“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’ . . .