“I was annoyed during most of last night’s presidential debate,” a huffy Wendy Fontaine [above] admits in a huffingtonpost.com editorial, “but when Mitt Romney insinuated that single-parent families are to blame for gun violence in America, my blood pressure shot through the roof.” The single mom reckons Romney’s remarks on the link between single parents and gun violence are “ignorant, insulting and based on stereotypes that degrade the hard work single parents do every day.” So let’s start with what the Governor had to say on the subject . . .

. . . if there’s a two parent family, the prospect of living in poverty goes down dramatically. The opportunities that the child will– will be able to achieve increase dramatically. So we can make changes in the way our culture works to help bring people away from violence and give them opportunity, and bring them in the American system.

I’m a single parent too. A libertarian who believes that the government has as much business “social engineering” as Moran Atias has in structural engineering. But is Mitt’s wider point—poverty fuels gun violence and society needs to undergo a cultural change to address the issue—so far off base?

With her obvious and deep investment in identity politics, and self-confessed ignorance about firearms, I think the aspiring Master’s Degree holder (in Creative Writing) missed the point.

Things get pretty hectic around our house, but Angie and I still find time to bake, read and do crafts together. That’s what single parents do. We don’t plot ways to break the law or riot in the streets with our pistols and semi-automatics (as a matter of fact, I had to Google “types of guns” just to write this). No, what we do is get our children off to school on time. We help them with their homework. We go to our jobs and our night classes, to our kids’ parent-teacher conferences and band practices. And we watch presidential debates so we’ll know who to vote for, who will have our best interests in mind.

Only Wendy didn’t make it the end of the debate.

Perhaps Romney apologized for his ridiculous comments regarding single parents and gun violence in his closing remarks last night. I missed the tail end of the debate, after all. I had to turn off the television and put my daughter to bed — because that’s what real single parents do.

No DVR eh? Never mind. Setting aside the statistical realities of crime affecting single vs. two-parent families, I’m sure Ms. Fontaine lives in the kind of neighborhood where such things as DVRs are fairly common, and children can sleep soundly without their parents (single or otherwise) worrying about gun violence.

Until and unless she appreciates the physical danger parents (single or otherwise) living in poverty experience, I don’t think Ms. Fontaine can speak for all single moms on this one.

Perhaps she’d benefit from a day trip from the safety of Antioch University down to Compton, where she could ask some of the ‘hood’s single moms if they believe that being part of a two-parent family would help keep their kids away from drugs and guns.

At the same time, I also think the Mittster missed a trick with this one, attempting to apply social conservatism to a problem that Mr. Lott tackled admirably (if interminably) in More Guns, Less Crime. Just sayin’ . . .

69 Responses to Single Mom to Mitt Romney on Gun Violence: FOAD

  1. I like to point to Switzerland’s gun ownership and crime statistics whenever the topic of gun control comes up and conclude that the problem isn’t the guns, but the socioeconomic problems in the US. At that gun control legislation tries to deal with a symptom but not the problem.

    • Curzen, I agree with the socioeconomic side of the crime problem. I have drawn away from comparing our crime and gun rights to other nations because I quite simply see it as apples and oranges.

      We’re not the Swiss, Germans, English,Brazilians or South Africans. We’re all of them in such a wide number and mix that to compare us to any one country is impossible.

      • that is kinda the point though 😉 Switzerland is vastly more homogenous socially and economically, resulting in minimal felony gun use while ownership levels and regulations are comparable to the US. We can’t become Switzerland, but I do consider it something to be learned from.

        • Switzerland is vastly more homogenous socially and economically

          Yes it is, and manages to be so despite being among the more culturally diverse countries in Europe. Switzerland has 17 German speaking”cantons,” four that are French speaking, one that is Italian speaking, three that are German – French bilingual and one that has three languages including German, Italian and Romansh.

          They all seem to get along, but then again, there are fewer than 8 million Swiss. What lessons can we take from the Swiss? Probably none, but it’s still an interesting subject for study.

