Skip to comments.Sons of Divorce, School Shooters
Posted on 12/17/2013 6:50:50 AM PST by neverdem
Another shooting, another son of divorce. From Adam Lanza, who killed 26 children and adults a year ago at Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Conn., to Karl Pierson, who shot a teenage girl and killed himself this past Friday at Arapahoe High in Centennial, Colo., one common and largely unremarked thread tying together most of the school shooters that have struck the nation in the last year is that they came from homes marked by divorce or an absent father. From shootings at MIT (i.e., the Tsarnaev brothers) to the University of Central Florida to the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur, Ga., nearly every shooting over the last year in Wikipedias list of U.S. school attacks involved a young man whose parents divorced or never married in the first place.
This is not to minimize the importance of debates about gun control or mental health when it comes to understanding these shootings. But as the nation seeks to make sense of these senseless shootings, we must also face the uncomfortable truth that turmoil at home all too often accounts for the turmoil we end up seeing spill onto our streets and schools.
The social scientific evidence about the connection between violence and broken homes could not be clearer. My own research suggests that boys living in single mother homes are almost twice as likely to end up delinquent compared to boys who enjoy good relationships with their father. Harvard sociologist Robert Sampson has written that Family structure is one of the strongest, if not the strongest, predictor of variations in urban violence across cities in the United States. His views are echoed by the eminent criminologists Michael Gottfredson and Travis Hirschi, who have written that such family measures as the percentage of the population divorced, the percentage of households headed by women, and the percentage of unattached individuals in the community are among the most powerful predictors of crime rates.
Why is fatherlessness such a big deal for our boys (almost all of these incidents involve boys)? Putting the argument positively, sociologist David Popenoe notes that fathers are important to their sons as role models. They are important for maintaining authority and discipline. And they are important in helping their sons to develop both self-control and feelings of empathy toward others, character traits that are found to be lacking in violent youth. Boys, then, who did not grow up with an engaged, attentive, and firm father are more vulnerable to getting swept up in the Sturm und Drang of adolescence and young adulthood, and in the worst possible way.
Of course, most boys who grow up in a home without their father turn out okay. They pick up the right cues from a conscientious high-school soccer coach, flourish under the watchful eye of a devoted grandfather, or benefit from the consistent discipline of a strong single mother. But every year enough fatherless boys fall prey to the ministrations of a gang or the rage induced by a high-school bully or the emotional fallout of painful divorce to end up causing real harm to themselves or the members of their communities. So, if the nation is serious about ending the scourge of school shootings, it must also get serious about strengthening the families that are our first line of defense in preventing our boys from falling into a downward spiral of rage, hopelessness, or nihilism that can end in the kind of senseless violence that Karl Pierson, a son of divorce, visited upon Arapahoe High this past Friday.
W. Bradford Wilcox, who was raised by a single mother, is a senior fellow at the Institute for Family Studies and a Visiting Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Follow him on Twitter @WilcoxNMP.
Perhaps what they have in common is a liberal, shrewish, anti-male, mother who drove the father away and so demasculinzed each of her sons that acting in a crude and violent manner was the only way the sons knew how to “act like a man” since that is what the mother taught the son a man is.
But, by all means, blame the missing father.
Disconnect with fathers is a major factor for many problems that young people face. This is why Mal. 4 says the ministry of Elijah, when he comes again, is to reunite fathers with their children.
The bigger correlation is a leftist mind-set and no respect for life.
After seeing some of the ‘fathers,’ sometimes the children are better off without daddy in the picture.
I would take this article one step further to its natural extension, and that is, the Black community. It is a mess. It is a culture now steeped in brutality and wanton violence. And why? Because of the break up of the family and the complete lack of fathers in the Black community. Children born out of wedlock is something like 75% in the Black community.
In the White community children born out of wedlock is skyrocketing as well. If you watch MTV or any other such dreck you will find that out of wedlock birth is now celebrated, in the “Teen Mom”, or “Secretly Pregnant” or whatever other show is now glamorizing raising a bastard child.
And then there is the whole victimology that begins with, “I'm a single mother...”.
You sow to the wind, you reap a whirlwind. I blame this on those many who told us that we were all simply “repressed” and needed to be sexually “free”.
I also blame the feminists and every single TV commercial and TV program that shows the male as the dunce. The female is always the wise one, and the Black person is always the hip one.
Yeah, we are really free now to brutalize each other thanks to what the Leftists have been preaching these last 40 years.
I think we should look at the psychological abuse being heaped on children from an early age in school.
We start them out with the Story of Stuff which teaches them that government is supposed to take care of them. We drill into them the fantasy that the planet is being destroyed by their parents and grandparents who just don’t care. We manipulate them with sex ed that teaches that only “normal” kids have homosexual feelings. Now we have common core where there are no right answers and to find out if your answer is acceptable it must be taken to the approved government official at the front of the class. We drug boys for being boys. The whole time there is a steady drumbeat of hate conservatives, hate conservatives, hate conservatives.
It goes without saying.
If every person who died of lung cancer had smoked AND used multivitamins, causation would be on the table.
Should be on the table here too. Along with weird liberal values, antidepressants, and interest in the Occult. These slaughters by liberal young people have NOTHING to do with guns... and everything to do with rage, envy and hatred, and alienation from fathers.
It is possible to blame the “absence of a father” without “blaming the father”...
Yeah, that’s the other thing. The Leftists demand that we sexualize children, those in kindergarten and maybe earlier. They want them to know all about homosexuality and condoms at 4 years old! What a disgrace.
It is time to start defending our children and putting the smack down on these leftists who are stealing our children and our culture.
We need to recognize that the destruction of the culture is the left’s primary goal.
Sorry, I can’t agree with this.
There’s a significant difference between an “absent” Father and parents that are simply divorced. There is no way to draw any conclusions about anything - let alone murderous intent - with two variables as major and material as the two mentioned.
With a 50% divorce rate, I know many co-workers and have many friends that are divorced. It would be pretty well arrogant of me to assume that I’m somehow a better Father to my kids simply because they’re divorced.
Like anything - you get what you give. You get the results you work for.
You are right it is not always the missing Father. It is the missing Biblical principals from our homes and our society. The “curse” the woman received from God after disobeying Him in the garden was not her monthly menstruation but her wanting to rule the roost.
The feminist movement has been at the forefront of the collapse of our family and societal structure, women wanting to be the boss in their home, big mistake!
Another article to drive liberals off the deep end.
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Another relevant truth to remind us of the need for healthy families.
We’ve got to go to the highest levels of education. I’m lucky to have at least 1 tea partier running for a seat on the University of Michigan board of regents I can vote for.