COLUMN: Agar – The answer is with more fathers, not less bullets

- June 19th, 2012

Ban bullets? No. Find fathers? Ye

by Jerry Agar

We don’t need to ban bullets. We need to find fathers, champion them, and encourage — demand — they step up and be fathers.

Rather than promote populist anti-gun policies, which is the easy thing to do but the least likely to produce a positive result, let’s get back to promoting family. Fathers matter.

When violence occurs, some are quick to blame poverty and lack of employment and opportunity.

But lack of money and employment are symptoms of a disease; lack of fathers.

Guns are also blamed and gun control advocated, but guns are just a tool used by a violent individual.

By the time a young man — disproportionately, it is young men — lets the bullets fly, he has been on the wrong path for some time.

Some of the toughest gun control cities in the U.S. have the most violent crime. The reason is obvious. The gun isn’t the actual problem.

The National Fatherhood Initiative in the United States reports that, according to census figures, “Children in father-absent homes are five times more likely to be poor. In 2002, 7.8% of children in married-couple families were living in poverty, compared to 38.4% of children in female-householder families.”

Meanwhile, there is a correlation between the lack of a father and a life that leads to prison.

According to “Father Absence and Youth Incarceration,” in the Journal of Research on Adolescence, “Even after controlling for income, youths in father-absent households still had significantly higher odds of incarceration than those in mother-father families. Youths who never had a father in the household experienced the highest odds.”

A review of the 2010 Emmy-nominated film, Crips and Bloods: Made in America, which shines a spotlight on the gang problem in South Central Los Angeles, reads, “the one theme that each of the experts, gang members and leaders keep repeating is fatherlessness. Fatherless boys are the ones joining gangs. Fatherless boys are the ones who are shooting each other by the thousands. Fatherless boys who are looking for family.”

In November 2011 Hugh Segal, Conservative senator for Kingston-Frontenac-Leeds wrote, “Less than 10% of Canadians live beneath the poverty line but almost 100% of our prison inmates come from that 10%. There is no political ideology, on the right or left, that would make the case that people living in poverty belong in jail.”

No, but there exists a political ideology that refuses to correlate immoral personal behaviour with poverty and violence in the community. That ideology blames anything else.

If we know people in prison are poor and fatherless, and that poor people are also statistically much more likely to be fatherless, we should do what?

Ban guns and bullets? Advocate for more government income transfers to poor people?

We could do that if, for some reason, we don’t want to aggressively advocate against teen motherhood and the irresponsible fathering (but not raising) of children.

Too many people shy away from that, afraid it sounds moralistic.

The cycle of young men fathering children with young women, who have yet to finish high school, consigns children to a cycle of poverty and violence. How is that not immoral?

Politicians are always looking for a magic bullet solution to crime. His name is “Dad.”

— Agar is the 9 a.m. to noon host on Newstalk 1010

Categories: Politics

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6 comments

  1. Stephen Smith says:

    This says a lot about the problem and nothing about the solution and saying that we need to promote fathers but not specifing how is not a solution. Column’s like this state the obvious ad naseum, we’ve been there got the message now its solution time. You need to change an entire culture from the male perspective, ideas anyone?

  2. Bill Elder says:

    The Answer is to elect responsible politicians who do not betray their duty to uphld and enforce the law – instead of subscribing to some weal minded self destructive ideology which impedes enforcing the law and subsequently endangers the public.

    We have a law against owning smuggled guns, we have an even bigger law against killing people with them – obviously the penalties prescribed by the law is not sufficient to make criminals change their mind about breaking it.

    The law is certainly broken, by thugs certainly, but also by politicians, bureaucrats and the judiciary who have weakened it to the point it is so easy to break.

    Reinstate capital punishment, and real life sentances.

  3. Bill Elder says:

    The Answer is to elect responsible politicians who do not betray their duty to uphold and enforce the law – instead of subscribing to some weak minded self destructive ideology which impedes enforcing the law and subsequently endangers the public.

    We have a law against owning smuggled guns, we have an even bigger law against killing people with them – obviously the penalties prescribed by the law is not sufficient to make criminals change their mind about breaking it.

    The law is certainly broken, by thugs certainly, but also by politicians, bureaucrats and the judiciary who have weakened it to the point it is so easy to break.

    Reinstate capital punishment, and real life sentances.

  4. Steve Boissoin says:

    Sure good stuff BUT why not encourage that sex isn’t entertainment? That is the bigger issue. The positive effects of encouraging ‘fatherhood’ will be marginal when we have a culture that uses sex as a form of entertainment. When a man gets a woman pregnant who he is not in love with, he is sure not drawn to the responsibilities of fatherhood and no guilt trip will get him there. The problem is societal at large. We can’t pick one value and purport it as the biggest problem or fix without taking the big picture into consideration.

  5. David Mueller says:

    To add to this I would say more importantly “PARENTS”, Mothers and Fathers alike need to quit being their childs best friend and start being their parents!

  6. Gerry says:

    Some of what you say is true but there are lots of cases where a person is raised by a mother and a father in a good home environment but for some reason they still turn out bad.

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