According To Mitt Romney, Single Moms To Blame For Gun Violence — Along With Everything Else

Mitt RomneyThe Presidential debates happened last night, with Governor Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama squaring off in a town hall style format that touched on everything from economic issues to immigration reform to gun control. That last issue got a little complicated though when the discussion on AK-47s suddenly became an issue about single-parent families. Mainly, Mr. Romney suggested that having children out of wedlock results in gun violence. As a woman who has never and will never own a gun, but did have a child before I got married, I have a few follow-up questions for the former Governor from Massachusetts.

Before we get into my follow-up though, let’s all be clear on just what Mitt Romney said. Both candidates stressed that gun violence was not just a problem of lax laws, but a cultural issue that needs to be addressed. Both suggested that better education could keep young people from getting involved in gun violence. But Romney took it a step further and used the question as a platform to shift the blame to everyone’s favorite scapegoats, single mothers.

We need moms and dads helping 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 because 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.

Call me crazy, but I don’t feel like he really meant that whole, “A lot of great single moms, single dads,” bit. And I would love a little clarification on when being a single parent is acceptable and when it’s just an issue of a couple not thinking about marriage before having a child. Not to mention, did my marriage two years after my daughter was born finally bring me in “the American system”? Where was I before?

As we’ve mentioned more than once before, single mother statistics suck. They make huge, broad generalizations about an enormous amount of people. In the last year, the majority of children in the US were born to single parents. If your plan to control gun violence involves getting lots of couples to say, “I Do,” you might want to start drafting some really comprehensive back-ups. Or invest in kevlar.

The biggest problem with Romney insinuating that single parents are now a dangerous threat to our society is that it distracts from even bigger issues in this election. His idiocy makes us completely forget that he’s against the assault weapons ban and wants no new legislation to regulate the types of guns that made massacres like Aurora possible. [tagbox tag="mitt romney"]

What’s even more, Romney is extremely concerned about making sure that single moms get a ring on it, as long as they want to marry a man. See, Mitt doesn’t want to grant marriage rights to same-sex partners. So all of those children born out of wedlock to couples that aren’t legally allowed to marry must just be lost causes.

When my daughter was born, I was a single mother. That did not make me less able to teach my daughter values, to take care of her needs, to provide her with a stable and loving home. Whether I ever would’ve gotten married or not, there is no doubt that I would’ve taught my little girl about the dangers of guns and the problems of resorting to violence. Saying “I Do” did not make me suddenly  more capable of instilling morals in my child, and the insinuation that it would is insulting to me as an individual and as a mother.

(Photo: WENN)

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  • Single Mom

    Well said! I was not clear on my choice, but I know now that Mitt will not be it. I have been a single mother for nearly 16 years, and my son is a good hearted, level headed child. He is a good student and is very active in sports. He was watching the debate with me, and for him to hear that my choice in staying single makes us a threat is completing insulting!! Bullying is a big topic these days, and I feel like his rant was nothing but that!

    • jo oliver

      Just because your son is doesn’t mean that everyone else;s sons and daughters are or will be. This is about the nation as a whole, not you specifically. It;s not about how good or bad that one parent is or isnt. What it is about is probability and statistics…and those show that single-parent children are more likely to commit crimes, drop out of high school, do drugs, etc..

  • Nancy

    Wow, he is so delusional about the world! Also, let me point out that there are tons of married, heterosexual couples that should not have children and I’m talking about the really bad parents, you know, and there are shitty single parents, too. If he had said “Hey, there are some really shitty PARENTS/GUARDIANS out there that we should be reaching out to about firearm education, not to mention all kinds of other education” I would have agreed. Why the hell would he specify single parents?, that is SOOOO ridiculous I cannot even believe it. It sounds to me like he had a case of ‘I don’t know how to answer this question so I’ll just say some things that sound right, maybe?’ followed by a case of verbal diarrhea.

