On February 15th, one day after the Parkland Florida School shooting, Wall Street Journal columnist and Pulitzer prize winning author Margaret "Peggy" Noonan wrote a column of some significance.  For perspective  you should know she wrote speeches for Reagan, she campaigned for George Bush, she's a conservative leaning thinker and her first thoughts after Parkland were not about guns. They were about our country, our culture and the change of the American heart.

    "We discuss motives, but isn’t it always the same motive? “I have murder in my heart.” Why do so many Americans have murder in their hearts....We all know it is part of a continuing cultural catastrophe. A terrible aspect of the catastrophe is that so many central thoughts about it, and questions, have been flattened by time into clichés.  People stop hearing when you mention them....so we immediately revert to discussions of gun law, and only gun law. There is much to be improved in that area...but it is not the only part of the story. The story is also who we are now and what shape we’re in."

What comes next in her conversation is all the hard stuff--all the topics that many of us point to as the real cause of the problems.  These are the things that aren't an easy fix and in many instances are the by product of conservative failures to stop liberal policies.

    Noonan writes, "We all say it privately, but it’s so obvious it’s hardly worth saying. We have been swept by social, technological and cultural revolution. The family blew up—divorce, unwed childbearing. Fatherless sons. Fatherless daughters, too. Poor children with no one to love them. The internet flourished. Porn proliferated. Drugs, legal and illegal. Violent video games, in which nameless people are eliminated and spattered all over the screen...the abortion regime settled in, with its fierce, endless yet somehow casual talk about the right to end a life. An increasingly violent entertainment culture—low, hypersexualized, full of anomie and weirdness, allergic to meaning and depth."  Noonan also calls out the great divide between America's left and right.

"The old longing for integration gave way to a culture of accusation—you are a supremacist, a misogynist, you are guilty of privilege and defined by your color and class, we don’t let your sort speak here."

"Her column goes on to make the connections with selfishness and mental health problems and concludes with the idea of a trade off...giving up abortions  in exchange for giving up the so-called assault type weapons.

It is a excellent read and you can find it in full here.


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