The Veiled Racism in the School Shooting Debate

U.S. Homicide rate… down. Graphic credit: Richmond Times-Dispatch

An axiom of Bacon’s Rebellion is that while progressives (progs) and social justice warriors (SJWs) oppose racism in their rhetoric, they support policies that have the unintended result of being racist in effect. Nowhere is this clearer than in their approach to the criminal justice system, in which they decry the criminals as victims while ignoring the victims of their criminality. Today I will take my argument one step further and suggest that progs and SJWs betray a pattern of behavior that, if observed among conservatives and libertarians, they would tar as racist.

This truth was brought to my mind by the lead editorial in the Richmond Times-Dispatch today, which published graphs contrasting the decline of the U.S. homicide rate over the past three decades (despite an uptick in the past two years) with the decline in mass shootings.

School massacres and other mass shooting.

The thrust of the T-D editorial was to observe that once upon a time, when access to guns was far easier than it is today, there were far fewer school mass shootings. Clearly, something is going on that has nothing to do with guns.

I would suggest that that “something” is a cultural/psychological phenomenon connected to white male alienation and mental illness, the spread of the Columbine-massacre template among disturbed teenage whites, mass media hysteria that guarantees maximum exposure of every shooting, and the rise of social media creating a platform for the killers to create manifestos explaining and justifying their rage. But that’s a side observation.

The larger point is this: National U.S. media inundate the public with coverage of mass shootings, even though they account for an almost trivial amount of total homicides. Why is that? Could the reason be that the overwhelming majority of all homicide victims are black, brown, or lower-income whites while the overwhelming majority of school shooting victims are white — just like the Mika Brzezinkis, Joe Scarboroughs, Rachel Maddows, Chris Cuomos and New York Times editorial writers? Could the reason be that the overwhelming majority of homicide victims live in neighborhoods where elite opinion makers never set foot, therefore elite opinion makers do not share the same sense of alarm as other Americans about criminal violence, while school shootings occur in places where the victims “look like them”?

Consider this graph from the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Blacks are about 30% more likely to be victims of violent crimes than whites. Of course, a large percentage of violent crimes within any racial/ethnic category are committed by domestic partners or other acquaintances. Exclude those categories, and the rate of violent-crime victimization of upper-income, college-educated whites is very low. Upper middle-class progs and SJWs don’t worry much about assaults by domestic partners, gambling buddies, drug suppliers, or random street muggings. To them, the perceived threat of school shootings looms larger. As far as black victims of violent crime… meh. Inner city crime can be written off as an outcomes of institutional racism anyway — not their fault.

There is a fine balancing act here. The U.S. criminal justice system arguably does incarcerate too many people, and it arguably does need an overhaul. Virginia does an exemplary job of recycling jail and prison inmates back into the community — we have one of the lowest recidivism rates in the country — but we could always do more. And we are. As an example: Yesterday, Governor Ralph Northam signed bipartisan legislation raising the threshold for a felony larceny from $200 to $500 — an action that hopefully will have the effect of reducing jail populations without increasing the incidence of petty crime.

But we need to be careful. According to the “broken windows” theory of criminality, a tolerance of misdemeanors leads to more minor crimes. A tolerance of minor crimes leads to more major crimes. The victims of those crimes come disproportionately from minority and lower-income neighborhoods. While these victims receive attention from local news media, they warrant almost zero from the national media that exert such a profound influence on the public policy agenda. If all crime victims were given the same platforms to express their fear and frustration as, say, the Parkland, Fla., school shooting survivors, the public policy debate in the United States would look very different indeed.

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25 responses to “The Veiled Racism in the School Shooting Debate”

  1. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
    Reed Fawell 3rd

    I agree with your article generally. I also suggest that a serious case can be made that the most powerful cause in the great spike in mass school shootings is the irresponsible wall to wall coverage and sensationalism of all the horrific events by the main street media, most particularly the cable news.

    This is why these horrific events are called copycat crimes. Of course, a similarly phenomenon is strongly at work in the crime sprees of shootings, mostly black against black in urban Chicago, although here the cause is different part of cultural forces. These too are copy cat crimes, kids copying kids without social restraints. Here the solutions are different.

    Likely, absent the irresponsible coverage of the main stream media, however, the mass School shooting would drastically decline. There is much evidence to back this up, found in the rationals provided by the shooters themselves. And why the Columbine shooting triggered a growing wave mass shootings pumped ever higher over the years by the wall to wall sensational coverage by our media.

