More Fathers, Not Fewer Guns Are a Better “Solution”
More Fathers, Not Fewer Guns Are a Better “Solution”
The school shooting at Uvalde is just the latest reminder that evil is real and is everywhere. I also know that all the mass school-shootings that are being trotted out right now by politicians don’t really address the solutions we all want. We want our children to go to school and come back safely. Yet it’s not a black and white issue. We want it to be, but it’s not. There are so many facets from which to view this Rubik’s Cube and we only want to talk about two. Guns and mental health. What I know for certain is that shoveling all the guns away will not solve this problem. As a nation, we must find a way to get more fathers, not fewer guns into our households if we are to find a better solution, such as it might be.
This post has been mulling around my head for a few days now. All the talking heads are pundit-ing away from every which angle they can. Instead, I made a phone call to my oldest friend. All three of her children were in Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. She was vacationing half a world away in Australia. She was forced to deal with her mind-numbing fear while trapped in an airport watching her real-life horror story play out over the news. Needless to say, her whole family was altered that day.
We haven’t spoken about some of the obvious things, like gun control. I think I am too afraid to have a debate with her, even if I know the stats are on my side. What I do know is that she has traded a very lucrative career in the brand-name marketing world to become a trauma therapist and is getting her PHD to do so as I write.
As I read the Daily Beast article, detailing their interview with the Texas school shooter’s father, it’s not hard to see why this poor 18-year-old kid turned out the way he did. I do feel sorry for him. I feel sorry for everyone in this story. But the shooter’s father had a litany of excuses as to why he hadn’t seen his son over the last couple of years:
“His father admitted he had not spent much time with him lately because he was employed outside Uvalde—he digs holes around utility poles for inspection—and because of the pandemic.
His own mother was suffering from cancer, Ramos said, and he could not risk being exposed to the coronavirus. He added that his son grew frustrated with the COVID precautions about a month ago and refused to speak to him. Ramos has not seen him since.”
So yeah, he might have had to drive a bit to see his son, but that was hard… and masks. F’ing masks.
Here is just another reminder that our COVID policies did more damage than good, and we will all have to live with that reality.
He then admits that the boy didn’t feel his father loved him. You know who doesn’t feel that way? Sons who are loved by their fathers. Even those sons who are angry at rules and boundaries know deep down it’s because they are loved. I know because I “hated” my own parents at that age.
We have devalued fathers and marriage badly over the last sixty years or so. So, our boys especially are left to displace their rage in horrific ways. Then we scream at the sky TO MAKE THE KILLINGS STOP! without addressing the ways to do so.
And we still ignore the fact that 75% of school shooters are from fatherless homes! This article was written in 2018 after the Parkland Florida shooting:
“Consider a joint federal study showing that 63 percent of youth suicides are from fatherless homes; as often as not, mass shooters are simultaneously suicidal. Robert Sampson, a Harvard sociologist, has observed that urban violence is concentrated in neighborhoods with mostly single-parent homes.
A Michigan State University study found 75 percent of examined adolescent murderers were from fatherless homes. The Centers for Disease Control says 85 percent of children with behavioral disorders have only a mother in the home. Wilcox also says children with both married parents around are less likely to drop out of school, to become drug addicts or to grow up impoverished.”
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) has some of the same questions I do. From the Washington Examiner on Thursday:
“Questions involving things like, why is our culture suddenly producing so many young men who want to murder innocent people?” continued the Utah Republican. “It raises questions like, you know, could things like fatherlessness, the breakdown of families, isolation from civil society or the glorification of violence be contributing factors?”
The left wants to take away the guns, as if that will be the magic panacea to remove all evil. But even countries that have tried this simplistic answer have higher per capital mass shootings than the U.S.
Out of 97 countries with data, the US is 64th in frequency of mass shootings and 65th in murder rate.— Andrew Follett (@AndrewCFollett) May 25, 2022
And rates of mass shootings elsewhere are rising faster pic.twitter.com/SRrC1YYFod
Taking away guns or legislating them to uselessness will not undue evil. I could litter this post with links of mass stabbing in Europe and Asia. Evil has no boundaries. Just the other day, a crazy man took a car to run over school children:
Look, we all want to make the killing stop. We are losing our children to gun violence every day. But school shootings are just the tiniest of pieces to the problem. We hand wave away the dead children in urban violence that racks up death tolls in the thousands by now. Mass school shooting deaths can’t even compare in sheer numbers. But our politicians, of all stripes, like to use them to their political advantage. It’s sick really. But until we talk openly about how to rebuild families, faith, and fatherhood into our communities, we will just keep screaming at the sky with no answers.