What is the root cause of multiple-victim public shootings?

A family praying and reading the Bible
A family praying and reading the Bible

The New York Times is reporting that the shooter was fatherless:

Mr. Cruz had no criminal history before the shootings, according to state law enforcement records. But his childhood was certainly troubled.

He spent much of it in a subdivision called Pine Tree Estates, on a lush, narrow street dotted with tropical plants and the occasional driveway basketball hoop. Mr. Cruz and his brother, Zachary, had been adopted, and were raised largely by their mother, Lynda Cruz, especially after their father, Roger P. Cruz, died suddenly in 2004 at the age of 67. Ms. Cruz died in November, and people who knew Nikolas said he had taken the loss hard.

This doesn’t surprise me, because we’ve known for decades that fatherlessness is associated in higher rates of criminal behavior in boys.

Let’s take a closer look at some recent active shooters, and see if we can find out what they have in common. And then we can decide whether the people who complain the most about gun violence are willing to do anything about the root cause of gun violence.

Let’s start with this article from The Stream, which looks at 3 mass murderers:

Dylann Roof: The killer of nine people in a Charleston, South Carolina church grew up in painful circumstances. His parents divorced when he was small. His father divorced his first wife after a few years of marriage. And he reportedly was abusive of his second wife, Dylann’s step-mother.

According to the Associated Press, “Court documents and nearly two dozen interviews show Roof’s early childhood was troubled and confused as well, as he grew up in an unstable, broken home amid allegations of marital abuse and infidelity.”

Stephen Paddock: The man who slaughtered 58 concert-goers in Las Vegas was the son of a top criminal.

Paddock’s father was named Benjamin. He “was on the FBI’s Top Ten Most Wanted list in the 1970s for robbing banks and was described as psychopathic in an arrest warrant. According to the warrant, the suspect’s father carried a firearm and was considered ‘armed and dangerous.’”

Benjamin Paddock was arrested and put in prison. But “six months after his sentencing, he escaped and robbed a bank in San Francisco before being recaptured in Oregon.”

[…]Adam Lanza: The son of divorce, the Sandy Hook Elementary School killer struggled with mental health issues for years.

Lanza’s parents divorced in 2009 after 28 years of marriage. Adam, then 17, was experiencing severe mental and emotional illnesses.

Three case studies are fine, but is this the general rule among active shooters?

The Federalist takes a look:

As University of Virginia Professor Brad Wilcox pointed out back in 2013: “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.” His observation is largely ignored.

In contrast, conversations about black-on-black violence often raise the link between broken households (or fatherless homes) and juvenile delinquency. But when the conversation turns to mass shootings, we seem to forget that link altogether.

[…]On CNN’s list of the “27 Deadliest Mass Shootings In U.S. History,” seven of those shootings were committed by young (under 30) males since 2005. Of the seven, only one—Virginia Tech shooter Seung-Hui Cho (who had been mentally unstable since childhood)—was raised by his biological father throughout childhood.

So what are some of the factors that lead to young men who have mental illness, anger issues, etc.?


For one thing, young children’s brains don’t develop if they don’t have their mothers at home for the first 2 years at least, and the study I linked to said 3 years. Mothers are essential, during this time, for developing the parts of the brain that allow empathy and self-control. Unfortunately, keeping the mom home during the crucial early years is rare, because feminism requires that she work in order to be like a man.

No-fault divorce

I also recently blogged about how easy it is to initiate divorce just because you are unhappy. Well, when parents divorce for no good reason, (after having chosen a spouse poorly), that has a very bad effect on the children. Although the divorce rate is dropping, that’s because fewer people are marrying – they’re cohabitating instead. The alternative to marriage, cohabitation, is far more unstable than marriage. Either way, children lose out from the decreased stability of their parent’s union. The notion of lifelong commitment regardless of happiness is gone. Now we treat relationships as entertainment instead of enterprise.

So what should we do?

