able body who refuse to work for a living.

Someone needs to explain that to me.

Daniel Thomas



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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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