  • Anna Ligtenberg

    Gotta be a typo:

    “Saying “I Do” did make me suddenly more capable of instilling morals in
    my child, and the insinuation that it would is insulting to me as an
    individual and as a mother.”

    It DID? I don’t think that’s what ya meant.

    • Lindsay Cross

      Thanks for catching!

  • Mad Momma

    I am a single mom. I am a homeowner. I have a job and health insurance. I PAY TAXES. My son was reading by age three. Clearly I am to blame for gun violence in America.

  • Dawn

    Thank god that Lord Romney knows what’s best for us little women. What would we do without our big, strong men to tell us how to live? What a piece of shit! I don’t know how any self-respecting woman could vote for him. How does he explain the millions of two-parent families who are living in poverty? Getting married doesn’t instantly up your paycheck. I know of a few kids who grew up in traditional households and they are bastards. So the theory doesn’t really align there, Mittens.
    If you need me, I will be in the kitchen in my June Cleaver apron making pies for my husband.

    • goofyjj

      in the Romney world women are in binders and men are out there earning the money

  • CW

    Boys being raised without any sort of consistent male father figure in their lives *IS* a serious problem in certain communities plagued with gun violence. It doesn’t have to necessarily be the biological father (though that’s generally best) but you have all these families where the grandfather is out of the picture, the dad is out of the picture, the uncles are out of the picture, and there aren’t really any other males stepping up to help either. Even Pres. Obama has spoken about this issue.

    • caricake

      It really hasn’t been proven anywhere by anyone that the gun violence in those communities is caused by the lack of father figures present in the lives of the children living there though. Instead it appears to be a combination of many factors.

    • disqus_pfXnIh4xOa

      You know nothing!!! Ask the kids who found new hope, new strength and new life, what factors hurt them most! Or better yet seeing you are so “media happy” watch the movie “Courageous” it will explain alot!

    • Jules

      Role models help but there are a lot of other issues that factor into communties with gun violence. Income level, education level, child care are all pertinent issues, moreso than a biological relative. Guess what? A lot of wonderful young men are raised by two moms (I imagine you slowly gasping horror right now) and they are also raised by kick a** single moms who do it all. They take their child to school, they work one or multiple jobs to provide, they read to their children at night, then tuck them in and maybe work some more. Those statistics that work against them that you and Romney hinge on, there are a lot of moms out there pushing back and fighting those odds. Great kids come from single parent homes, and homes with two same sex parents and homes with two biological parents. Children who have a tendency for violence also come from all of those homes. It is not number or sex of the parent that is determantive, but rather the parenting itself. I will agree with you though that the emphasis clearly needs to be shifted away from single moms to the fathers who leave their children leaving that woman to do it all on her own. They have a responsibility to that child too. Just because a woman can raise a child on her own to be a productive member of society does not mean she should have to.

  • Wendy

    So does that mean if parents get divorced and the mother is adwarded full custody dows that mean that she is a bad mom and the gun violence will go up. Seems like after a divorce tht the single mom should get married again..

  • Woodstock

    Thank you for your analysis. I also was a single mother, but my child was not born before my marriage. Her father died when she was seven. And I know of dozens of other mothers, and yes, fathers, who raised their children as single parents because a wide variety of life experiences occurred that put them and their children in that situation. The type of generalization expressed by Romney ignores these wide variations. His attitudes are demeaning to all persons who found themselves in those situations and did their best to live responsibly and raise responsible children

    • Shelly Ngo

      Amen to this! There are single-parent families out there who raising responsible children because of death as well as divorces they didn’t want. I wrote about this as well.

  • caricake

    Lindsay, I can’t believe you forgot to mention that he actually said this while debating a current US president who was raised by a single mom! That was the most hilarious part of the whole thing!

    • Lindsay Cross

      I can’t believe I didn’t mention that either!!!! Where was my head?

      Thank you so much for pointing that out though.