Well, to fix the daycare, we could give tax breaks to promote stay at home mothers. In the two countries where that was tried (UK and Canada), it was opposed by the political left. The UK wanted to give tax breaks ONLY to working mothers, not to stay at home mothers. And Canada did not want to extend income splitting to cover stay at home moms. Why not? Because when women work, the state gets more money, and the children adopt the values of the state in the government-run public schools. So, there is a solution to daycare’s bad influence on children, but the left opposes it.

And, to fix no-fault divorce, we could repeal no-fault divorce laws. Unfortunately no-fault divorce laws are strongly supported by powerful left-wing groups: trial lawyers and radical feminists. But they are also supported by women who don’t want to think too hard about who they are “in love” with. I was once told by a divorced mother of four whose husband cheated on her that she would never dream of marrying without no-fault divorce. Another childless divorced woman whose ex-husband cheated on her (she suspects) told me that it is impossible to tell whether a man is faithful or not through courtship and interviews. So long as women see marriage as something to be entered into on feelings, and exited lightly, children will be raised fatherless. It doesn’t help that we are subsidizing single motherhood with welfare and divorce courts that typically reward the the partner who initiates divorce (usually the woman). We could repeal no-fault divorce and single mother welfare, but again, the left opposes both of these things.

Leftist policies create the gun violence problem

As I’ve discussed before, the common denominator in all violent crime is that the violent criminal is male, and grew up without a father. The left pretends to be concerned with this, but they are not willing to address the root causes of the problem. They want more daycare, and they want it taxpayer-funded. They want universal pre-K, and they want it taxpayer-funded. They want to keep no-fault divorce, because it’s just too much work for women to make wise choices in how they make sexual choices and who they marry. And they want more and more welfare for single mothers, because women who have babies before they have husbands should be rewarded by taxpayers who made better decisions. People on the left want to subsidize fatherlessness, in short. And whatever you subsidize, you get more of.

Fatherlessness is the root cause of crime and mass murders, and the left doesn’t care about solving the real problem. It’s ironic that the left looks to government to solve the problem that government has actually created, by destroying marriage and the family unit.

6 thoughts on “What is the root cause of multiple-victim public shootings?”

  1. they kick God and prayer out of school, then as soon as tragedy strikes, they all say, let’s pray and then they talk about God- its all over our news here. Pray? to who? whats tha?
    We’re not allowed to pray….. but, oh a tragedy, then I guess we can pray. ugh so fake !

    As soon as it all dies down, God will be forgotten and tossed aside again. I live locally to where the Parkland tragedy happened, I am no doubt saddened. It has affected many people, students, friends throughout the county- including my own children and their friends at different schools who knew students there and those shot and killed.
    But we are godless, we don’t allow our children to be taught prayer, 10 commandments (but they have to memorize the 5 pillars of islam!) and from kindergarten, my children were told by their teacher not to say the word God (and now I homeschool) but suddenly God is convenient when we need Him, like a prescription.
    And everyone knew the shooter was troubled boy! The police knew, the locals knew, the school and the teachers knew. There’s no hope for him. And now what? Put in in on of our ‘criminal schools’ aka prison.
    My prayer is for comfort, healing and peace over all affected and that this tragedy would turn people back to seeking the Lord.


  2. (Amusing aside, I saw a liberal/progressive attempt at the summary of the GOP position about families and kids as: stay in school, go to college, get married, THEN have kids.)

    Being a dad with multiple relatively young kids, I have to say, I really appreciate my mother’s sacrifice. She graduated at the top of her class (Queen’s Silver Medalist in her day in the UK, equivalent of valedictorian) and did not choose to become a physician because of the implied schedule and life. Instead, she became a registered nurse. She often worked two night shifts (7:30pm-7:30am) in an 8 day rotation in order to be with us. There was a period in my late pre-teens when my dad became unemployed (it was during a significant recession) and my mother worked full-time for a couple of years and my dad became a contractor/handyman and did as much as he could. They certainly modeled hard work and being cautious with money.

