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When I heard about the horrific shooting in Thousand Oaks, CA, a short drive from where we live, work, attend church, and where our girls play soccer, my heart stopped.
Our girls are typically unaware of the news cycle, even though being aware of the news is what I do for a living. We will answer questions about culture, natural disasters and politics they might overhear at school or from friends, but we truly try not to discuss news or politics around them. Faith is what guides us; faith is what helps us provide the answers to a LOT of their questions and problems. Honestly, I don’t know how people without faith raise their daughters, let alone their sons.
Which leads me to the issue at hand. America needs more good men. America needs fathers to be present and there. America needs men to work, earn, protect and provide for their families. America needs men to treat women and children with a higher regard than society seems to currently favor. American needs fathers to be an example of true manhood and success.
I know it’s not politically correct to say this — but it seems like a major problem with violence, abuse, mass shootings and attacks is fatherlessness.
What do the Parkland, Newtown, Thousand Oaks and the racist SC murderers all have in common? Single motherhood and absent fathers.
As Jay Ambrose wrote earlier this year:
Consider a joint federal study showing that 63 percent of youth suicides are from fatherless homes; as often as not, mass shooters are simultaneously suicidal. Robert Sampson, a Harvard sociologist, has observed that urban violence is concentrated in neighborhoods with mostly single-parent homes. A Michigan State University study found 75 percent of examined adolescent murderers were from fatherless homes. The Centers for Disease Control says 85 percent of children with behavioral disorders have only a mother in the home.
My dad is a real man. Even though he never raised sons, he raised his daughters to know what a real man should be in his actions and words. He never criticized our appearance, emotions or harmed us in any way. He opened doors, took us on daddy/daughter dates, hunting and shopping, whatever we wanted (within reason).
We see men talk about women in derogatory ways (ahem, Donald Trump); treat women with disrespect (ahem, Corey Lewandowski); act like whining little boys snatching away a toy (ahem, Jim Acosta); actually assaulting and harassing women (ahem, Harvey Weinstein), or the most extreme, murdering innocent people while they enjoy a night with family and friends at a local bar.
If fathers were respected, supported and admired in society as a whole, we would all be better off. If true gentlemen — like these heroes described by a survivor who was shielded by strangers as bullets flew — were more common, we would be better off. If women were treated with respect and treated honestly, they would know it helps to have a man around, not only for their long-term stability and happiness, but for that of their children as well.
You don’t have to be a father to be a real man. In fact, you can father children who aren’t even yours biologically. There’s an incredible group of men that I know who have been a father to my husband and other men without fathers; another area in which the faith community is a plus. There are foster parents, adoptive parents, uncles, grandfathers, teachers and coaches who can pour their love into the life of a boy who needs to be a man. But… even with all of those there are not enough of them representing manhood, as the statistics above testify.
When a coward feels as if the best and only option he has in life is to murder, where did he learn that? Most likely from growing up in a fatherless home with a mother who was afraid for her life and did nothing.
Real men use their guns to protect, not to murder. Real men use their bodies to shield, not to strike. Real men protect and defend, not attack. Real men were present last night … Let’s honor them and stop talking about this shameful killer.
Let’s work on making a generation of real men. Let’s acknowledge and reward men who do what is right and just. Let’s enable men to utilize their size and brains and talent to make a difference. Let’s acknowledge that we have failed as a society to support fatherhood and strive to change that from now on so our nation can raise more real men.