    • sickofsheeple

      How old do you have to be as a child when the mother marries and you get adopted by step-daddy? Obama was raised by mom and step-dad after the age of 7. DUH!!!!!!!!!! Some people see and hear only what they want to see and hear.

  • workingMOM

    friggin guy.
    i’m an unmarried mom and many people in my Italian family were aghast that I wasn’t marrying my baby-daddy, however, my response to them was “I think that committing to raising a baby together is more solid than a piece of pressurized carbon and a document.”
    we’re living together, raising the baby together and committed to each other – why pay the government for a stupid piece of paper (especially when the tax breaks as a single are waaay better – I’m in Canada).

    *uh oh – am i mommyjacking?*

    in any event, whether i was with my bf or not, to wage war on a single mom, insinuating that she should get married is ridiculous. why? so that the man feels trapped, goes out and has an affair or three, and breaks the hearts of the mom and the kids (because we all know how much men love to be told what to do), because he’s unhappy? THAT is what begets violence – the insecurity and the feelings of lying and cheating.

  • disqus_pfXnIh4xOa

    What debate were y’all watching? Surely all of you are not so uneducated that you will not check your facts! Obama was NOT raised by a single Mom, she was married and apalled by her new husband being successful and not living her socialistic communistic idea of life, and sent Obama to be raised by grandparents and Frank Davis, communist party leader. All of you must be of the thinking that birth control should be provided for free and by anyone and everyone, because of your “access” problem, even though you can go to a doctor, get a prescription, go buy it yourself, or get it at the free clinics, or here’s a thought, just be responsible. I understand now why Romney talks about “victims.” You all believe this crap fed line “there is a war on women.” Get it together ladies, there is no war on women, stop believing the crap you are being told and stand up! I am a single Mom with two kids, I am educated, I am just barely employed without health insurance for my kids or myself, because of the continuing devastation the Obamanation has caused this country. The land of “entitlement” will fall, and if all of you think Obama is going to make it better for you, LOOK at the facts, not at what he says. STOP believing the lies. The statistics are correct. Even if your kids or my kids don’t happen to be “those” kids. Violent crime up 18%? Proud moment for Obama I’m sure. Activist parties thretening to RIOT, if Obama doesn’t get elected, and Obama pride is enjoying this. ALLOWS, I REPEAT, ALLOWS US citizens to be murdered by his Muslim brothers, and you people will RUN to the polls to vote for him! You folks need to read your bible.

    • disqus_pfXnIh4xOa

      PS, it is ALL in Obama’s book! He wrote it all down. Except for some ODD reason he never mentions the LAST name of Frank Davis, I guess because he is listed with a number (45 I think?) member of the Communist Party and Obama has years and years of pictures with him and his best bud!

    • disqus_pfXnIh4xOa

      Clearly, none of you have read the book.

    • To Celebrate Women

      Edited because I’m not totally sure if the person is sarcastic. But I’m hoping so. For the record, people, Obama is not a socialist. In fact, he is not even left-wing. And anyone who claims otherwise needs a basic lesson in remedial politics.

    • CW

      Obama is not a socialist, but I don’t know how anyone can seriously try to claim he isn’t liberal. He is pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, has been running his basically entire campaign on class warfare rhetoric- how is that not left-wing?

    • To Celebrate Women

      Obama is centre-right, maybe centre. The US is just pushed somewhat to the right in general, as far as countries go, so it’s very skewed. In fact, the US does not actually have a major left-leaning party. Coming from a country with a real left wing (including a thriving socialist-leaning party), he is way on the other side of the scale, as are the Democrats as a party. In much of Europe, and Canada, he would be downright conservative. On political spectrum tests, in fact, he and Romney often test quite close together!

    • disqus_pfXnIh4xOa

      ?? No I wasn’t being sarcastic.

    • Christine Harrelson

      What? I need to read my bible? I thought there was a separation of church and state.

    • disqus_pfXnIh4xOa

      It sure will help you when someone tells you to go into the desert!