        • I think it should be clear to everyone who has noted the stark differences between society Swiss and American society what is missing.

          We need to produce a lot more watches and chocolate. And lederhosen. The lederhosen gap must be closed. For the children.

  2. Mitt should have explained what the questioner believed the AK47 was and what it actually is to 99% of gun owners. Then he could have compared it to a tool that can be used by responsible citizens or can be abused by criminals. He could have launched into some comment about “it’s no different than the guy who sponsored Obama’s campaign who built bombs for domestic terrorism” “an example of irresponsible usage of an object”. We have to get at the root of the problem of abusing laws because we can pass laws and stacking them end to end will not protect the citizen if all the criminal has to do is sidestep them. He was totally right about single parenthood, crime and poverty. We can’t hold up the exemption to prove the norm does not exist.

    • First, either learn the meaning of a word or learn to spell (exception, not exemption). Then we may consider your opinion.

      Secondly, how about learning to think for yourself, instead of listening to the media, talking heads, and especially, politicians.

      Mitt was dead wrong. Yes, the majority of young criminals come from low income families. Single parent and both parent. The common factor is economic, not parenting. Wendy’s numbers were right. The vast majority of single parent homes produce law abiding citizens.

      • The vast majority of ALL families produce law-abiding citizens. The question is, what percentage of law breakers come from single parent families? Aharon has answered that elsewhere and it doesn’t go in Wendy’s favor.

        • Yes, he does. However, it appears to me that he derives his “facts” from questionable sources. That is why I suggested quoting your sources. When the US Department of Justice figures show 39% of violent criminals incarcerated in this country, come from single parent homes. That throws a lot of the commonly held opinions into question.

          This is from another response I put up, with someone who expressed a similar opinion.

        • JPD, the facts are solid. I have a masters in Applied Economics and did research regarding poverty and crime rates and had several peers who did similar research (such as looking at the effect legalized abortion has had on crime rates) – it always comes back the same, living in a single parent home or home below the poverty level significantly increases the likelihood of a person committing a crime. That does not mean that most people from poor homes / single parent homes will commit crimes, it merely means that the odds of it happening are significantly higher. Just like how not everyone who smokes a pack a day will get lung cancer, but the odds of getting it are much higher if you do smoke a pack a day.

        • RF,

          JPD calls my sources questionable while he is fine quoting Eric Holder’s US Department of Justice.

          BTW, please RE-READ this statement: “Eighty-five percent (85%) of males in prison for a 2nd violent offense were raised in a single parent home”. 2nd violent offense not first or third or whatever. The numbers are from an in-depth study that realizes sometimes men just made a mistake once and assaulted someone. Twice or more convicted offenses really indicates a behavior repeating pattern.

      • The vast majority of violent crime takes place in the inner cities whee 70% of the children are illegitimate. Civil society does not exist in these areas and the place where civil society ends is where anarchy and violence begin.

        The oft stated link between poverty and crime is inverted from reality. Poverty doesn’t produce crime. Thre are lots of examples of poor neighborhoods where civil societies exist. It is crime that produces proverty. Crime dirves out business by making in umprofitable to operate in a locale. It destroys the educational system as gang warfare makes learning impossible and it normalizes anti-social behavior. Jobs disappear, the streams are empty, people become isolated and vulnerable unless they become part of a gang.

        The root cause of the crime-poverty nexus is single parenthood. As single parenthood become the norm in white America the pathology of crime, poverty and violence will become more widespread.

        Every social indicator shows that children raised by single parents have worse outcomes than children raised in two parent families.

  3. Any idiot knows that Romney was talking about the broken families in the inner cities, not little miss white suburbanite and her kid.

    It goes beyond that, though. In those cities a culture of sociopathic/psychopathic behavior is idolized and promoted as something great. They embrace ignorance, violence, and primitive criminal behaviors. Strong men with morals used to be around to police their own kids and families but now they’re usually not there and not of sufficient moral character in the first place.

