The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Editorials

March 4, 2013

Readers' Forum 3-4 | Legislator: Give up lottery privatization plan

— Gov. Tom Corbett should abandon his plan to privatize the Pennsylvania Lottery.

His privatization plan is widely opposed, is costly and could harm vital seniors programs such as those supplying prescription drugs, transportation, property tax and rent rebates, and long-term care.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane recently reviewed the lottery contract and confirmed what 80 percent of Pennsylvanians suspected: Privatizing the lottery is an unconstitutional power grab by Corbett aimed at benefiting big business, and not the commonwealth as a whole.

Lawmakers from both parties agree with Kane that gaming expansion is a decision that should be voted on by the Legislature.

The bottom line is that the Pennsylvania Lottery is the only lottery in the nation  focused solely on funding programs to benefit our seniors. It’s highly profitable and efficiently operated.

On the other hand, a private company is accountable to its stockholders and its goal is profit, not Pennsylvania.

In the end, every dollar paid to a private company is a dollar that could have gone to seniors programs.

The plan to privatize Pennsylvania’s Lottery already has wasted state funds and will continue to cost taxpayers as long as Corbett continues down his path to privatization.

Frank Burns

State representative, Ebensburg

NRA rallying behind 2nd Amendment faulty

I’ve read that Einstein defined insanity as continued repetition of an act with the expectation that a different result would occur.

It’s certainly insane that after all the abominations and massacres that have occurred in this country within the past few years, that we’re still debating our obvious need for gun control.

The loud-mouthed bullies from the National Rifle Association who point to the Second Amendment as a blessing to own machine guns should remember that this particular modification was made to our Constitution in 1791, and that considerable changes have occurred in technology since then. As such, I guess we’re fortunate that the word “arms” as used in the Constitution has not been re-defined by the NRA to include low-yield nuclear weapons, or worse.

But since that amendment keeps being hauled out as justification, maybe we can use the document to our benefit and confine our gun-toting brethren to the weaponry that was available during that time. Imagine some sorehead drunk wanting to get even with a bartender who cut him off, and having to run home to get out the cotton, the rod and the powder horn to load up the old blunderbuss.

In the half-hour or so it would take the ninny to get the musket ready for action, he’d hopefully either have blown himself up a la Elmer Fudd, or realized the laughable absurdity of believing that any individual in this day and age has the privilege, right or, particularly, the need to own machine guns or other offensive weaponry.

Carl Schultz

Johnstown

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