Why don’t we want to talk about the link between gun violence and fatherlessness?  

There is hope and there are answers … but we can’t get to the solutions until we are honest about the situation.  

This subject came up the other day. We were talking about the alleged changes to concealed carry laws, then we moved on, offering possible reasons for gun violence, one of which is fatherlessness.  

That’s when I learned that, according to some – and I hope by now in our culture, it’s a minimal number of people – you must be an expert to talk about specific issues, which is a dangerous distraction from the fact that broken people do horrifically broken things. Consider the following facts from America First Policy Institute

  • Individuals from father-absent homes are 279% more likely to carry guns and deal drugs than their peers.

  • Most adolescents who enter the justice system have suffered from parental abandonment, substance abuse, or a dysfunctional household.

  • In a study of 75 juvenile delinquents, 66% experienced fatherlessness, 20% had never lived with their father, and 25% had an alcoholic father.

  • It has been reported that fatherless children are anywhere from 3 to 20 times more likely to be incarcerated than children raised in dual-parent households.

Put those facts aside for a moment. Instead, ask yourself, when did that Marxist mindset – that one that subscribes to the idea that in order to speak to a subject, you must be an expert – creep in?  

To be sure, that mind virus has crept into all areas of society.  

But today, when we’re talking about the daily pop, pop, pop of gunfire in Montgomery and, too often, the shedding of innocent blood, shouldn’t the ability to speak freely matter now more than ever? Primarily where kids are concerned?  

I think so.  

Because whether we like it or not, the issue remains: violence and fatherlessness are connected.  

And so even if Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed, when addressing a weekend of gun violence – where one woman was paralyzed and others shot and wounded – means well, offering ideas like those below, it still means more of the same:  

The adoption of effective intervention strategies will not only save lives but also produce massive savings that can be applied to other city needs, such as more accessible and affordable childcare options, more and better community centers and libraries, before- and after-school activities, not to mention more investments in affordable housing, workforce housing, infrastructure needs, police, fire, wraparound services, etc. 

Reed’s statements remind me of President Lyndon Baines Johnson's (LBJ) not-so-great society programs.  

Remember that president? The one who decided he’d like to play the role of both god and father?  

If so, you know that it was LBJ who rewarded single mothers, turning the fabric of our nation on its head.  

And we’re still wading through the swamp of his insidious ideas, according to the following quote from a Fox News article: 

Our Nation is home to approximately 24 million fatherless children or about 1 in 3 of all American children. Approximately 80% of these homes are led by single mothers, and the rate of children living in single-parent households is the highest of any country in the world. Our Nation’s fatherlessness epidemic has particularly ravaged the Black community. Nearly 70% of all Black babies in America today are born to unmarried mothers, and 64% of all Black children grow up in a single-parent home.  

And so, is there an answer that can break the link between fatherlessness and violence?   

Yes. It’s a radically simple one for all of us.  

It’s marriage – that God-ordained and carefully designed fortification that has protected, supported and provided for women and children since time began. 

“Cities are safer when two-parent families are dominant and more crime-ridden when family instability is common,” the Wall Street Journal reports

Nationwide, the total crime rate is about 48% higher in cities ‘that have above the median share of single-parent families, compared to cities that have fewer single-parent families.’ Even when controlling for variables such as race, income, and educational attainment, ‘the association between family structure and total crime rates, as well as violent crime rates, in cities across the United States remains statistically significant.'

That is the hope – not another program, but an honest encouragement from our communities, pulpits, and yes, from the halls of government to return and reward what’s worked for thousands of years.  

Do we want the gunfire and bloodshed to stop? Do we want to be safe once again in our cities and hamlets? Do we want our kids to flourish? 

Then start with that God-created institution.  

Start with marriage. 

Amie Beth Shaver co-hosts Alabama Unfiltered Radio show daily from 9-12 a.m. on News Talk 93.1 fm WAVC, and 92.5, WXJC. Her column appears every other Saturday at 1819 News. To book Amie Beth for media or speaking engagement's, email amiebeth.shaver@1819News.com.

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to Commentary@1819News.com.

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