    • Helen Donovan

      And you need to reduce (or perhaps increase?) your medication.

  • Amanda Low

    Thank you SO much for this! This enraged me when I watched last night and I hoped Mommyish would have a piece on it. It’s a classic example of someone assuming that correlation means causation (single parents are often poor, poor people are often violent, therefore single parents cause violence), which is a dangerous and incorrect assumption. Gun violence is caused by a conglomeration of factors, and to pin it on single parents in any way is plain stupidity.

  • Kathleen Ruth

    I was a single mom–raised 3 children. My son (24) and oldest daughter (23) have VERY good jobs and my youngest daughter (21) is in college.
    Not a single gun among them, though I will admit that my son plays Modern Warfare sometimes!

  • To Celebrate Women

    You’d better get a handle on your daughter. Those two years with a mom who wasn’t married clearly turned her into a criminal, dontcha know. Now she might not even end up in a binder – a BINDER, Lindsay – all because you lacked a piece of paper for a while. Too bad you didn’t have the Romney Way to guide you at the time. Abstinence ends gun violence! Vote Mittens!

    • AugustW

      How many notebooks do you think can equal up to a binder? I have a lot of notebooks in my apartment…but I don’t think I have any binders to put my daughter into.
      (This whole “binder” conversation keeps reminding me of corsets for some reason. Did they used to be called binders?)

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  • An Only Parent

    I’ve been a widowed mom for 6 years, which makes me a singe mom. If you have a single parent household, especially where a male role model is missing, you’re children are automatically considered “at risk.” They are more likely to become involved in violence, criminal activity, underage/unplanned pregnancy, etc. Knowing this, I have busted my butt to ensure that my kids didn’t become a statistic. It is extremely difficult to be an only parent. There are literally no mentoring programs in my area so I’ve been doing the best I can. Yes, I have major parenting issues, however, my kids know right from wrong, get good grades and do not participate in any negative teenage activities (they’re both in high school now). We’ve gone from living moderately when I was married to poor status due to me having to quit my career job working 50-60 hours a week to hourly work so I can be available for my kids. Mitt is correct that kids coming from a single family home have a greater chance of getting into trouble, but how about putting programs in place to help these kids who don’t ask to come from a single family home. On the issue of guns, my husband was a licensed gun dealer and my children grew up with guns. At the gun range they’ve been praised by the rangemasters on their excellent gun safety. My kids love the sport, however, since my husband died we rarely go to the range. In conclusion, I’m a single mom. I have guns (yes, always locked in a safe). My kids are very productive members of society already. And, they will not become a statistic Mitt!

    • goofyjj

      Romney doesn’t believe in social programs. His view is that your church should take care of you…..

  • The Jigster

    Romney was not insinuating that single mothers are “bad” or that because of their inherent inabilities to parent that their kids are screwed. He was citing statistically correct data that children living in homes without a father are more likely to partake in criminal activity (and drop out of high school, abuse drugs/alcohol, end up in poverty, among other great things). To me, this reflects poorly on men, and how they can so easily leave the families that they’ve created and are responsible for.

    • Stats Student

      There’s also “statistically correct data” showing higher ice cream sales cause more thefts, simply because both occur in the summer. You can twist stats to say whatever you want if you’re not giving all of your sources and methodology…which I’m not seeing in this case.

    • Bran Chesterton

      Love it.

  • irishgalfromde

    Wow! I didn’t think Mommies were supposed to stretch the truth and tell lies! As a mom, I wouldn’t want to be linked to you. You are a very sad example for children. The bullying was going on from both sides. Please show me where he said single moms cannot raise a child??? Please??? Can’t do it can you, but you read what you wanted to read out of it. Glad my Mom was not prejudiced. And I won’t pay for your birth control or abortion anyway you cut the dice. I’ll leave this country first. Crowley obviously biased as is this group.