    Since telling a bunch of people to act better isn’t going to do ****, we need to start thinking long term. Any woman receiving welfare should be on birth control as a condition of receiving that money. You also shouldn’t get more money for each additional kid you have. One and you’re done. No more money for more kids.

    We also need to end the drug war so that enterprising individuals (most often scumbags when it comes to inner-city dealers) that have to rely on violence and gangs to protect and defend their business are either put out of business by above board corporations or can rely on the legal system instead of brute force.

      • That’s actually based on facts since the majority of violent crimes are committed by young black men. It’s also factual that more black people are raised by a single parent than not. That’s common knowledge but you seem to have missed it.

        • No, I get it. It’s just not politically expedient for Romney to impugn black women, so he uses the euphamism of “single mom.”

    • “Any idiot knows that Romney was talking about the broken families in the inner cities, not little miss white suburbanite and her kid.”

      REALLY?? Nice to know that you have the inside track on what “Mitt” REALLY meant.

      Please, get a clue. As one father who applied for and received Pell grants, plus took legal tax deductions for my daughters college expenses, I fall in the 47% of free loaders, per out friend Mitt.

      Oh yeah, this is the man that pays less than 15% of his 22 million in taxes.

      Also, do not forget, once Mitt is elected, all of us with incomes in the millions will receive tax deductions when we build a special elevator to bring our car to our third story bedroom, in our California vacation home, we use once a year.

      I am relieved to know you have the inside track on his thinking. If so, please explain to me how he will keep his promises to cut taxes on the rich, not raise taxes on the middle class, fix health care, maintain Medicare, social security, and the military. Plus balance the budget.

      Since he refuses to give us specifics on his promises, maybe you can????

      • FLAME DELETED Obama alluded to the same ****ing group that Romney was talking about.

        Partisan hacks gonna keep on hackin’

        • See?? That is exactly what I am talking about!!! We all fall into the same trap.

          We WANT to believe what they say. We INTERPRET their comments they way WE want too.

          Ever hear of con men?? Ever listen to a lawyer talk?

          Virtually every elected official of high office is a lawyer.

          Here’s an idea. Check politicians voting records against what they say.

          Here is the point of my sarcastic response: Does anyone truly believe one single word that comes out the mouth of ANY politician, of any party!!

          And you are correct as to partisan hack. I have been a registered Republican for 42 years.

      • The balance the budget thing? I’ll take a stab at it. Eliminate all transfer payments. Including Pell grants.

        • Excellent idea!! Throw our future, including our greatest competitive advantage with other nations, under the bus.

          Good thinking. that will give us the means to decrease taxes to millionaires and large corporations.

        • Scott: before Pell grants the bulk of US employment was with unskilled labor, manufacturing, etc. The stuff now done cheaper in other countries. Unless you want the US to regress and fall behind nations like Brazil, China, India and others until we are the cheap labor, we’ll need affordable and excellent higher education for as many people as possible.

      • Transfer payments give us a competitive advantage over other nations? Or did you mean Pell grants? Except for a few specific technical degrees, college is so over priced as to be worthless. Subsidizing it just gives more degreed fast food employees.

        I do appreciate the DNC talking points about taxing millionaires. In the real world, I have a friend who is a millionaire. Most of his money was wrapped up in the company and its 5-10 employees. He found it impossible to continue it the Obama economy, and shut it down. His personal assets are on par with mine, and I am far from a millionaire.

      • According to the news I heard barry pays a lower tax rate than his secratery. All of which is beside the point. It’s not a crime in America to have money or use all the advantages that the law allows you to use to keep that money.

      • Well sport, Mitt’s 15% amounts to more money paid in taxes each year than you will make in your lifetime. He also gives more money to charity then he pays in taxes.

  4. Moran Atias is an example of perfect DNA engineering. She is hot! I wish I’d grown up in Israel. OK, back to writing my business plan of opening a salon offering free bikini waxes to Israeli Super Models.

