Why write about the Las Vegas massacre for a farm audience? Two reasons: One is the resurrection of gun control legislation by Democratic congressional leaders that could impact rural America.
The other is a message to farm dads. Your children are the most important “crop” you’ll ever have to raise. Do it wisely, lovingly and responsibly, and never desert your parental mission.
I hit on this politically incorrect topic in 2012 in the wake of the Sandy Hook school massacre. So what does this have to do with being a farm dad? Well, read on.
The ‘fatherless factor'
Law enforcement authorities say they’re mystified as to what set off Stephen Paddock’s rampage in Las Vegas. But they’re not.
Paddock shared a common thread with other mass murderers and serial killers — lack of an exemplary father figure. You won’t hear much about this from politically correct national news media. Yet, the evidence is plentiful. As Harvard University sociologist Robert Sampson put it: “Family structure is one of the strongest, if not the strongest, predictors of variations of violence across cities in the United States.”
The Las Vegas shooter grew up without a father at home. His father, also an alleged psychopath, was running from the law or in prison. Many of these killers came from dysfunctional homes.
Growing up has always been tough, particularly so in families without a good male role model. I know a bit about this from my extended family’s situation and a good friend.
Children who feel abandoned by their fathers can harbor deep resentment that may surface many ways. Of course, it doesn’t happen to everyone. My friend was fortunate to have a strong mother, and he worked out his teen years’ testosterone-fed anger via sports. Even so, decades later, he still angers at any prospect of contact with his father.
But mix the fatherless factor, personality disorders, use of antidepressants or other mind-altering drugs with growing social isolation, and you have a flammable stack of lethal traits. They exploded at Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma City and other sites.
Speaking of senseless
You probably saw the TV news bytes of congressmen deploring the violence and once again calling for tougher gun control legislation — as if that’ll stop crazies and others from illegally possessing weapons of mass destruction. New York’s Sen. Charles Schumer was one of the first to grab the Senate podium and file his video and sound bites — recorded specifically for the media. “What Congress can do, what Congress must do, is pass laws to keep our citizens safe,” he said. “And that starts with guns, especially laws that help prevent guns — especially the most dangerous guns — from falling into the wrong hands.”
We already have laws and background checking to do that, Senator. To further define who can’t purchase guns invites a dangerous invasion of the Second Amendment: to keep and bear arms. We also know how effective the ban on gun sales in Chicago is — it isn’t. With no gun stores in Chicago, the bad guys still get illegal guns from someplace else to kill people on the streets.
Ban the bump?
Yes, one legislative proposal does make sense. Sen. Schumer and 24 other Democratic cosponsors introduced the Automatic Gun Fire Prevention Act. The National Rifle Association actually supports the idea.
In brief, that bill would ban the sale, transfer, importation, manufacture and possession of bump stocks, trigger cranks and similar accessories that accelerate a semi-automatic’s rate of fire. Legitimate accessories used by hunters would be exempt.
Beware: Liberals wanting a more extensive ban could trip up this simple intention with amendments. Nothing’s simple in D.C.
The real solution is ...
No law or regulation will control rage and mass murder — never has. When anger trips into rage, bad things happen. That’s human nature at its worst.
They don’t have to be radicalized Muslims. One criminologist noted that tens of thousands of Americans, even those who write awful things on Facebook and Twitter, have these problems.
The only way to control them is to change human nature. Only our Creator can do that. Some of you will be uncomfortable, even angry, with this statement. But I see it often; it’s powerful, positive and permanent. We must stop being afraid to talk about it, for fear of being labeled politically incorrect by the intolerant.
Remember: It’s the “mental trigger” that pulls the trigger finger; it’s not the gun.
Check out the 2012 editorial, "Raise gun controls or the spirit within us?"