The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


May 7, 2014

Readers' Forum 5/7 | NRA members must decide for themselves

JOHNSTOWN — I’m a National Rifle Association member, but I am not going to let the NRA tell me that I should vote for Bill Shuster. Did you see the group’s latest magazine?

NRA always endorses incumbents because they have a voting record to support their issues.

Art Halvorson, candidate for the 9th Congressional District race, is an NRA member, too, but he also has the leadership skills, integrity, knowledge of homeland security and veteran issues, 29 years of service to this country and willingness to defend the Constitution.

This time, the race for U.S. Congress goes far beyond the NRA issues, gun control, hunting and the Second Amendment. It includes the track and tax issue that Shuster is considering (before the election), but, who knows what he will do after the election?

So, if you do not want taxed on the miles you travel to work, to hunt, to get groceries or take your kids to sports events, you better vote Shuster out. Come on, NRA members, think for yourselves.

Vote Halvorson for Congress on May 20.

Garry Leach

Marion Center

Is health care really a right?

Recently, a column by Jim Scofield, regarding the Affordable Care Act, addressed the concept of medical care as a right, a human decency.

I recalled a discussion with a college friend 40 years ago, when I first heard about about health care described as a right. My friend became a successful spine surgeon, while I went on to a career as a physical therapist. When I saw this individual a few years ago, the topic came up again, as I reminded him of his comments years ago.

We both were not sure, after years of working in the health-care system, if this right is still a valid argument.

Is the right to affordable health care the key issue? Perhaps it is more about the fact that as Americans we have a right to a government committed to fixing a broken health-care delivery system. A government with elected leaders that are willing to work together to develop and implement a workable plan. By doing so, the part-time worker, the multiple-job worker, the semiretired worker, the longterm unemployed, etc., all might have a fighting chance of finding some health insurance.

Time will tell if the AFCA is advancing us toward a fix of the broken health-care system.

Tom Stewart


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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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