    Why? Because such events pump their ratings. Its all about money, and power. The same deadly sin that drives so much of corruption in America. This of course includes out most recent binge of race baiting as well.

    1. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
      Reed Fawell 3rd

      Immediately above I argued that a serious case can be made that the most powerful cause for the great spike in mass school shootings is the irresponsible wall to wall coverage and sensationalism of all the horrific events by the main street media, most particularly the cable news. This is why these horrific events are called copycat crimes.

      A very fine article dated yesterday, June 1, details and proves this argument. Here are the opening paragraphs:

      “Ever wonder why mass public shooters commit their horrible crimes? Prosecutors in Broward County, Fla., released on Wednesday the Parkland high-school shooter’s cell-phone videos, in which he bragged, “It will be a big event, and when you see me on the news, you will all know who I am.”

      What makes these mass public shooters different from most criminals is that they want glory and fame, and we need to stop giving it to them. The media coverage of these videos also fails to draw any lessons about how we can stop these attacks in the future.

      If anyone missed the Parkland killer’s motivation, he repeated it three more times in his video rants, which totaled two minutes and 26 seconds. He tells viewers: “From the wrath of my power they will know who I am,” “with the power of my AR you will all know who I am,” and “you will all know what my name is.” To get this attention, the killer understood that he had to kill a lot of people: “My goal is [to kill] at least 20 people.”

      The Parkland killer feels that he benefits from coverage of the attack even if it doesn’t mention his name. The more well-known the attack, the more people will ultimately learn who he is.

      Sadly, the Parkland killer is all too typical. Killers like him want to commit suicide and want to do it in a way that will bring them notoriety. This isn’t a motivation just for lone-wolf shootings; we also see it in coordinated terrorist attacks.

      The Sandy Hook killer spent two and a half years putting together a report on mass public shootings. Law enforcement described “a sickeningly thorough 7-foot-long, 4-foot-wide spreadsheet with names, body counts, and weapons from previous mass murders and even attempted killings.” One anonymous law-enforcement veteran remarked, “It sounded like a doctoral thesis, that was the quality of the research.” The killer also collected information on media coverage for each killing. He observed that attacks with more deaths received greater media coverage.”

      For more details see:

  2. LarrytheG Avatar

    The Conflation machine is working overtime here! School Mass Murders… racism… broken windows… let’s just mix it all up and blame it on progressives and social justice heathens..


    But here’s a question. How come these school mass murders are at white majority schools and not all those minority schools with disruptive students and absenteeism and stuff?

    Geeze – you’d think all those schools in those crime-ridden, broken-window neighborhoods would be the mass-murder kings – specially sense black-on-black crime is all the rage these days, eh?

    Something seems not quite the way that Bacon seems to see it… can’t quite put my finger on it…. but have my suspicions…

  3. jalbertbowden Avatar

    I’ve always been flabbergasted that the outrage over the loss of life, is never applied to the war on drugs.
    Most of the violent crimes in this country stem from drug trafficking, abuse, and policing.
    We ended prohibition partially because of how violent it was; the war on drugs has continued partially because of who is affected the most. That is partly outright racism, and partly because the vast majority of it occurs in marginalized areas that we as society tend to dismiss outright.
    Regardless of cause, if the goal is to stop unnecessary loss of live from gun violence, ending the war on drugs is the pie in the sky.
    Considering its never even mentioned in all of the media coverage says that there are either ulterior motive(s) at play or gross incompetence across the board of media professionals. Take your pick.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      I am struck by the same thing. During the Capone years – they were killing each other off in in numbers over the right to sell a prohibited product – and yet there was no talk like the talk we hear now days … it was gang killings over drug distribution not “minority” crime.

      And Bacon talks out of one side of his mouth about “broken window” policies then out the other side over too many folks that are incarcerated… which is it?

      Makes me wonder – how we as a country have more people in prison than most other countries in the world -even the despotic ones with political prisoners!!!

      Basically because we have people in prison over drugs – and debt…. yes.. we send debtors to prison!

      1. “Yes… We send debtors to prison!

        When does this happen?

        1. LarrytheG Avatar

          Virginia’s New Debtor’s Prison

          do you READ the stuff you write? 😉

          1. Gotcha. I wasn’t sure what you were referring to.

  4. Steve Haner Avatar
    Steve Haner

    School shootings are huge news period and they are going to get covered, because readers/viewers are hungry for details and also because they feed into a particular point of view over gun regulation. If there is an agenda on the Left that’s it, and the fair question is why the agenda doesn’t get pushed based on all gun murders.

