The father of the teenager who murdered 19 children and 2 adults in Uvalde, Texas said:
“he probably would have shot me too, because he would always say I didn’t love him.”
The father is also a criminal. He has an apparently lengthy criminal record. His most deadly crime, however, isn’t on his record. His most deadly crime is that he is an absentee father.
A father who doesn’t value his child’s life is teaching his child a person’s life isn’t valuable.
63% of teenagers who commit suicide are fatherless. 72% of adolescent murderers are fatherless. 75% of adolescents in rehab centres for drug abuse are fatherless. 60% of rapists are fatherless. 85% of teenagers in prison are fatherless.
And especially, 75% of the most-cited school shooters in America are fatherless—just like the teenager who walked into Robb Elementary School to murder 21 people.
Of course, most fatherless people value life. Fatherlessness doesn’t make a person a mass murderer or a criminal. However, fatherless children are significantly more likely to commit crimes. For instance, a 2012 study on juvenile male inmates found that fatherless boys are 279% more likely to carry guns for criminal behaviour.
Absentee fathers discourage their children and they provoke them to anger (Colossians 3:21, Ephesians 6:4). I know that too well. 85% of children with behavioural problems are fatherless—that describes my childhood.
I was involved in over 20 fights before I was 18 years old. Most of these fights happened when I was between 4-10 years old, especially when other children made fun of me for being fatherless.
I didn’t know how to maintain my composure when other children blamed me for my father’s absence. After all, it was hard to refute them. My father, indeed, didn’t love me. He left my mom and our family after my mom became pregnant with me.
Therefore, I lacked discipline and self-control. I didn’t know how to respond to insults without anger and violence. By the grace of God, my extraordinary mother and especially, the gospel changed me.
Nevertheless, I know fatherlessness is one of the most damaging things children can experience. I know the potentially deadly consequences of absentee fathers.
I know that if the school shooter’s father valued his son’s life—his son would have been more likely to value other people’s lives too.
But many of us are unwilling to consider that. After all, Black Lives Matter maintain strong support from our society despite their feminist agenda to “disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure.”
It’s horrific to imagine what the school shooter’s big gun did to the children’s little bodies. It’s horrific to think about the gunshots silencing the children’s screams. It’s painful to think about.
Blaming the school shooting on gun rights, however, isn’t helpful. We have a habit of prescribing the wrong solutions to deadly issues. Guns are not the problem. Gun control isn’t the solution.
Absentee fathers, not guns, are the problem.
School shootings in America have dramatically increased over the last few decades. Gun ownership, however, hasn’t.
Gun ownership in America today is essentially the same as it was in 1972 when school shootings were significantly less common. And consider that gun laws are actually much more strict today than they were 50 years ago.
So since gun ownership in America is relatively the same as it was decades ago, and since gun laws are actually more strict today than they were 50 years ago—school shootings are not caused by gun rights or gun ownership in America.
However, over the last 50 years the number of children raised by single-mothers have dramatically increased. In 1970, the number of children living with an unmarried mother was at approximately 10%. By 2010, the number of children living with an unmarried mother was at 24%.
Guns aren’t the problem. Stricter gun laws aren’t the solution. Absentee fathers are the problem. Good fathers are the solution.
The vast majority of violent boys—including school shooters are fatherless. Until we start taking fatherlessness more seriously and restore the nuclear family as the standard for healthy families, we will continue to live in a more violent society.