The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

February 28, 2013

Readers' Forum 2-28 | Gun-control answer is in middle ground

Submitted by Readers

— Since the tragic events of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, our nation has been having a very important dialogue about the role of guns in our society.

Some people believe that gun control can never stop violent, deviant people from finding a way to harm others and, therefore, is a pointless, dangerous restriction of our liberty.

Others argue that guns are an immediate and effective way to harm others, and if we limit access to them we will inevitably curb violence.

In principle, neither argument works when we look at guns as being like any other weapon. Even the most devout National Rifle Association member would agree that we should prevent people from having a weapon as powerful as a nuclear missile, just as the most radical gun-control activist would think it is absurd to prevent people from having a weapon as small as a pocket knife.

Therefore, in our discussion of what role guns must play in our society, both sides must admit that the answer lies in the middle. Where exactly in the middle must be decided through the long and often- frustrating process of democratic debate.

However, we can never complete this process and discover the best way to keep our children and streets safe if we do not even seriously consider the merits of each other’s opinions.

Kieran Spencer


Fond memories of maternity ward

Despite the announcement that Windber Medical Center would no longer support a maternity department, I believe the service should not fade away in silence.

My mother delivered all six of her children at (then) Windber Hospital. My youngest sibling was premature and weighed only 3 pounds, 4 ounces. There was no neonatal intensive-care unit, only skillful, dedicated nurses who nurtured her until she was strong enough to come home.

The obstetricians who have provided services over the years have been dedicated to the mothers and babies, as well. They always did their best to meet the needs of mothers by making them comfortable and happy.

The community has always appreciated the maternity services provided at their local hospital. The wonderful care by the nurses is well-known from Somerset County to Bedford County to Cambria County.

As a nurse, I have had the pleasure of being a part of three generations of growing families. I am saddened that this decision has been made, as it will affect mothers, families, the community and nursing jobs.

Since the closing of the department is imminent, I was wondering if anyone else has fond memories of Windber Medical Center’s maternity department they would like to share.

Judy Pallone



Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.