    Yes, the pathetic school-age perpetrators are often copy cats but I’m not sure reducing the news coverage would change their motivation. In a high school classroom and in the streets of an inner city housing project the problem is the same – violence is seen as a rational response to various provocations or resentments. Movies, video games, certain popular music, popular shows like Game of Thrones or Westworld on HBO – absolutely soaked in blood. We are all desensitized and those on the edge jump off. The people wh0 sixty years ago warned us over the violence on Gunsmoke had a very valid point and with today’s massive violence in media have been proven…..dead….right.

    Would legalized recreational drugs make a difference? I doubt it, but we can watch a few states where pot is legal now and see.

    1. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
      Reed Fawell 3rd

      I suspect that the internet culture also has a magnifying effect. Kids on the edge likely are often sucked into despair and pulled over that edge because they can feast their imaginations for endless hours for free on all the depravity and dark technical know how that is so freely available on the web.

      This of course also solidifies the anger, alienation and isolation of the kid. This then can be ignited into action by a suddenly new horrific event given the wall to wall coverage that surrounds him on all his media devices. This is the final straw.

      A related phenomenon that shows the power of the internet is how easily it is weaponized by groups such as ISIS, and its ilk. Imagine ISIS without the internet.

      Yet in reality these mass shootings are very rare events that now, thanks to technology, can create the illusion that these events are everywhere. This generate even more overreactions that are demagogued and politicized by growing numbers of people, whose voices are yet again magnified by our modern communications technologies. We are headed at warp speed into whole new worlds that turn our senses upside down.

      Take Russian collusion, for one.

    2. LarrytheG Avatar

      re: ” they feed into a particular point of view over gun regulation”

      really? Even FOX News and their ilk cover these shootings and interview the emotionally distraught students and parents ad infinitum. If only the “left” covered them – then you might have a point. Oh wait.. FOX is “forced” to copy the leftist media!!!

      I think as big a deal is the parents and the students completely apart from the gun control issue. And both sides – the gun control and gun rights groups are using these tragedies… for their own agendas.

      on the legalized drugs. Look at other industrialized countries. They treat drugs as a health problem – not a crime problem. We’re totally screwed up on it… 1/3 to 1/2 of our public safety money – essentially goes towards the war on drugs… from police to courts to prisons.

  5. djrippert Avatar

    I’m not sure that he school shooting coverage has anything to do with racism. When postal employees started shooting up their workplaces that was covered pretty closely too.

    I think it has to do with innocence. A group of kids just going to school get mowed down by some crazy bastard with a semi-automatic rifle seems different than the Crips and Bloods taking pot shots at each other with Glocks.

    I thought this was pretty interesting … over half the murders that occur in the US happen in 5% of US counties. Also interesting … “One of the most interesting findings in the report is that areas with the highest gun ownership rates have low murder rates.”

  6. LarrytheG Avatar

    DJ – I’m surprised at you. You’re citing FOX News who is in turn citing the Crime Prevention Research Center. You oughta check that group out guy – they’re not exactly an objective 3rd party on crime and guns issues… I thought you were more discriminating!

    1. djrippert Avatar

      They’re citing facts Larry. The facts being cited seem legit to me. If you look at the 10 counties with the worst murder rates it’s a mixture of urban hell holes and rural hell holes. As commentators like Jim Bacon seek to find cultural threads linking high murder rate areas I find it useful to look at the facts. I’ve linked to articles from the Huffington Post too – so long as they are quoting facts. I’m fine with opinion plainly labeled as opinion and I’m fine with facts that are accurately quoted. It’s the quoting of pseudo-facts or incomplete facts or facts out of context in order to change opinions that bothers me.

      Larry – which American state is the furthest East, West, North and South. Let’s start easy … North = Alaska. South isn’t too hard if you look at a globe … Hawaii. Now let’s push the envelope … west? Again, Alaska. Now for the real brain twizzler – East. Take a guess. But when you guess remember your frame of reference since frames of reference are always important.

  7. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
    Reed Fawell 3rd

    Thank you Don for that extremely useful and informative chart. The one that so many of our fellow citizens do not want to see, talk or think about.

    For example, there is a fine article in the current issue of Atlantic Magazine. It is titled The Futility of Trying to Prevent More School Shootings in America. It is beautifully written, extremely well researched, and chock full of thoughtful insights that are well worth pondering and cranking into a serious reader’s thinking and acting on the subject of mass shootings. This includes a highly informed discussion of the tough hurdles that must be overcome to begin to solve or at least dilute this mass shooting problem.

