Thursday, January 03, 2013

Weren't Klebold and Harris Both From Intact Families?

While there's something some worthwhile points in this article, one of those points is not a connection between so-called absentee fathers and mass murderers.  The problem in Sandy Hook was not a missing dad but a wackadoo son:
It's hard to read such an account without feeling great sadness for someone like Nancy Lanza—a single mother with a deeply disturbed male adolescent on her hands and no man in the house to turn to for help or advice. Those who knew her said that she was at her wit’s end and thought she could no longer care for her son by herself. In a saner age, when people understood the palpable harms of “broken homes” and “fatherless boys” (the terms themselves have become quaint if not archaic), the “family structure issue” would have guided reflection on the Lanza killings. But now, since any such discussion of divorce’s harms, especially the harm of not having a father present in the home, would step on too many toes, we focus instead on the safer territory of gun control and our mental health system.

A preview of the current non-discussion was provided almost fifty years ago when Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote his famous report The Negro Family: The Case for National Action. As Moynihan learned, however important the “family structure issue” may be to an understanding of an acute social problem, for many it strikes a raw nerve, the pain of which shuts down all serious discussion. A preoccupation with "racism" and "de-industrialization" were the equivalents in Moynihan's day of guns and the mental health system today, as topics to raise to avoid the salient but hypersensitive issue of family breakdown.
At this rate I may need to create a "firearms" label for posts.

1 comment:

mmazenko said...

Plenty of "absentee fathers" live in the house with their families.