Nonsequitur: A “Fatherless Culture”?

February 8, 2013

Larry Elder has a short but important piece posted on Real Clear Politics.  Elder argues that we cannot deal with gun violence in this country without acknowledging the part that broken families play in the tragedy.  The vast majority of victims and perpetrators of gun violence are minority youth.  Why?  Elder suggests that these young people lack strong fathers to teach and show them self-control, delayed gratification, and basic concepts of right and wrong.

Elder points out that “… 72 percent of black children are now born out of wedlock. In fact, 36 percent of white children are born out of wedlock. Of Hispanic children, 53 percent are born outside of marriage.”  The author cites numeous studies that show the effects of growing up without a responsible father:  high school drop out and teen pregnancy rates increase,  drug and alcohol abuse increase, gang membership increases.  Children, boys and girls, need a strong, caring father to teach them how to be successful in this world.

Of course, we cannot regulate fatherhood.  It must be an individual decision made by men to honor, protect and teach their children.  Elder’s article is a challenge to fathers to be what they should be and for society to recognize that good work.

(For a further discussion of gun violence and regulation, see this post.)

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