    But many of these obstacles are being built into our institutions and culture by the ongoing corruption that spreads throughout our society and our institutions, threatening now their very ability to function and survive, much less solve real problems.

    As a result, we can’t look many of our real problems in the face despite the obvious fact that they in part underpin most gun violence in America, including these mass school shootings. Problems like our loss of God, faith and purpose, our loss of any sense of virtue, or of what constitutes right and wrong, or of our individual and collective responsibility to fix real problems instead of inventing convenient illusions in order to avoid reality, and our concurrent loss of appropriate shame, and our sense of original sin.

    All of these values are required for healthy and effective institutions generally, and communities in particular. In contrast, our identity politics run amuck, tearing up the machinery that is critically to governing our nation.

    Thus I was ultimately disappointed in the Atlantic article. Its writer blinked again and again. Most of all, he hardly mentioned the most important gun violence by far in America today. The one shown vividly by the simple chart you have published above that shows how murders are concentrated in 5% our counties, those places where most folks have no guns at all.

    Why does no one focus honestly on this far more destructive, and prevalent problem? It is as if mass school shootings are grabbed by our leaders as the prefect crutch they need to divert our attention from much larger issues, so they can fool us and pretend that the far greater problem does not insist.

    In any case I highly recommend everyone reading that Atlantic article:

    1. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
      Reed Fawell 3rd

      Jim says:

      “How come school mass murders are a white thing?

      It’s called culture. School shootings and suicide-by-cop are white cultural phenomena. Perhaps Larry can admit that culture plays a role here because it’s not stigmatizing minorities.” End Quote.

      CULTURE – how key it is that the most powerful forces that motivate these events are driven by the seas we swim in, the very forces we so often cannot see and that so rarely we understand or appreciate or take into account, yet they are the most difficult forces for us to control, hence all of the apparent irony and paradox in our sense of our lives and experiences. Such as what Acbar so vividly brings to life, this great problem we often pretend to ignore or never to see:

      “… yet so many students have been killed in the neighborhood violence that surrounds them? Kids walking home and attacked for their sneakers; kids stabbed on subway commutes from school; kids shot down who apparently stopped a stray bullet intended for someone else. Kids about to go to college; kids who supported their families with after school jobs …” End Quote

      Hence my carefully chosen words in my comment:

      “The one shown vividly by the simple chart you (Don) have published above that shows how murders are concentrated in 5% our counties, those places where most folks have no guns at all.” End Quote.

      But, at the same time, I do not discount or disclaim what is said by others: “One of the most interesting (INTERESTING is key) findings in the report is that areas with the highest gun ownership rates have low murder rates.”

      But the big key is culture – as Jim says it drives the different results found in the white community versus the black community in many of these trends. And it, or its lack, drives most acts of most individuals, including their often wildly different responses to essentially the same stimuli present in a situation.

    2. djrippert Avatar

      I learned my lesson when I bought a vacation home on the Chesapeake Bay in rural Maryland. After 55 years of serving the various owners of the property the old dock on the farm had to be replaced. So, I called the dock company and had the old dock removed and a new dock installed. I wanted a fiberglass dock box on the end of the dock so I asked that one be installed. Once I went to look at the dock box I noticed that it had no lockable latch. I asked the dock company man about that and he asked me why I’d want to lock my dock box. I explained that I didn’t want people stealing my life vests or fishing poles. “Nobody steals anything around here. Almost every boat on the docks around here have the keys on the seat. Nobody will steal your life vests or fishing poles.”

      A couple of weeks later I drove my new F-150 (which I registered in Maryland to my vacation house). I went inside to unpack and there was knock at my door. When I answered it was my neighbor with a shotgun. He saw a truck he didn’t recognize with Maryland plates go to my house and decided that he’s walk on over and make sure everything was on the up and up.

      A lot of people in that rural county in Maryland own guns and there isn’t much crime. I think it’s mostly cultural – stealing is considered immoral and disgusting. I also think that stealing from armed people probably isn’t as much fun for the thief as stealing from unarmed people and … literally everybody I know over there is armed, possesses ammunition and knows how to use their weapons. They also know the people of the area and the rhythms of life. An unknown boat approaching a neighbor’s boat at his or her dock is going to be watched – first through binoculars but then through a rifle sight if the behavior looks suspicious.

