Guest Commentary / June 28, 2022

Fatherless Homes and Gun Violence

The destructive consequences of destroying the natural order are no different in the human community than in the elephant community.

By Richard McDonough

Roy Hobbs (Robert Redford): Is he with his father?


Iris Gaines (Glen Close): No. His father lives in New York. But, I’m thinking he needs his father; he’s at that age. He needs him.


Roy Hobbs: Sure. A father makes all the difference.

—"The Natural" (1984)

After the recent horrific mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, the Left immediately called for more gun control legislation. Many discussions in the media did not even discuss the reasons for the gun violence but instead just assumed that legislation to restrict people’s access to guns is the solution. Many did not even ask what there is about our society that leads so many young men to lash out with guns. After all, despite the fact that Americans have been well-armed for a long time, the number of school mass shootings only began to rise precipitously around 1999 with Columbine. What is responsible for the change?

The new phenomenon of school mass shootings correlates with the destruction of the family, resulting in the elimination of fathers in the home and the associated decline in the moral values of the young. The idea that fathers are essential to the moral development of children was undermined by the Marxist idea that the traditional family is a cruel patriarchy in which fathers oppress wives and children just like evil capitalists oppress workers. Consequently, in the name of inclusivity, the proliferation of fatherless families was celebrated on television shows from coast to coast. It does not appear to have occurred to any of these all-knowing social activists to ask what the long-term effects on American children might be.

William Raspberry of The Washington Post tells a relevant story. In the late ‘70s, rangers in South Africa’s Pilanesberg Game Park began to find great numbers of dead white rhinos. Their first thought was that the rhinos had been killed by poachers, but the rhino horns, prized by the poachers, were intact. Cameras were installed in the park to catch the killers, resulting in a shocking discovery. The rhinos were being killed by elephants. But why should the same elephants that had been there for years with no problem now be killing the rhinos? What was responsible for the change?

Raspberry reports that years earlier, Kruger National Park, another South African game park, had too many elephants. The decision was made that some of the excess would be shipped to other parks that had room for more elephants. Human beings who thought they knew more than they did thereby destroyed the natural order of things. The cameras had revealed that young bull elephants, teenage males that had been shipped to Pilanesberg, were chasing the park’s rhinos over great distances before finally stomping them to death. Furthermore, these violent bull elephants were being led by some particularly bad actors. One of them was a nasty young bull nicknamed Tom Thumb by the park rangers. The young, sexually active bulls, “suffering from an excess of testosterone,” had become exceedingly violent. Indeed, these sexually over-stimulated teenage male bulls had formed gangs led by the most violent bulls. The other males, the followers, imitated their violent leaders. Sound familiar?

Park rangers considered killing the young males. However, after much discussion, it was decided to reintroduce some of the bigger mature elephants to Pilanesberg in the hope that, with the natural hierarchy restored, the mature bulls would restrain the violent teenagers.

Not only did the mature bulls inhibit the violent behaviour of the teenage bulls, but something unexpected happened. The large bulls became the dominant sexual partners for the females, and this resulted in a drop in the testosterone levels in the young bulls and a corresponding reduction in their violent behaviour. In addition, after a few fights with the mature bulls, in which the teenage bulls learned some painful life lessons about their place in the hierarchy, the teenage bulls began following the older bulls around and imitating their more mature behaviour. The mature bulls reestablished the natural hierarchy, and the violent teenager gang leaders were replaced by mature males that taught the teenage bulls discipline and proper male behavior.

Unfortunately, the United States — influenced by Marxist teachers who, because of the theories they memorized in Sociology 101, think they know more than they do — has for several decades been engaged in a social experiment with our children. The Marxist view that the traditional family is an evil patriarchy in which fathers enslave mothers and children just as evil capitalists oppress workers has penetrated every level of our education system. As Karl Marx puts it in the Communist Manifesto:

The bourgeoisie has … reduced the family relation to a mere money relation. … Abolition of the family! … The bourgeois family will vanish as a matter of course … with the vanishing of capitalism.

Inspired by these Marxist theories, one is told that in order to be “tolerant” and “inclusive,” one must “reimagine” the family to eliminate the oppressive patriarch (the father). One must now celebrate families with unmarried parents. Women, without a male provider, often “marry the government,” which then commands their vote, while sexually over-stimulated males, unrestrained by the traditional family gender roles, cat around irresponsibly, perhaps in gangs showing off with guns, looking for victims to “stomp” and more females to impregnate, leading to even more fatherless, angry young males. The destructive consequences of destroying the natural order of fathers, mothers, and children are no different in the human community than in the elephant community.

Naturally, having created the problem of angry violent young males roaming around with guns by destroying the natural order of the traditional family, the Left wants to “solve” the problem with gun legislation that penalizes gun owners that have not done anything wrong. That is far easier than serious thinking. Unfortunately, it leaves us with gun-toting violent young males created by the Marxist destruction of the family.

The Marxist view of the oppressive patriarchy is transparently absurd and can only be believed by people afflicted with ideological blindness. Most people remember a very different kind of father — not the oppressive patriarch of Marxist propaganda, but a self-sacrificing father who grinds himself down to the bone providing for his family; a father who would take a bullet to protect his family; a father literally revered by his family; a father one can never forget. A father, a MAN, in the best sense, does make all the difference.

His life was gentle; and the elements
So mixed in him, that Nature might stand up
And say to all the world, THIS WAS A MAN!

—William Shakespeare, "Julius Caesar" (Scene V)

I dedicate this article to my father, Walter, who always worked himself to the bone to take care of everyone else.

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