    Regular readers @ TTAG have possibly read my comments before about the link between violent criminals and single parent homes. Eighty-five percent (85%) of males in prison for a 2nd violent offense were raised in a single parent home. That usually means a mother-led home in literally at least 95% of the cases. Poverty is just part of the reason. The other reason is something that angers feminists since it conflicts with their claims: boys even more than girls need an adult male (man) role model in their life. They need a father in a stable two-parent family. Seeing granddad once a week or the occasional mother’s latest sleepover f-buddy is not enough. Some kids can grow up ok in a single parent family and some moms do a great job. However, that is not the rule. It is the exception. Human societies have known poverty for thousands of years. A strong two-parent family, and a close extended supporting family can make a huge difference in developing young people. Feminists are wrong and their ideologies in practice have caused huge social problems for modern western societies.

    Boys, without dads, tend at a far higher rate than boys with dads to join street gangs to initiate themselves into manhood, commit crimes, drop out of school, etc. Girls suffer too with grades, dropping out though not as much as boys, become pregnant and catch STDs at a higher rate than girls with dads. There are also now more girl street gangs. In London, girls/young women have now passed being responsible for 25%+ of committing street attacks.

    Boys and men are also ‘victimized’ by 40+ years of anti-male attacks in criticizing males and masculinity in just about all areas. All the major social institutions are pro-feminist and anti-male: government, schools, liberal churches, advertising, Hollywood/entertainment, mass media, etc. Feminism btw can best be described as an Anti-male female-supremacist movement. Does anyone really believe it is for equality?

    Many of the elites in society have benefited by the break-up of the family and a weakening of the traditional social order. It separates men from their wives and children. Governments can more easily control people ie ‘divide and conquer’. Now, two adults have to work (more in the workforce) therefore more people to tax for bigger government, more homes to furnish, more things to buy from insurance to cars, and more dependency on government to fix social problems it has partially created. More people too busy, tired, and stressed to cook a healthy meal and figure out how bad government is to society.

    A good site to visit that provides some fascinating videos on this subject is the ‘com’ ending site called manwomanmyth.

    • Thank you, Sir, for speaking the truth so clearly and eloquently. I couldn’t agree with you more. This must be said and understood. Only then can we devote ourselves to solving the root problem, instead of the problems it causes.

    • Although I may agree with many of your statements, I have one suggestion. Please do not quote misleading, dead wrong statistics from organizations that have an axe to grind.

      Specifically the 85% of violent criminals come from single parent homes. Per the U.S. Department of Justice statistics, 39% percentage come from single parent homes, 46% had another family member incarcerated. 25% had fathers incarcerated.

      I would suggest you include the source of your numbers in the future. When you quote statistics, that are inaccurate, your credibility on all your points comes into question.

      • All toll, Gov. Romney had a valid point.

        Family structure is the best indicator the future behavior of youth.

        Number One for male children is a Father. Moms just don’t cut it. Now I say that knowing my dad from age 6 was raised by a widow who never remarried. Somehow she managed to send him to a Catholic Military School. Growing up in Hells Kitchen NYC can be though. But Jesuit Priests big on Boxing goes a long way.

        • correlation does not establish causation. Obama came from a singleparent household too. The inner city chip on the shoulder, you owe me attitude, combined with the presence and massive influence of gangs is a more telling cause of criminal activity, as many criminals in the hood come from good families with hard working mothers, but fall into a life of drugs, guns, money, glam and violence.

        • Mark,

          As I understand Obama’s background, he was also raised by his white grandmother and grandfather.

        • Have Gun,

          The Jesuit Priests provided him with strong male role models, a sense of manly self-respect and responsibility. Feminist inspired values are known for being many things but never for advocating personal accountability and responsibility unless they are over-lecturing lecturing males.

      • JPD,

        The US Department of Justice (and its leader Eric Holder) is cannot be relied upon for accuracy or even trying to be honest, and they have an extremely big axe to grind. The USG overall with its statistical claims from the unemployment rate to inflation to honestly and accurately revealing the real quantity of the federal debt are a case study in revealing misleading and dead wrong statistics.