    • disqus_pfXnIh4xOa

      Thank you for that! Did you too, accidentally find yourself on this website yesterday? I did and boy did I get balsted!! LOL. I came back to check on the vile comments I’m getting, but I think it will be the last time! LOL

  • jo oliver

    OMG – Romney wasn’t blaming single moms personally for gun violence no more than either candidate were blaming high school dropouts and people that didn’t attend college. Your taking your personal life, as a single mother, and taking offense to a generalized comment, and, with that line of thinking, every person that didn’t get a higher education or high school diploma should be offended! What Romney was trying to point out is that there are certain factors that CAN contribute to certain social problems. Research has proven that the same-sex parent is the most important role model in a child’s life. Research has proven that children that grow up in two-parent households are more likely to graduate high school, attend college, and avoid jail. These statistics aren’t about degrading single parents…it’s just a side effect of a household having more eyes to watch children, more resources to ensure children have opportunities for positive social interaction and extracircular activities, and a like-sex parent to influence them. Of course, there are some kids that turn out just fine in a single-parent home just as being a victim of sexual or physical abuse doesn’t mean a child has to grow up an abuser himself. You said that you had a child before marriage, which is your business. However, don’t be so naive that you don’t recognize that your situation isn’t that of a others….just watch MTV’s “Teen Mom” if you can’t figure out why two parents that aren’t kids themselves is so often better for a child’s long-term well-being.

    • Lawcat

      But for a candidate whose party runs on smaller government, it seems like a strange topic to bring up. It’s much harder and longer to make a societal shift, rather than focusing on something you can control – the supply of weapons.

      I’m not sure what Romney was proposing when he evaded this question (my thought is that he is at heart a moderate in favor of some gun control, but that he needs to play to his conservative base to get elected). You can’t force a single mom to have an abortion because of statistics. You can’t make people get married or stay married. Heck, they’re even giving pretty good tax credits out if you’re married with kids.

      And what about the two parent homes where a spouse has died, or is incapacitated due to injury, or is working in another state to help provide for a family making the other spouse a de facto “single parent?” Sometimes being a single parent isn’t a choice.

  • Obama!!

    I am 100% against Mitt Romney, but this article completely misinterprets what he had said in the debate.

    If you need me to explain what he actually meant, please feel free to send me a message. I will gladly explain =).

  • Kim

    Did I seriously hear a presidential candidate propose that we could address gun violence via the sanctity of marriage?? Oh yes, marriage cures all evils…

    …unless we’re talking about two guys or two girls getting married–then that’s an abomination and a disaster. Especially because we all know that if there’s one class of people who are gun nuts, it’s the gays.

    There are of course many systemic issues that contribute to gun violence, including marriage and family stability (although I’d wager that things like poverty are a far greater contributor), but in the end, how about addressing the problem directly–with regulation, laws, education, etc.? Saying that we should encourage marriage as a means to address gun violence is a bit like saying, “Well, we should promote general friendliness in society.”

    Oh but waitaminute–that’s going to be hard without Big Bird.

  • tes

    It’s not being a single parent that puts kids at risk–it’s when 1) the absent parent doesn’t make an effort to be in their children’s lives, 2) the main caregiver (usually the mother) is forced to work long hours to compensate for lost income and unable to tend to the child’s emotional needs (I’m talking about children coping with divorce or death of a parent) or 3) the child is living in a drug/violent environment. Emotional damage is why kids turn to drugs and violence, NOT because they live in a house with one parent.

    • goofyjj

      I wonder if he feels the same way about households that are father- (or mother-) less due to war. War which he loves so much…..

