Shootings in America: Gun Problem or the Disintegration of the Traditional Family?

By now everyone has had to deal with and somehow come to grips with the senseless carnage that occurred in Uvalde, Texas, where a very sick individual entered an elementary school and murdered 19 children and 2 teachers after having previously shot his own grandmother. The details of the shootings remain hazy and inexplicable as questions remain as to why a school under lockdown had a door propped open, why the police not only refused to enter and engage the gunman during an active shooter situation, but were detaining parents from entering and rescuing their own children, and how an 18 year old high school drop out and person of limited financial means was able to accumulate the money necessary to purchase the weapons, ammunition, and body armor for this heinous deed. The official narrative has changed multiple times now as new details emerge and the police department has recently announced that it is refusing to cooperate with a state investigation. As inexplicable as this is, the lingering doubts about police and institutional incompetency are only further muddled by questions as to how this tragedy might have been influenced by the presence of cartel human and drug trafficking which occur in this community as a flow point from the border. One thing however, is incontrovertible, our nation is heartbroken and struggling to deal with this senseless violence.

This as well as other recent mass shootings has triggered a national debate on 2nd Amendment gun rights in America. You will note that this article purposefully does not mention the name of the shooter. Study after study has concluded that incidents such as this are in part inspired by media coverage and the infamy that these sick individuals seek and normally trigger additional similar shootings over a two-week window. And yet, in the name of ratings and politicizing their position on the gun rights debate, corporate media and politicians do not hesitate to stoke these stories and constantly violate the prescribed means to deescalate the likelihood of new such tragedies. In fact, the Uvalde shooting on May 24th was likely influenced by a similar incident that occurred in Buffalo, New York on May 14th and the media coverage that ensued, and even now this has seemingly inspired additional random shootings according to media, which can not help refrain from giving these shooters the attention that drives them.

So is the problem simply that America has too many “weapons of war” as the media and Democrat politicians like to frame this narrative and characterize certain guns such as the AR 15, which was used in both aforementioned crimes? Well to begin with, the media and politicians are either woefully misinformed or intentionally trying to mischaracterize this debate. For example, the AR 15 does not stand for assault rifle, but is called such for its original manufacturer, Armalite Rifle, which began producing these guns in 1959. And contrary to common misperception the AR 15 is not an automatic weapon, but is a semi-automatic rifle, meaning one pull of the trigger, one shot. It is the most common semi-automatic rifle sold in the United States, is not actually employed by the military despite the claim of being a “weapon of war,” and despite its prevalence accounts for roughly 1/20th the number of murders that are attributed to handguns. And interestingly a report by the University of Chicago shows that gun ownership by household in the country had actually peaked in the 1970’s and was trending steadily downward prior to the recent societal unrest that has occurred over the past couple of years.

The fact of the matter is it appears that the media and politicians such as Joe Biden routinely use readily apparent erroneous facts intentionally to drive their narrative in order to push gun restrictions and curtailment of 2nd Amendment rights. Egregiously they overlook the evidence that most of these murders are committed with already illegally owned weapons and prohibitively restrictive gun rights cities such as Chicago routinely experience 50+ shootings in a mere weekend, But to further their argument and gloss over these inconveniences they make grandiose fallacious claims, such as the most recent one from Biden where he stated that “You couldn’t buy a cannon when the Second Amendment was passed. You couldn’t go out and purchase a lot of weapons.” And yet when the Bill of Rights was first enacted in 1791, there were no restrictions on weapons individuals could own and the Continental Army’s arsenal utilized cannons contributed by individual citizens.

Which begs the question, if the right of U.S. citizens to bear arms dates back almost two and a half centuries, why are mass shootings a relatively recent phenomenon? It appears that the “American public owns too many weapons of war” argument not only belies the debate on gun violence but attempts to coverup its true underpinnings. The real issue at hand is that America is suffering from cultural rot.

The first widely publicized incident of a mass shooting occurred in August of 1966, when a gunman murdered his wife and mother and then climbed atop the tower at the University of Texas at Austin where he proceeded to murder 16 people and wound three dozen others over the course of an hour and a half. The timing of this is not a coincidence as two of the most important contributary events of our present societal ills began in the 1960s as well.

