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Angry Boys with Guns

The devil went down to Uvalde, Texas. He entered the heart of an angry boy, inspiring him to go kill little children. A boy old enough to be drafted, old enough to know better, purchased two guns and went on a murderous rampage. Why does such carnage keep happening? What’s behind the senseless shootings in America’s schools? How did eighteen-year-old Salvador Ramos, a young man, come to have so much rage bottled up inside him?

There is a reason it happened. If you knew this kid’s family story, you’d see that this event was predictable. Sadly, there will be more school shootings in America. I’m sorry to report this, but there’s no quick fix for the problem. The government will never solve it. I’ll explain why.

A few religious leaders may say, “The government took God out of our schools. What else can you expect?” There’s some truth to that. The government took prayer and Bible reading out of the classrooms yet expects kids to be happy and behave in a secular environment free of moral codes, without reference to a Creator, and absent parental standards or family values.

In the nineteen eighties, I began writing newspaper articles about the growing epidemic of fatherless families in America, a social issue that has worsened over time. The percentage of children now being raised with one parent - 75% with their mother - is over 40%, or higher. A survey of nations done in 2014 (World Family Map Project) showed that America ranks 32 among nations for two-parent families, down with the impoverished third-world countries.

Of great concern are statistics showing that boys raised with no father are more subject to do gangs, drugs, and violence. Besides that, they often do poorly in school, are more likely to drop out, suffer from rejection, and may wrestle with low self-confidence the rest of their lives. Why? They had no role model to show them how a responsible man behaves, how he guards the home or provides for his family; how a man is a husband to his wife, or how a daddy raises kids to be responsible and respectful. To such a boy, his role as a man in this world remains a mystery.

Abandonment by their daddy leaves emotional scars on boys. The late football pro Bill Glass became famous for taking his witness for Christ inside prisons. After meeting thousands of inmates, I heard him say, “I never met a prisoner who didn’t hate his father.” Perhaps you can now glimpse how deeply this pain is entrenched in American society. It starts with fractured families. What’s the cure for hurting kids in broken homes? There is only one - the church.

By “church” I don’t mean watered down social clubs or happy-clappy dens of positive self-talk. I mean the authentic church as described in the New Testament, complete with the gospel that includes the cross, salvation experiences wherein people forsake sins, transformed human lives, healed marriages, intact families, and Biblical leaders acting like spiritual fathers not just orators.

To heal broken boys requires effective fathers. “It takes a man to teach a man to be a man.” We need apostles (not weak religious wimps) who will mentor men to be strong men of faith and prayer; to be honorable men who will love their wives and be faithful men who will be a real father to their kids.

School shootings aren’t due to poverty. Lots of boys grew up happy yet had low-income homes. The problem isn’t guns. Lots of boys grew up around men handling firearms, yet never shot up a school. What makes the difference? The values taught in the home! Other factors contribute but the family is the key. Unless we train boys to become honorable men, we’ll only have more violence.

Ron Wood, May 25, 2022


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