  8. Acbar Avatar

    Kudos to Larry for asking: “How come these school mass murders are at white majority schools and not all those minority schools with disruptive students and absenteeism and stuff?” And to Reed for suggesting, “the most powerful cause in the great spike in mass school shootings is the irresponsible wall to wall coverage and sensationalism of all the horrific events by the main street media, most particularly the cable news.” Jim made these associations also but not as forcefully.

    Indeed. Why is it that DC area schools have not been the scene of mass shootings at schools, yet so many students have been killed in the neighborhood violence that surrounds them? Kids walking home and attacked for their sneakers; kids stabbed on subway commutes from school; kids shot down who apparently stopped a stray bullet intended for someone else. Kids about to go to college; kids who supported their families with after school jobs.

    Most of these were black kids, shot in black neighborhoods. Is it racist of the Washington Post, or me, to point that out?

    While on this subject, even if I don’t agree with everything in that Atlantic article, or with the conclusion posited today that the mainstream media are racist in their coverage of school shootings, I want to thank BR for providing a place where the intersection of race and politics and sociology CAN be discussed. So many refuse to do so, or are afraid to do so, or worse, blind to it. The elephant in so much of our national discourse cannot even be mentioned sometimes! Or, if it’s mentioned, it is thrown out there as a wet blanket intended to smother any other consideration but White Guilt. Like most important issues, it’s complicated, multifaceted, subtle; how can we learn if we avoid talking about race when it’s obviously relevant?

    As for that Fox News chart, it’s hardly surprising that most U.S. murders take place in urban areas, and not all of those, either. Nevertheless you have to love the Fox take-away: “One of the most interesting findings in the report is that areas with the highest gun ownership rates have low murder rates.” Seriously! Not that the chart shows us anything about the geography of gun ownership, but it’s a safe assumption that there are more gun owners in rural areas. And what does that have to do with murder rates? Correlation is not causation. Let me say it again: Correlation is not causation.

    1. How come school mass murders are a white thing?

      It’s called culture. School shootings and suicide-by-cop are white cultural phenomena. Perhaps Larry can admit that culture plays a role here because it’s not stigmatizing minorities.

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        Gee Bacon… it’s CULTURE that white kids do mass killings in schools and Black kids don’t but instead they rob and kill each other on the streets away from their schools?

        Still chewing on that… Lordy

        with respect to FOX referencing the so-called Crime Prevention Research Center – I urge folks to do a little research on that outfit which is essentially one guy.

        Seems like to some correlation IS causation for some things but Culture is the issue on other things?

        I don’t think this is about race or culture myself. I’m quite sure the parents of those dead white kids are not blaming it on race and culture themselves. A skeptical person might call that commentary as coming from the gun rights folks attempting to change the conversation.

        For the record and to quiet such thought – I do not believe restricting guns will stop the school mass murders but it’s pretty clear that the USA alone in the world has a wide and deep gun culture that now includes young people who know they can get them from their parents if they want to.

        And … my suspects are that from now on – Trench Coats in schools will be outlawed – and of course after that only outlaws will have trench coats!

        Finally – I much appreciate Acbar working hard to keep the conversation from going off the rails! Thank You!

  9. I think all D.C. High Schools have metal detectors at all entrances. That might be a factor in why they have not had a mass shooting. And this could be true of other districts. Does anyone know if Santa Fe did?

    Talking about factors other than gun control may be a ploy by some (not accusing Jim) to distract the narrative, but on the other hand I think Jim is absolutely correct that there are indeed other factors at play. We have had guns in this country all along, but this type of mass shooting is going up as shown in the Time/Mother Jones graphic.

    Larry questions the Crime Prevention Research Center and its conclusion that “areas with high gun ownership rates have lower murder rates.” I’m not going to take time to research CPRC, but that conclusion wouldn’t surprise me at all. I’m pretty sure rural areas have significantly higher gun ownership per capita than urban areas, and urban areas have higher murder rates per capita than rural area. You can do the math/logic. This is one of the reasons the NRA is so strong. The rural gun owners view guns as less of a problem from their local perspective.

    1. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
      Reed Fawell 3rd

      The apt term here for your comment is “bingo!” You have a knack.

      I would add that the other concurrent force at play here is the instinctual knowledge of wise people that the government ultimately will fail to protect them and their family, just as it fails to protect all of those kids (and others) in those urban neighborhoods ravaged by crime in 5% of our counties. I recall that fear vividly back in the late 1960s in DC. And it is a justifiable concern no matter where one lives and who ones neighbors are, all of us, each and every one of us is saddled with human nature, original sin that murders its kin and kind.