        • JPD,

          BTW, I’m pulling my information from numerous pro-men’s movement and rights sites that advocate for men and boys. They often quote various studies, court cases, etc. They also dissect the details of how feminists use misleading sources and studies. “Axes to grind” you wrote???? Where are you coming from?

    • Aharon, I could read your well thought-out, articulate, and statistically sound replies all day long. Well done, sir.

  5. Those darn statistics.

    One second of google fu

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1939-0025.1989.tb02738.x/abstract

    A national survey of six thousand households found single parents to be more likely to use abusive forms of violence toward their children than are parents in dual-caretaker households. Abusive violence appears to be a function of poverty in mother-only homes but unrelated to income among single fathers.

    I was actually looking for stats about the boyfriend abusing the kids.

  6. They are both guilty of jumping the gun with gross assumptions and generalizations. But I am guessing she would have more input in a conversion about single parenting near or at the poverty line than the Mittster – closer to the demographic in question, I would say.

  7. Wendy Fontaine is correct. Single parent families are great; they’re so much better than two parent families that two parent families should immediately break up, for the sake of the children. Nothing bad ever happens to single parent households. All their children grow up to be brain surgeons and constitutional lawyers. There is never any poverty or crime, and the kids ride unicorns to grad school.

    Ms. Fontaine is obviously the product of a two parent household, since she’s a nitwit.

    • Question is does she really know who her daddy is?

      About one in three (@33%) paternity tests reveal that the man the woman claimed is the parent of her child is not the biological father. Those men who demand a test often have a very strong reason to be concerned and suspicious. The overall number of births with the child being from a secret affair the woman had is estimated to be around +/- 10%.

  8. I encourage people to go to the huffpo article and post counter points there. Whenever we see these aritcles it goes on deaf ears to make your comments here. There are plenty of middle of the road people though that will read that article and how they frame the argument and not see any counter points. We’re not going to win the anti-2A crowd over, but there are probably more people in the middle who are indifferent, ignorant, or naive but can still be logical and listen to reason if presented with it.

  9. Given that the story comes from the HuffPo, are we sure that this
    single mom isn’t simply another plant? Per her webpage she’s a
    Master’s candidate, a 10 year vet reporter in the more liberal
    areas of New England and has written numerous articles many
    of which have been carried by the HuffPo.

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and say this is nothing more than
    drummed up outrage.

    • Try paid advocate for Obama (i.e. liberal press).

      A slightly snide observation: masters in creative writing? How much does that cost? What are the expectations for increased income with a masters in creative writing? This program can’t be cheap. What are the odds that it is taxpayer subsidized?

  10. I wonder what Wendy’s primary source of income is since she’s a “retired” “single mom and student” – I’m betting it’s child support.

    Wendy’s obviously making some good decisions in her own life.

    • Notice she doesn’t mention how detrimental to her daughter growing up in a single parent household is developmentally, despite all her good intentions.

      Divorce is traumatic for kids. Period. Statistically, kids from single parent families don’t do as well as kids from families where the parents are together.

  11. Self induced ‘high blood pressure shooting through the roof’ is what causes strokes .. and the fear of needing someone else to pay for your health care.

  12. The humor in this did not escape me.
    While Mitt Romney made the two parent comments he was accompanied on the stage by a fellow who was raised by a single parent.

    • As pointed out above, Obama was not raised in a single parent household. He was either in a two parent household (Soweto) or raised by his white grandparents. So Barry spent his formative years in a mixed Asian/Causcasian or an all white household. Barry is “black” only by his African absentee father’s genetic material. Culturally, he is as whtie as Matt

  13. Sounds like Wendy’s feeling a little defensive and projecting some guilt here.

    But what really bothers me is that both Romney and Obama wring their hands over violence, but neither one has the balls to say anything about ending the drug war.

    • I’d tell her she looks like she needs more sleep and the Reverse Mullet haircut isn’t working for her. She definitely isn’t my future 3rd ex-wife.

  14. Romney said “single parents” because he can’t tell the truth—-which is crime is largely committed by minorities, primarily black people.

