love & security or leadership & authority?

There is a crisis in our country and it’s really not about guns, it’s about leadership, role models, and authority. It often does begin with boys in fatherless homes, deprived of any masculine leadership. (Insanitybytes)

Insanitybytes isn’t alone in this belief, it seems to be quite a common theme in the USA. Yet there’s something about the claims made here that simply don’t ring true.

its not really about guns

When people are being killed at the rate they are in the USA, it’s about the weapon that kills them so easily. And that weapon is the gun. You might have another type of crisis with stricter gun control and unarmed police in place, but it wouldn’t involve regular mass killings, and murders by members of your police force.

It really, really, is about guns. So, I propose an experiment for the good citizens of the USA. Why don’t they do a 10 year experiment where they submit to normal levels of gun control that one sees in countries with significantly lower murder rates? After the 10 year experiment period, the people can evaluate whether the resulting drop in murder rate is something they might appreciate.

it’s really about absent fathers

Studies in the USA have shown that people raised in households without a father present are more likely to be criminals. But it’s that old chestnut: does correlation equal causation? It appears not, as a similar study in the UK has demonstrated that:

female-headed families were found to be similar to the traditional families on a range of measures of quality of parenting and young adults’ psychological adjustment. Where differences were identified between family types, these pointed to more positive family relationships and greater psychological wellbeing among young adults raised in female-headed homes. (oxfordjournals)

Because, believe it or not, decent role models for male children aren’t restricted to adult males. Children flourish when they are raised in secure, loving environments – regardless of the gender of the caregivers. The tendency to misattribute a lack of assumed gender stereotypes to poor outcomes for a child is wildly speculative at the least, but more probably agenda driven. Who by? Wayward Christians and their obsession with ‘traditional family values’ that have actually never existed.

Insanitybytes may well be right about something in her wayward musing above. Maybe there is a crisis in her country that’s affecting families and young people. Maybe it’s a crisis that relates to unplanned parenthood and a lack of financial security and opportunities. And the irony of that is that Christians like Insanitybytes regularly campaign to increase both these problems – by attacking valuable public resources that make family planning accessible, and by attacking the welfare security net that can help families facing tough times.