DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - The February 14 school massacre in Parkland, Florida, has reinvigorated the push for gun control in the United States, sparking a wave of student walkouts championed by the Leftist media and political establishments.
But, conservatives argue, activists are missing the mark by attacking gun ownership. Instead, they suggest the growing raft of mass shootings is a symptom of a deeper social, cultural and spiritual crisis engulfing America.
In her analysis of the crisis, the Heritage Foundation's Emilie Kao writes that "inside so many school shooters is a deep void of identity and relationship that they tragically seek to fill through nihilistic violence."
Studies show that the root of this void is fatherlessness — in abundance since the sexual revolution.
The Federalist's Peter Hasson observes, "It's no coincidence that, much like the number of fatherless children, the number of mass shootings has exploded since the 1960s. Throughout the entire 1960s, six mass shootings took place. That number doubled in 1970." And the figures are getting worse, Hasson writes, with "2012 alone" seeing "more mass shootings than the sixties did."
Likewise, in his research of the 27 deadliest U.S. mass shootings since 1949, Grove City College professor Paul Kengor found that "perhaps only four shooters (at most) of the 27 might have come from families where the biological parents remained together." The remaining four cases, meanwhile, were marked by a "frequently absent father" or general "dysfunction."
Stephen Baskerville, professor of government at Patrick Henry College, confirms fatherlessness is the common denominator in these types of incidents. "By far the main predictor of shooting rampages — along with all other criminality and virtually every social pathology among young males — is a home without a father," he writes.
In his new book The Boy Crisis, Dr. Warren Farrell observes that "the rate of mass shootings has tripled since 2011," with "guns, violence in the media, violence in video games and poor family values" blamed.
"Each is a plausible player," he writes, "But our daughters live in the same homes, with the same access to the same guns, video games, and media and are raised with the same family values. Our daughters are not killing. Our sons are."
In a recent interview, Farrell reiterated that "fatherlessness" causes confused, angry "dad-deprived boys."
"All over the world where there are divorces, divorces tend to lead to a lack of father involvement," he warned. "Where there's a lack of father involvement, boys are in what I would call the 'boy crisis' mode."
The recent Leftist buzz about "toxic masculinity" is wrong these analysts say. They recognize masculinity, with its self-control and self-sacrifice, as a fundamental good.
"Masculinity, channeled well, is the reason [Parkland] assistant football coach Aaron Feis died," cultural critic Suzanne Venker writes. "Feis shielded students from bullets by pushing them inside a classroom."
"The solution to male violence is not to spout off drivel about the evils of masculinity," she adds.
Noting that "boys with significant father involvement are not doing these shootings," Farrell explains:
Without dads as role models, boys' testosterone is not well channeled. The boy experiences a sense of purposelessness, a lack of boundary enforcement, rudderlessness and often withdraws into video games and video porn. At worst, when boys' testosterone is not well-channeled by an involved dad, boys become among the world's most destructive forces. When boys' testosterone is well channeled by an involved dad, boys become among the world's most constructive forces.
These experts stress that the problem is not "toxic masculinity" but toxic fatherlessness.