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Aaron Regunberg: AK-47s Don’t Kill People, Single Mothers Kill People, Apparently

Saturday, October 20, 2012

 

As anyone familiar with my political leanings could imagine, there was quite a lot that Mitt Romney said in last Tuesday’s presidential debate that I found frustrating. But by far the most upsetting was the ignorance and prejudice Romney displayed in his answer to the question, “What can be done to limit the availability of assault weapons like AK-47s?”

The first sentence out of Romney’s mouth was, “I’m not in favor of new pieces of legislation on guns and taking guns away or, or making certain guns illegal.” According to Romney, the answer to our nation’s ongoing instances of mass violence — wherein murderers have been able to easily get there hands on assault weapons before turning those weapons on crowds of innocent Americans — is not to do anything to regulate the purchase and sale of these military-level killing machines. What, then, is the answer, in Mr. Romney’s view?

“We need moms and dads, helping to raise kids. Wherever possible the — the benefit of having two parents in the home, and that’s not always possible. A lot of great single moms, single dads. But gosh to tell our kids that before they have babies, they ought to think about getting married to someone, that’s a great idea.”

Got that? According to Romney, AK-47s don’t kill people, single parents kill people. Who knew?

I, for one, am glad that Mr. Romney shared this pearl of wisdom with us, because it cleared up some serious misconceptions I’d long suffered. I grew up in a single-parent household, and all these years I’d been operating under the (apparently misguided) belief that my mom was the best parent I could ever ask for. Silly me, to have thought she raised me and my sister right and fought for us and always supported us, when all this time she’s really just been fomenting future bloodshed.

I never knew my family was participating in a cycle of violence more responsible for tragedies like the mass killings in Colorado and Wisconsin and Virginia Tech, or the attack on Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, or the Columbine shootings (all of which, interestingly, were committed by people raised in two-parent households) than the gun laws that made it possible for those people to acquire their weapons.

Mr. Romney’s statement was personally offensive to me and, I have no doubt, to millions of people like me who were raised in single-parent households or are single parents themselves. But it’s particularly frustrating when taken in the context of Romney’s actual positions on social and economic policy. Because let’s be clear — the number one predictor for the presence of violence in communities is not marriage, but persistent poverty.

As was articulately laid out in a post-debate discussion on Martin Bashir Live, it is true that a lot of single moms in our country get trapped in a cycle of poverty. But while single-parent households are statistically more likely to be low-income, the idea that poverty is caused by lack of marriage is absolutely laughable. And Romney isn’t advocating that we deal with this reality. He isn’t saying that we should give more women the tools to take control of their lives with family planning services (this is the guy who said he’d “get rid of” Planned Parenthood). And he’s certainly not trying to build a safety net for people working to escape from poverty. On the contrary, the Romney-Ryan plan will shred this safety net, slashing funding for education, kicking kids off of services like the free lunch program, and endangering pro-working family policies like the earned income tax credit and the child care credit that help keep so many hard-working Americans above water.

The answer to violence in our society, then, has little or nothing to do with marriage. It has nothing to do with Romney’s subjective moralities and ignorant and condescending views of families like mine (or, for that matter, like Bill Clinton’s and Barack Obama’s, who both were raised by single mothers).

Instead, we need to look at the real causes of crime. A recent study from the World Bank — hardly a leftist enclave — in the Journal of Law and Economics found that, “Income inequality, measured by the Gini Index, has a significant and positive effect on the incidence of crime,” and that “faster poverty reduction leads to a decline in national crime rates.”

If Mr. Romney truly wants to help prevent bloodshed, I would suggest he spend a bit less time insulting American families and a bit more time revamping his many policy proposals that are currently designed to increase the most important causes of violence, inequality and poverty. Until then, Mr. Romney, I can only hope for your sake that you never come across my mother, because I expect she would teach you a lesson about respecting differences that, it seems, your mother never got around to teaching you.

 

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Comments:

Wuggly Ump

AK-47's don't kill people. We can place any weapon you wish on a table and let it sit there all day, I'll bet it doesn't even move never mind kill anyone.

I submit that our court system kills people by letting bad people back on the street. The first "school shooting" that I was aware of was in Stockton, California. I'm sure there were others before yet this is the one that happened when I had started paying attention. He had been arrested several times prior for for things like Possession of an illegal weapon to armed robbery of a service station. A psychiatric exam showed him to be " a danger to himself and others". Yet with these warnings the justice department let him back out into the population.
Five children lost their lives and many more injured, because the system let him out.

I happen to own firearms as of now they reside in my locked gun closet, some for more than thirty years. They don't move or do anything on their own Mr. Regunberg.

Did I mention Mr. Purdy's father was out of Patrick's life by the time he was 2.

I don't think it is the only factor Mr. Regunberg (my dad lost his dad at the age of seven and has been a great dad to my sister and I), but don't discount that a two parent family will have advantages.