    There are certainly parts of the country where it is very difficult to get by on one income, especially with kids (even if you scale back and don’t keep up with the Joneses and don’t do much luxury stuff). Plus I think some of it also depends on the mother/wife/woman: my wife has a doctorate in her field and also likes to keep up adult interactions and being able to help people, so after my oldest was 3, my wife went back to working an average of two days a week.

    [One piece of caution: when I was dating, I met quite a few Christian women who said they wanted to be stay-at home moms and it is worth probing a bit. Through discernment, some of them were lazy and wanted to attach themselves to rich husbands and not have to work. I’m not saying all of them were like that — I’m just saying be discerning. It’s a failure of understanding the place and dignity of work. I liked Ed Young’s message on work from ~10 years ago — that work includes chores at home and house maintenance and things like going to the hardware store or going to the dry cleaner’s (if applicable.) And that God calls everyone to work; it mirrors Him. And that work will at times be difficult or challenging, but that’s promised to us in Genesis 3.]

    In any case, yes, bonding between mother and kids is very important, but also the role of the father. To address the former, it is very difficult on the mother if she made a bad mistake (i.e., she got pregnant [out of wedlock] without the commitment on the father’s part). It’s the right choice to carry the baby to term but her life will be more challenging, and it will be hard to escape from that — she’ll have to work for herself and for her baby/child, and so on.

    It isn’t to say that this is impossible: there was a lady who made a bad choice and got pregnant as a freshman at MIT. She decided to carry her baby to term, fully knowing her life would be difficult and challenging. She took some time off, and when she returned to MIT, her Bible study, consisting of all MIT women undergrads, decided to share the burden of babysitting for her so she could go to class and to review sessions and so on. The lady shared how each of these women understood what it was like to be ostracized in high school for being smart (read: nerdy) and that God used that experience to motivate the women to make sure this lady didn’t experience being an outcast in their midst.

    I don’t know any of these women in the Bible study, but I admire their example.

    On the topic of fatherlessness: in Boston, I have heard several African-American pastors speak on the topic of gangs and gang violence and how there is often a vicious cycle — the gang leaders and members become surrogate father-figures and brother-figures (or may threaten certain boys into joining). Unfortunately, not positive role models — the boys/men are often incarcerated for their crimes and may even father their own children — continuing the cycle.

    (The same African-American clergy have emphasized that they need to be strong role models of good fathers [and mothers] and committed to their families and so on. As well, the African-American clergy represent a different kind of authority — different from law enforcement — that is very valuable. The African-American pastors filled in where the Boston police weren’t able to do their duty or where the Boston police were too afraid to perform their duty. These pastors walked the streets and let it be known that they would not tolerate any gang activity or crime in their houses of worship. They worked in conjunction with law enforcement.)

    You can find it here: https://www.nationalgangcenter.gov/spt/Programs/43

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Having just come from that area, and as an elder on a church with a black pastor, I can also say these guys have a real fear of alienating their base – black single (usually older) women and single mothers. They may emphasize a male role model out in their communities, which is laudable. But they’ll never preach that from their pulpits. Visit any black church in America on Father’s Day. The message is men need to get their sh*t together. Compare that to their message on Mom a month earlier, where she is lifted up as a saint. Until this fundamental blind spot changes, nothing else will.


  3. When there’s a DUI, we blame the driver. When there’s a bombing, we blame the terrorist. But when there’s a shooting we blame the GUN???


  4. It’s sad. Bullying was around since school was, but how many shooters were there in our grandparent’s or our parent’s times? and the media makes it worse by passing it off as mental instabilities, crazy people have also been around, but not like these mass shooters! I think it’s a society of entitlement and troubled boys with no parental guidance and who have seen it on the news and want to be copycats like a stupid teenage fad! Disgusting how far our society has fallen, especially in the years where liberalism has become mainstream! I’m sure there’s a correlation there!


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