After every mass shooting, without fail, there’s a debate over gun control and gun rights. But there is always something missing from the national discussion following tragedies like that in Parkland, Florida. Few political commentators bring it up, and when they do, their insightfulness and wisdom are quickly swallowed up by the political chaos.
In an impassioned monologue, conservative radio host and political commentator Glenn Beck explains what that “something” is: American culture and the nuclear family.
The nuclear family in the U.S. is eroding away, as the nation sees more and more children growing up in fatherless homes. In a startling statistic, Beck states that, in 1960, just five percent of children were born out of wedlock. Almost 60 years later, that number has grown to more than 40 percent. In an even more alarming statistic, in the last 15 years, nine mass shootings were carried out by men under the age of 30, and seven of those nine were carried out by men who grew up in homes without a father.
Beck notes that talking about this fact is by no means an attempt to drum up sympathy for the mass shooter, but a way to understand what factors may drive people to commit these heinous attacks. Of course, not everyone who grows up without a father turns into a mass murderer or criminal. And, growing up without a father is not the sole factor that contributes to mass murderers, either.
But the question remains: what kind of environment and culture contributes to the growth of this evil? What factors allow it to fester? As Beck explains, school shootings were not a problem until a few decades ago, and “there were more guns per capita 150 years ago than there are now.”
At one point, he exclaims, “What is happening to us? It’s clearly not the gun!”
While there is not one reason for these shootings, there are common variables that seem to play a role. Besides fatherless homes, Beck highlights the problem of violence in movies and video games, how much time kids spend on social media, and their lack of an identity. He adds that these evil acts are a problem of the soul.
Beck then goes on to state the unfortunate truth: there isn’t a single solution to all of this, and any change in a society’s culture takes time.
“We all want to prevent this, all of us. Those who believe in the Second Amendment and those who don’t. We all want to solve this,” he states.
Touching on the divisiveness in the country, Beck continues, “And we as a people are being pushed into ridiculous corners. The political hard left sees no issue other than guns, and you’ll notice it’s ‘Why won’t the Republicans do anything?’ And the hard political right sees no issue beyond gun rights, ‘They’re just coming after our guns!’ Well, they can argue all they want, but that leaves this huge deep canyon of problems all in the middle that everyone is refusing to even look at. We’re sick as a society.”
While firearms can be regulated, and even banned, the moral decay of humanity and culture continues unhindered.
“We can make a bunch of reactionary laws, but laws mean nothing,” Beck says. “Eventually, we could all be in a prison, and somebody will still be shivved in the prison because it’s not the shiv or the gun, it’s what’s inside. And these reactionary laws will make us feel better for a while, ’cause we fixed it.’ But you cannot legislate the deepest needs of the human soul.”
You can watch Glenn Beck’s full monologue here.