Russ Hryzan

It's obvious this writer isn't playing with a full deck and also hates America and what this country stands for. Romney is 100% correct in stating that guns by themselves don't kill people, and furthermore, citizens ownership of them is protected by the 2nd Amendment. The liberals in this country just want to further attempt to disarm the citizens of this country so nobody can rebel as they continue to steal away our precious freedoms and liberties.

As for having 2 parents, that's just common sense - it's easier for two parents to work together and share in the effort to successfully raise a child (whether it be a male and female, two males, two females, whatever) than it is for one.

jon paycheck

more crap

Gary Arnold

How many AK47s are used and confirmed as the kill weapon, zero.
Hand guns in the hands of bad guys that should not have them in the first place are the problems. If you can not police the issue then what is all of the talk about?

Max Diesel

The question: What has the president done to fulfill his 2008 promise to keep AK-47’s and so-called assault weapons out of the hands of criminals.

The answer: Nothing

I would think you'd have more of a problem with the President's answer than Mr. Romney's.

Michael Napolitano

I must say the logic that is used by liberals on this website borders on the absurd. It almost sounds like a bad radio commercial: If it is rainy in Cleveland, and a light bulb is 60 watts, the price of gold will go up on Monday.

There is no real examination of the issue just an all out attack on the individual's stance on it. Of course tossed in is a ridiculous statement and a tie to another issue that has nothing to do with the discussion. Then of course this generally leads to name calling.

The author or this article doesn't want to have a logical discussion about the issue. He just wants to attack Mitt Romney.

Gov- stench

Hey Mr. Beale, it's time to yank this "mindsetter" off the website. Talk about bias.

tom brady

Boy Aaron, I would think that someone like you who cares about wages, and un/under employment would not stoop this low. I think you know what he means, but you would rather add to the political smoke screen. Your opinion has been damaged in my opinion.

Aaron Regunberg

Hi all, I did make one mistake in this: I wrote "there" instead of "their" in the second paragraph. I'd love to respond to some counterarguments, but I can't really see to many. Though it's hard to argue with such high-caliber points as, "It's obvious this writer isn't playing with a full deck and also hates America and what this country stands for." Quality stuff, people/

Cauldierre McKay

Just to make it clear, guns do kill people. Sure, a gun can't kill someone by itself but with a person near, it does wonders. A gun kills with help the same way a human does. A lot of murders are not done by a person and their hands. Most would use a weapon to assist them or it could be the weapon using the human to assist it. Either way, weapons kill. And the 2nd Amendment states "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." Where does it say everyone can keep a gun? And last time I checked a militia is a civvies army for emergency use only. Like a neighborhood watch of sorts. Most guns are used for three reasons only: display, military and pride. Notice how protection is not on that list? It's because guns don't protect; they attack so as to seem protective.
I do agree though, that two parent households would lower poverty rates unless one of the parents are crappy. This tree-climbing author thought it necessary to point out the avoided question to Romney, and his not-so-great misleading answer.

Wuggly Ump

@Cauldierre McKay, If you look into the history of the Second Amendment, there can be no question that it is a personal right. Looking at the First Ten Amendments, (aka Bill of Rights) notice that all of them restrict the Government, not the people. I would also say that guns do protect. Why else would they be necessary for security?

The media will report on shootings across the country when innocents are injured or killed, but don't report on good armed citizens stopping criminals.I have some examples from July 2012. Did you hear about these?

66 year old women, Rosa Myles shoots a home invader. Muskegon Chronicle, MI, 7/3/12
Paraplegic, John Mutter, kills armed intruder, Columbus Dispatch, Johnstown, OH, 7/22/12
Gerald Mitro shoots an intruder, Milford Patch, Milford, CT, 7/23/12
Reported on KOAT 7, Taos, NM 7/16/12, robber was shot by a homeowner.
Rudy Hodge, 89, didn't even have to fire her weapon at the home invaders that kicked in her door she just pointed the gun at them and they ran, later caught by law enforcement. SCNOW, Blenheim, SC, 7/24/12

So guns do protect.

pearl fanch

Aaron,
If ANY political party felt the way you do about weapons, then we they wouldn’t be legal. Plain and simple. Just because you don’t like the republican party, and Romney answered the question the way he did, you’re jumping all over him.
If Obama agreed that automatic weapons should be off the streets, don’t you think laws would have been passed to get them off the streets?

I’m so sick and tired of the endless journalism, trashing one party or another. Until both parties come together and start WORKING FOR AMERICA, this country will continue to fail it’s people. Your type of journalism, as well as many others out there, have no place in today’s society.

Wuggly Ump

@ pearl , Your last paragraph, second sentence, "Until both parties .." . I'm looking at the other so called "third" parties. I've had it with the two big parties, we have four Presidential Candidates on the ballot that can win the Electoral Collage.
The 4 State of RI's Electoral votes will go to Obama, I don't think we can stop that. I will use my vote to give more power to the Libertarians, so hopefully they can get into the debates in four years. I would also like to see RI's electoral votes split up by percentage, like Maine.




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