In the ongoing debate over the causes of gun violence many contributing factors have been cited, including mental illness, availability of assault weapons and violent imagery in movies and video games. In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting tragedy, however, I have yet to see leading politicians of either party cite absent fathers as one of the contributors to gun violence.
President Obama also failed to make this link in his State of the Union address last week, yet teens and young adults are more likely than persons of other ages to be murdered with a gun, according to National Institute of Justice statistics. Moreover, this group is affected greatly by absent fathers.
While no quick fixes or congressional action can replace an absent father, one can argue that if more adult male role models participated in youngsters’ lives, the influence of gangs would diminish, as would gun violence.