Tuesday, March 31, 2009

It's not my fault

It's no surprise that the economic devastation trickling down through my part of Florida is behind the rising violence levels. It's not just the home invasions, the bank robberies, the muggings, although their numbers are small enough when they occur in a large population that chances are I'll never witness anything like that. Domestic beatings, assault and abuse however are dramatically rising in the large population of people who have been living close to the edge; a paycheck or two from disaster. That's a lot of people. Real unemployment is in the double digits here.

Of course we're going to hear a lot more about banning "assault weapons" since assault is already "banned." It's much easier to talk about steak knives and baseball bats and hand guns than to address the real reasons -- and there are many -- for the fear and anger and the violence it engenders. Some of those reasons have to do with the freewheeling markets of the Bush years, the absence of oversight, regulation and basic prudence that were supposed to make the rich get richer so that they could patronize us more effectively. That sacred idea is under attack and must be defended by distracting arguments: by rants against immigrants, illegal aliens, weapons, atheism, work "ethics," Liberals and their desire to give money to people who are suffering and desperate.

So we will continue to tell ourselves that violence and irrational anger and domestic crime are a "lifestyle choice" having nothing to do with our righteous selves. It's a matter of personal responsibility after all, and so we're not going to spend a dime on shelters or counselling or, God forbid, letting the tax breaks for the 1 percenters expire. That would not only be heresy, it wouldn't only be farleftliberalextremist Marxism, but it would be an admission that all the loving support we gave Captain George the Pirate was the dumbest thing we ever did.

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