Re ‘Degrees of Difficulty’

Some mail, responding to this post:

Jay,

I spent 16 years living in Durham / Chapel Hill, and know well what you write. My wife and I have been talking about this issue this week. The liberals I know best and spent the most time with simply could not bring themselves to judge another person. Unless of course the person was a conservative (especially Jesse Helms). Then the judgments were quick and vicious. I know people in Durham who have had their house broken into and possessions stolen more than once, and they just shrug at it all. They can’t get mad or in any other way show judgment toward the burglars.

They really don’t believe in self-defense. When I would ask what they would do if a person invaded their home and were making toward their daughter, they would just look at the floor and not answer. They can’t even speculate that they would take action. . . .

My wife and I have a daughter — she’ll be five in February — and we are devastated about the Newtown murders. We can’t imagine what the parents are going through. I believe the answer is to have both uniformed and plain-clothes armed personnel at the schools. Might as well have them at shopping malls too.

Here’s a letter from a sage in L.A.:

I look forward to the Oscars every year — particularly to the part where some starlet or director gives an impassioned speech about how movies change people’s lives. They say their art has the power to inspire the dreams of the downtrodden, etc. The effects of violence or depravity in a film? What? Get real, it’s just a movie!

Here’s a letter from the Detroit area, which hit home to me (as a Detroit-area kid):

What got me were the quotes from Newtown to the effect of, “This shouldn’t happen here.” I also saw postings of a picture of huddled, weeping police officers with captions like, “Remember the police, who should never have had to see what they saw.”

What do Detroit police officers see, day after day, decade after decade? And all we have to do is ban guns? Well, simple, then! Has the country lost its collective mind, Jay? Seriously, has it?

Detroit, of course, is a place of theoretical gun control.

Finally,

Jay,

You leave out two issues that are so difficult, even conservatives won’t touch them: divorce and the relative absence of men.

Yes. The divorce culture has a lot to answer for, but it never will, because our culture at large treats divorce as a matter of liberation, flexibility, choice, and other good things. The “downside” is best shuddered past.

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