The Problems We Solve Are the Problems We Don’t Have to Face

Duane Gundrum
5 min readJul 8, 2023
Licensed from Adobe Stock

There was an article today in the New York Times titled, “For Ex-Prisoners, ‘Second-Chance’ Jobs Can Be Hard to Come By”, and I think it’s something important enough for us to discuss now, so instead of focusing on billionaires in sinking submarines near the Titanic or on international affairs/wars like in Syria or Ukraine, let’s focus on something a little closer to home, and something that may affect each and everyone of us.

Now, the chances of any of you reading this ending up in jail is pretty slim. Actually, I’m being kind of nice. Statistics from the Brennan Center for Justice indicate that one out of every three adults in America has a prison record. Yeah, I double checked that on another site, and it was correct. Doing some math myself, about a quarter of those arrests were for felonies, which means we have a lot of ex-cons in this country, and if you read this particular article, that’s a real problem.

One of the problems in America is that we’re not a very forgiving country. Oh, we say we are, but we’re not. You spend time in jail, and America kind of turns its back on you, kind of like the Klingons did to Worf when he was banished from Klingon space. Yes, that moment hit me hard, almost as hard as when I realized going for humor in a very serious piece is definitely reading the room wrong. If I was a Klingon, you’d be turning your backs on me and waiting until I left the room. Please don’t do that.

Getting back to seriousness, mainly because this issue is quite serious, I would like to ask the generalized question of “what should we do about this?”

One thing I’ve noticed from a lot of the pieces written and distributed on this site is that people have a tendency to complain about something that’s wrong and then advocate for nothing. Or worse, they advocate for something that’s ludicrous, as in something that’s never going to get done. I read an article the other day that argued that men tend to treat women horribly in relationships; then the writer advocated for all men to be nicer. Really? That was the solution?d I’m sure all those bad boys out there doing bad boy stuff are thinking about cleaning up their acts now.

One of my favorite moments in the Marvel movie Ant Man was when he got out of prison and took…

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Duane Gundrum

Author of Innocent Until Proven Guilty and 15 other novels. Writer, college professor and computer game designer.