The Roots of Violence Can’t Be Addressed By New Gun Controls
Pick up a newspaper in any major city in America and I guarantee that you will read about a recent rash of shootings or some other acts of violence. Tragically, this same scenario is now being played out in suburbs and small towns across America.
Yes, murders and other violent crimes are extremely troubling. However, they are also somewhat preventable.
Unfortunately, the cure won’t come easily or immediately. There simply isn’t a short-term fix for a problem that has been brewing for the past several generations.
I speak of the breakdown of the American family. Specifically, out-of-wedlock births.
Study after study shows that the best possible environment for raising a child is a stable, intact two-parent household. And by two parents I mean one father and one mother.
Similar studies also show that the number one predictor of life-long poverty is out-of-wedlock birth.
Tragically, more than 70% of African American births are currently out-of-wedlock. The statistics for Latinos (53.4%) and Whites (29%) are substantially lower, but climbing dramatically.
So who is to blame? The media? Hollywood?
Specifically, men who refuse to act like real men.
I have seen them first-hand for the past 26 years, ministering in prisons across the U.S. and Canada. Lacking a positive male role model themselves, they repeat and perpetuate the same vicious cycle by fathering children of their own outside of marriage.
In other words, without making any commitment whatsoever to their child or their child’s mother, they contribute to and even exacerbate the problem.
And so, the child winds up being raised by a single mom or a grandparent – and in many cases, subsidized by the state and federal governments. If that child is a boy, chances are he will grow up to father an out-of-wedlock child of his own. If that child is a girl, statistics show that she is at a much higher risk of becoming pregnant at a very young age while she is still single.
Simply put, young men who grow up without a dad in the home are far more likely to do poorly in school, join a gang, commit a crime and yes, father a child out-of-wedlock.
Years ago, my sister gave our father a plaque which still hangs next to his bathroom mirror, 11 years after his passing. It simply reads – “Anyone can be a father; but it takes someone special to be a dad.”
Until men start being dads and not just fathers, the current situation will continue to get worse.
So what will it take for men to realize that fathering a child outside of marriage isn’t cool or even acceptable? On the contrary, getting a girl pregnant and then abandoning her is one of the least cool things a guy can do.
Until men start to grow up, women are going to have to do some of the growing up for them. That means refusing to become intimate with a man before he places a ring on your finger and walks you down the aisle.
Sound old fashioned? Perhaps. But you know what? It works. In fact, it has worked for centuries.
How about we give it another try?