    Romney can’t say “black people are committing a disproportionate amount of crime” because people would freak.

    But I know what he really means.

  15. I assume (in part from her total ignorance on guns) that she is somewhat left of center. So naturally her reaction would be to become instantaneously offended at something she didn’t entirely think through and then be self righteous about it.

  16. Mitt Romney made a huge mistake in the debate on Tuesday down playing single mothers. Not only are they not going to vote for him any more, but women in general may not vote any more

  17. Peronally, i think he was just stressing some of the traditional values that have become lost in our culture nowadays. Remember back when people actually STAYED TOGETHER? And there is no arguing what he said about two incomes beong better than one. Thats just a simple math equation. Sorry to those that are easily offended

  18. Romney’s an ass. He’s not quite as big an ass as Obama, but he’s still an ass.

    That said, he’s sort of right. That is, single-parent families are contributing to the death of America. How?

    You’re not going to like it, but here goes:

    John Lott did some research into the effect of the women’s vote on government (see http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~iversen/PDFfiles/LottKenny.pdf ). Ultimately, what he discovered was that women vote for big government because they are more risk-averse than men. One of the primary factors in this drive to multi-trillion-dollar deficits (and hundreds of trillions in unfunded mandates) is the effort to replace lost husbands with government goodies. See, you don’t have to keep the guy around if you can just get the government to take a chunk of his paycheck and pass it on to you. So, when women got the right to file for divorce (betcha didn’t know it used to be something only the man could do!), and vote, they just started kicking the guys to the curb and replacing him with the government run ATM machine – which of course, got its money from the rejected father and other taxpayers.

    There once used to be a stigma attached to being a divorcee… and with good (societal) reason.

    Today, with nearly half of all children now born to unwed mothers, the demand for government services is as high as ever – and the votes (from women) for big government are not going to stop. But the money will. Some would say we are on the precipice of economic collapse. Personally, I think we’ve already gone over the cliff – we just haven’t yet hit bottom. When we do, there are going to be a lot of single-parent families that are going to take it in the teeth… along with a whole lot of people who didn’t vote for this insanity.

    All of which leads me to conclude that the 19th Amendment was the biggest mistake in American legislative history.

  19. Do you think we single mothers out there truly had a choice in the matter? Do you think we would have chosen to raise our children on our own? “Ms. Fontaine” and many other single mothers out there do the best they can to provide a safe and loving environment for their children. In MY particular case, my daughter’s home life is far better within the boundaries of a single parent household than they would have been within the confines of the “two parent” household I fought so hard to maintain at one point. Even then I was the only one with a steady job – with the added bonus of watching my money trickle away with the consumption of her father’s alcohol. Actually, without that influence in MY life, I have been able to provide a BETTER life for my child with MORE opportunities and MORE love! Actually, my scant “single parent income” is far greater now than it ever was when my daughter was under the roof of a two parent home.

    I see your point about the necessity of societal change, but I do not believe that staying in terrible relationships for the sake of an increased household income is in any way a sane or appropriate choice. Actually, that mentality is precisely what is wrong with this society! We base everything on money and perception. Where are the morals? Where are the lessons of right and wrong? It is not the right to bear arms that is the cause for this debacle. Nor is it the “low income” of a single parent home. It is our failure as a country to address the spiritual needs of our youth and teach them right and wrong. Why don’t you walk yourself down to the projects and chat up one of the single mothers in the hood? Ask her how she teaches her child right from wrong or whether she does crafts with her children, lets them know they’re loved? It’s families that refuse to teach their children right from wrong or the basic morality a human should retain, that generate the youth we see today with such a disassociation from reality and from right and wrong. Middle-class white Americans are actually the ones more likely to commit crimes such as those seen at Columbine or Sandy Hook! They have far more money than those children in the hood. My question is, where is the fail-safe for bad parenting? It is not in the schools, that’s for sure. And the answer is not “more money.” Money cannot buy morals. Money cannot buy a good family life. And a two parent home can be just as poor as a single parent home, if not more so, in more ways than one.

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