The first of these was the counterculture revolution in which young liberals disaffected with prevailing traditional norms railed against the orthodoxy. Unconventional appearance, a rebellion against the family unit, liberal drug use, and promiscuous sex were hallmarks of this revolution. There were legitimate concerns such as equality for women and civil rights for minorities that were at the core of this movement. But as victories for these issues were achieved, the bounds were forever further pushed in the name of continuously championing a cause. Equal rights for women became radicalized feminism and masculine toxicity. Civil rights perversely morphed into identity politics and critical race theory. Sexual liberation has led to not only the acceptance and equal treatment of gay and lesbians, but an explosion of sexual identities and orientations such genderqueer, bigender, demisexual, transgender, transsexual, polyamorous, non-binary, and two-spirit all demanding their own recognition and celebration. Sadly the counterculture revolution also led to a growing wave of religiously unaffiliated people as three-in-ten adults in the U.S. now proclaim themselves to be as our Judeo-Christian heritage had long served as a force for moral cohesion in the country.

The second contributary event was seemingly innocuous enough – the self proclaimed war against poverty. When Lyndon B. Johnson, a president with a reputation of very dubious scruples, declared this initiative to revolutionize the welfare system, the percentage of children living in a single parent household in the country was 7%. This interestingly is what a recent Pew Research study showed to be the average of 129 other countries surveyed in 2019. However, the changes made to the welfare system encouraged the woman to wed the federal government and not the child’s biological father as social commentator Larry Elder famously noted. Today, the number of children living in one parent households is well over 40%.

This is of significant consequence. First of all, a study by the Heritage Foundation in 2014 noted that 37% of single parent households lacked economic self sufficiency versus just under 7% for married parent families. But more importantly, as Barack Obama noted in his “Broken Home” speech, children growing up typically without a father in the home are much more likely to suffer severe consequences. Some of these are:

- 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes, 5x the average (U.S. Dept. of Health);

- 85% of all children who show behavior disorders are from fatherless homes, 32x the average (CDC);

- 71% of high school dropouts come from fatherless homes, 9x the average (National Principals Association Report);

- And 85% of all youths in prison come from fatherless homes, 20x the average (Fulton County Department of Correction).

Sadly the Heritage Foundation report also noted that girls raised in a single parent household were more than twice as likely to have a child out of wedlock, thus perpetuating the cycle.

So, which seems more compelling, that despite nearly 200 years of living without the phenomena of mass shootings despite a strong gun culture, a prohibition of 2nd Amendment rights is the solution or that we are facing a societal illness and breeding these killers as our underlying morality decays and we witness the disintegration of the traditional family? Is this problem likely to get better as children become more socially maladjusted interacting with their peers increasingly on social media and less in person while being inundated by pornography both online and now shockingly in the school libraries? Is it any wonder that after nearly two years of being kept out of their schools and forced to mask, children are suffering a crisis of angst and despair for which we prescribe anti-depressants and psychotropic drugs, which in themselves show a strong correlation between self-harm and violent behavior?

Before you despair, there are people who have already come to this same conclusion and are doing something about this. Most notably organizations such as the American Principals Project and Moms for Liberty are pushing back against government encroachment on parental rights, fighting the woke ideology and its assault on traditional values, and are working to ensure the general wellbeing of the American family. Get involved and join the cause. In addition, you can get more involved in your children’s’ lives and limit the amount of time they spend online. Make them unplug and interact with other people even if it is something as simple as going for a walk or to the park. Contact your elected representatives and encourage them to fix the broken welfare system and to enact legislation that encourages a strong, cohesive family. Also remind them that it is our constitutional right to protect our own families. And lastly, whatever your religious affiliation, take your family to church. Remind them that there is a loving God and a higher purpose in life than immediate gratification.

There is no quick fix to this problem, but then again, it has been over 50 years in the making. But have hope – it is within our power to fix. We merely need the willingness and moral fortitude to do it.