      Hence, packing heat is your last line of defense, and always will be. Particularly so in collapsing cultures and societies where chaos will ultimately reign if only for a time long enough to ravage those who cannot protect themselves. And of course, there is the need to protect oneself from lawless government itself, which possibility is always present, and that is a place that ours is increasingly headed based on all available evidence.

  10. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
    Reed Fawell 3rd

    According to a May 18, 2018 posting in AXIOS, the 10 deadliest shootings since Columbine in 1999, total 14o deaths. These include all deaths in mass school shooting where 5 or more deaths occurred in each event.

    Meanwhile murders in Chicago have totaled more than 700 per year in 29 of the last 60 years, and lower than 500 in only 19 of those years. Most recently those murders have spiked to record highs. This under Chicago’s current Major Rahm Emanuel, including over 760 killings in 2016 alone.

    Swings in Chicago murder rates within certain parameters are common now and they are often attributable to effective or incompetent government. This is clear from the article. Thus effective or incompetent activities apparently can affect local culture for better or far worst, depending on who is in charge. This can be discerned from a careful reading of recent reports.

    For an excellent new report on these trends and their causes, see 39,000 homicides: Retracing 60 years of murder in Chicago found at:

    Reading this Jan. 9, 2018 report by four reporters – Kyle Bentle, Jonathan Berlin, Ryan Marx, and Kori Rumore – at the Chicago Tribune, I ask myself two questions:

    In the face of all of this dysfunction, incompetence, and cultural collapse, why do our politicians and so called “thought leaders” spend the great majority of their time insisting that the culprit here is white racism?

    Another words:

    Why do these “leaders” smear certain segments of white society, and our current president, instead of recognizing and dealing effectively with the real problems underlying this crisis ongoing now for 60 years as highlighted in this very fine job of reporting done by the Chicago Tribune?

    It is reassuring to read this report insofar as it proves that there are at least a few reporters out there in America today who have intelligence, the ability to write well, know what they are talking about, and have integrity. And who are also given the time by their masters that is necessary to do decent work.

    1. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
      Reed Fawell 3rd

      To bring this discussion onto a more useful plain, we need to find common denominators behind the rise of school shootings (including mass killings) often said to be a white crime, and the recent acceleration of long term youth violence in our inner cities often said to be primarily black on black crime.

      Here I amend an statement made above. Some obstacles to our finding solutions here are being built into these ever more dangerous places in our nation by a variety of corruptions spreading throughout our society and its institutions.

      These corruptions include our loss of God, faith and purpose, our loss of any sense of virtue or morality, or of what constitutes right and wrong, or of our individual and collective responsibility to ourselves, and to one another. And also how instead of fixing real problems, we invent convenient illusions to avoid reality and to blame others, so as to gain private advantage for ourselves and our group or special interest.

      Thus, for example, we deploy identity politics to run amuck, tearing up machinery that is critically important to the nurturing, raising and educating strong and independent generations of all our youth who can effectively govern themselves, support one another, and carry us into a better future.

      Here’s an example, this quote taken from 2013 report:

      “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.”

      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.”

      This Quote from longer article titled “Sons of Divorce, School Shooter” was written by W. Bradford Wilcox, a senior fellow at the Institute for Family Studies and a Visiting Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.


      1. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
        Reed Fawell 3rd

        In stark contrast, here is an example of how America’s leaders deal with its problems that kill thousands of their citizens annually. Two days after the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting on Dec. 14 2012, Obama’s Sec. of Education Arne Duncan emailed Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who’d been Obama’s chief of staff, an e-mail titled ‘CT shootings’:

        What are your thoughts?’ asked Duncan.
        Five minutes later, Emanuel responded, ‘Go for a vote this week before it fades. Tap peoples emotion. Make it simple assault weapons.’
        Duncan responded immediately, ‘Yup- thanks.’
        Emanuel replied: ‘When I did brady bill and assault weapons for clinton we always made it simple. Criminals or war weapons.’
        ‘Gun show loophole?’ Duncan asked. ‘Database? Cop-killer bullets? Too complicated?’ he said.
        ‘Cop killer maybe,’ Emanuel responded. ‘The other no.’
        ‘Got it,’ Duncan concluded.

        This is our Federal government at work solving our nation’s most critical problems and their challenges. For more details on our dishonest and incompetent government see:

        “Emails: Obama Team Plotted to Exploit School Shooting While Victims Still Unburied written by Inez Feltscher Stepman in Federalists found at:

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