  • Shelly Lloyd

    What really annoyed me the most about this, was that he didn’t address the topic, he didn’t really address the issue of gun violence, he just used it to segue into his his own pet talking point

    • goofyjj

      well if he doesn’t address the issue, he can’t be called out for flip-flopping his stance on the issue. He’s like a mormon kanye “imma let you talk but let me tell you – my opinion is the best opinion ever”

  • danny

    Insinuating key word! Get over yourself, I love how everyone wants to try to figure out what the Politicians are saying and blog their opinions. Hey I bet you love Sesame Street too! Or big bird to be exact

  • the liars are dumb

    The logic here that everyone is forgetting is that when you look at crime arrest statics, an overwhelming number of gun crimes by young adults are done by children from single parent homes. I don’t think Romney was trying to say that all single parents will raise terrible children, but when we look at the demographics of gangs, and gun crimes, we see that 70% of the actors were from single parent homes.

    You’ve got to be kidding yourself if you think that he was talking about a parents to children, he was talking children to parents in the order of his if then statements. If the child is a gang member, then it is more than likely that the child is from a single parent home.

  • charmingsonata

    MItt Romney did not say “Single moms = gun violence” at all. You are completely misinterpreting what he said. He was applauding single moms and dads! The facts and statistics for two parent households don’t lie…as well meaning as single parents are.

  • Pamela

    Yes, I will call you crazy. Crazy for thinking he was talking to YOU, insulting YOU by apparently alluding to a well documented problem (poverty rates of children born out of wedlock) that apparently doesn’t even apply to YOU.

    Crazy for taking what he said and stretching it into something he didn’t say. He said “to tell our kids that before they have babies, they ought to
    think about getting married to someone — that’s a great idea because if
    there’s a two-parent family, the prospect of living in poverty goes down
    dramatically” Why does a FACT like that that bother YOU, if you have been so successful? A little sensitive?

    Crazy for believing Obama’s lie that he was raised by a single mother. He wasn’t. He tells that lie to help him “bond” with people like you. His mother was “single” for exactly one year. She divorced his Dad when he was 2 years old. She married his stepfather (who adopted him) when he was 3, and stayed married until Barack was 19 years old. During some of those years he lived with his grandmother AND grandfather. Who was the single mother?

    But the craziest statement you’ve made, “So all of those children born out of wedlock to couples that aren’t legally allowed to marry must just be lost causes.” Considering it is not genetically possible for a child to be born to a same sex couple, I’m not sure where you are going with this one…..

    Yes, I’ll go with crazy.

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  • cejs2003

    To the person who talks about Obama being raised by communists and that Obama wrote a book about it. To clarify President Obama wrote a book called “Dreams of my Father” There is a fake book/DVD out there called “The real dreams of my father” or some such nonsense. As for Romney’s statement, give him 24 hours and his position will change.

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  • sshm38

    I’m a single mom and I am proud of my daughter… It wasn’t in my plan to become pregnant and then be a single mom and although some are doing so now and choosing the single mother roll. There are also many single fathers out there and I tend to believe most of us single parents did not choose it and it was never our goal to be single parents. That said I believe Mitt Romney was partially (only in the part of saying that both parents and considering marriage first) right. As far as gun violence or any other horrifying evil act does not necessarily fall on the single parent. He did take this response way to far but do we all need to run with it as if he had not made a partially valid statement? No!

  • kate

    After struggling through the loss of their attraction to me (and all the bad self-esteem issues that go with that) I can’t thank Priest Andrew enough for his spell. You delivered what you promised and I’m back and better than ever. Thank you! I highly recommend this to everyone in or out of a relationship. is his contact. kate

  • Anon123

    ADAM LANZA!!!!

  • BioDude

    Do your research. He is right. The greatest single commonality of our violent criminals is they came from single mother homes. 95% of Drug Addicts and prostitutes, 75% of all violent sex offenders, 85% of all violent crimes were all raised by single mothers.

  • unknow

    Romney is a scumbag pig, who only rebukes anyone who doesn’t live their lives according to his own way living!!

  • unknow

    let’s not forget their are millions of two parent families who are seriously dysfunctional parents who don’t know how to raise a dog anymore than a child. So shut the fuck up you ignorant jackass, thank god this asshole didn’t win presidency!!!