The Root of America's "Gun Problem:" What the Left Has Wrought

In this photo taken March 15, 2017, AR-15 style rifles made by Battle Rifle Co., a gunmaker in Webster, Texas, are on display in its retail shop. The gunmaker is one of more than 10,000 currently in the United States. President Donald Trump promised to revive manufacturing in the U.S., but one sector is poised to shrink under his watch: the gun industry. Fears of limits on guns led to a surge in demand during President Barack Obama’s tenure and manufacturers leapt to keep up. (AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane)

I am not old enough to remember nuclear attack drills in school where children had to hide under desks.  I do not remember anyone in my area ever building a bunker in their backyards in case of a nuclear attack.  I do remember seeing the yellow sign on my grade schools denoting the building was a fallout shelter, but I never really questioned it.

I bring this up because of a recent conversation I had with a very good friend who is a bleeding heart liberal in every sense of the phrase regarding guns in the wake of the El Paso and Dayton shootings.  Perhaps the only thing we agreed upon was that these acts are horrific.  No amount of statistical evidence is going to change this person’s mind regarding gun control.  They live in the Utopian bubble believing that eliminating firearms altogether is the solution as if there are no criminals out there.  When I asked how people were supposed to defend themselves and their homes, this person said, “I guess the way we used to” ignorant of the fact the “way we used to” involved having a gun in the home.

It became quite obvious that when talking about gun control, liberals are two things: emotional and ignorant.  For example, one would be surprised (or not) to know that they actually believe the AR in AR-15 means “assault rifle.”  Someone, when I asked them to define an assault rifle, said, “It is right there in the name.”  When corrected, they immediately went to Google on their phone to double-check my fact.

Getting back to my liberal friend and her emotional argument, she is a teacher at the same school where I work.  She said she is tired of having to worry when her children go to school or soccer practice and what she should or would do if there was an actual shooter in the school.  This writer has been through several such drills in school over the years- fire drills, active shooter, shelter-in-place, lockdown, etc.  I suppose it is the same thing schoolchildren endured in the 1950s and 1960s with nuclear attack drills.  And I am sure the worries of parents today regarding school shootings is similar to a parent’s concerns over a nuclear attack in days gone by.

Although there have been some horrific school shootings recently- Columbine, Parkland, and Sandy Hook readily come to mind- they are less likely than being struck by lightning.  Of course, they did happen unlike a nuclear attack in the past, but better security precautions and vigilance have made them a rarity (I am not referring to shootings on college campuses which are more open and less secure).

Regardless, liberals generally do not like to talk about the underlying societal problems that breed the background for heinous acts using firearms.  Although the popular assertion that “26 of 27 mass shooters come from fatherless homes” has been somewhat debunked of late, there can be no denying that the breakdown of the traditional American family probably plays some role in the phenomena.  Harvard sociologist Robert Sampson noted: “Family structure is one of the strongest, if not the strongest,  predictors of variations in urban violence across cities in the United States.”  Hence, it is not necessarily the “fatherlessness” that predicts a future mass shooter, but the quality of fatherhood and the family structure.  Although data is usually difficult to come by, it is very likely that a negative family dynamic, which may or may not include a father, lays the seeds for rage, hopelessness, and nihilism that defines these shooters.

The second societal factor is religion.  According to Gallup polling, in 1960 about 49% of American households had a firearm.  Today, that number stands at about 43% meaning fewer homes have firearms, although there are more firearms today in the hands of fewer households.  Over that same time period, the number of people who belong to some organized religion has also decreased.  As recently as 1992, according to Gallup, 70% of Americans belonged to a church or synagogue.  Today, that percentage stands at 50%.  At one time, religion was the backbone in this country as a source of moral guidance and chief among those morals were a key Commandment: “Thou shalt not kill.”  Most, if not all, of these mass shooters, have no respect for human life, let alone their own life (which is probably why so many also get killed).  Religion is the antithesis of the nihilism so apparent in these people.  After all, was it not Nietzsche- the great nihilist- who famously declared “God is dead?”  Again, it is hard to come by any data, but one can almost rest assured that in the lives of these shooters, religion played a negligible or no role in their upbringing.

The Left is fond of making fun of clean-cut kids who attend a Christian camp, school, or civic organization.  Heaven forbid they wear a button-down shirt and speak clear English.  However, you will not see too many of those “corny” Christian kids shooting up schools, parking lots, churches, nightclubs, or any other public place.  They are not the ones shooting at each other and killing innocent bystanders on the streets of DC, Chicago, or Baltimore.  Of course, we cannot force anyone into religion and convincing them to do so will fall on deaf ears.  But, the one thing we can, as a society do, is stop denigrating religion and forcing it out of the public sphere and behind closed church doors on Sunday.

The third and final societal problem is social media.  It is a force multiplier for a relatively rare act and it does not help the situation when politicians readily run to the microphones and use these actions for political gain.  Mass shootings are a financial bonanza for liberal politicians.  It is also a means for the shooter to share their demented worldview with the press of a button.  Is the solution censoring killers so that their “manifestos” never see the light of day?  That is highly unlikely in today’s digital age.

Mass shootings are a symptom of a larger societal problem in America.  When the country was more religious and the traditional family was the norm, such actions were extremely rare.  Because society has been so degraded thanks to the Left and their systematic dismantling of that society by its disregard of human life through the pro-choice movement, gay marriage, acceptance of the LGBTQ and feminist agendas and banishing religion from the public sphere, the Left has not created their alleged Utopia, but created a subpopulation of nihilistic young males.  Until these trends are reversed, these people will continue to perpetrate heinous acts of violence on innocent people.  Banning certain types of guns, strengthening background checks, bump stock bans, limiting magazine size, and red flag laws will do nothing to cease senseless violence.

There will be another mass shooting and fingers will point and we will hear cries that something has to be done.  It is an inevitability in a society that has turned its back on the family and on the importance of religion as a moral code.