Sons of Divorce, School ShootersClearly, passing laws to prevent the the sane and law-abiding from possessing scary looking inanimate objects have little to no effect on preventing criminals or crazies from killing using those frightening implements. So then what then are we to do?
By W. Bradford Wilcox
December 16, 2013 12:06 PM
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 Wikipedia’s “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.”
To answer this question, I'll (temporarily) adopt a left-liberal mindset and set aside any of my usual right-wing philosophical restraints on the proper use and role of government power, and arrogate to myself the mission to keep the lower orders safe from harm and prevent them from harming themselves and/or doing harm to others.
In this vein, I propose that, rather than trying to disarm evil, perhaps we would do better to go straight to the seminal event that produces these evil killers in the first place--choice mommyhood, that self-perpetuating act of straight-up solipsism that is directly responsible for so much mischief. We would do better to configure the machinery of government to proscribe acts that bring forth children without (or strips from them) a father to civilize them.
In short, we should ban, or at least severely restrict, choice mommyhood. For the children, of course.
The positive effects of this would more or less be immediate. The drop in crime, the rise in academic achievement, the shrinking welfare rolls, the drop in teen pregnancy rates, the all-but-disapperance of spree shootings at schools--all a product of a common-sense prohibition on choice mommyhood.
How would something like this be accomplished? The following common-sense rule set comes to mind:
1) Pregnancy shall be illegal without a license; unlicensed pregnancies shall be punished by a hefty fine or jail time, or both. Children born of unlicensed pregnancies brought to term shall be forcibly adopted out.
2) Gestational licenses shall be granted free of charge only to marriages or civil unions that involve a resident man
3 Divorce shall be permitted, but a rebuttable presumption of custody shall be awarded to the father, and the mother shall be awarded visitation every other weekend, spring and winter break, and 1/2 the summer, and required to pay child support equal to or greater than her ability--measured against other women her age--to provide
4) Widows who do not remarry shall be financially supported by the State
5) Forcible rape--i.e., rape-rape, not gray rape--shall be a capital crime
Other rules are certainly possible to deal with the inevitable few choice mommies and their baby daddy enablers who would seek loopholes so as to inflict their illegitimate spawn on our little shiny happy utopia.
The mind reels with the benefits such goodness would yield. What's keeping us, then, especially since racial minorities would reap the biggest benefits? Only racists could want the status quo, one that results in a lopsided 1/3 more women than men in black neighborhoods...those missing black men being "found" either in jail or six feet under.