by Kerby Anderson
Do we see a pattern in these school shootings? Emilie Kao recently wrote about “The Crisis of Fatherless Shooters.” She says there is a sobering theme found in the biographies of school shooters: fatherlessness.
“Of the 25 most-cited school shooters since Columbine, 75 percent were reared in broken homes. Psychologist Dr. Peter Langman, a pre-eminent expert on school shooters, found that most came from incredibly broken homes of not just divorce and separation, but also infidelity, substance abuse, criminal behavior, domestic violence, and child abuse.”
She also cites two criminologists that found that the absence of fathers was one of the “most powerful predictors of crimes.” Fathers are role models for their sons. They help maintain authority and discipline and help sons develop self-control and empathy toward others. Dr. Warren Farrell, author of The Boy Crisis, says a boy’s identity is comprised of half his dad and half his mom. If his dad abandons him, he fears he is not worthy.
Of course, there are also other factors. J. Warner Wallace describes some of the changes in our culture in the last few decades that are having an impact. For example, there has been an increase in social media use. In a recent survey, teenagers reported that they often feel bad about themselves when viewing social media. Many report being bullied online. He also points to an increased dependency on prescription medicine. While there is certainly a benefit to medicine to treat many mental issues, he also points to the fact that “many of the school shooters were using (or had recently stopped using) prescription drugs.”
He also points to the decrease in traditional Christian values. This shift in our moral foundation is no doubt another important factor. That is why we should pay attention to the cultural shift taking place around us that is influencing the next generation.