WSJ Aug 24, 2019
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
What Do We Do About Violent Young Men?
As a guardian ad litem, I dealt with severely disturbed, violent boys. These boys invariably were from fractured families without any involvement by their fathers.
In “Violent Young Men, Here and Abroad”(op-ed, Aug. 14), Reuel Marc Gerecht brings a note of honesty to the “gun violence” debate where, despite the rhetoric, few really believe that a land awash with guns can simply legislate gun violence away. No one would say that Juárez, Mexico, with its draconian gun-control laws and its 1,247 homicides last year is safer than El Paso, Texas, with its lax gun-control laws and its record of 23 homicides. Nor does anyone really believe that adding still more red flags to predators, whether homegrown or imported, would help much. There are no simple legislative solutions to the problems of hatred and violence such as these. To speak honestly we would have to talk about the seeds of hatred planted by race-baiting politicians, by a campaign industry bent on stoking resentment for political gain and by an entrenched “diversity” establishment that makes its living fomenting discontent—as though any of us need encouragement to feel exploited and oppressed. We also would have to talk honestly about even less comfortable topics like the link between early marijuana use and mental illness. And even then we would just be whistling past the graveyard, the destruction of the family, the vanishing church and the disappearance of moral restraints in the popular culture. The cluttered gun rack in the corner of my son-in-law’s ranch kitchen is no more a threat than the broom closet. In fact, it’s a comfort should predators come calling. Mr. Gerecht asks us to consider the real threats that face us.
Mr. Gerecht might have mentioned the broad cultural war on boys and men. We adult males, he says, have failed to properly “socialize” young men to follow the rules of acceptable male behavior. What is so dishonest and unfair about this argument is that when American men make an effort to set examples for boys to follow through all-male institutions such as all-boy schools, the Boy Scouts, football and rugby teams, the Army, etc., we’re then damned by an hysterically anti-male, PC culture for allegedly perpetuating “toxic masculinity.”
Christian Mark DeJohn
Newtown Square, Pa.
As a guardian ad litem (court-appointed advocate for children removed from the home due to abuse or neglect), I dealt with severely disturbed, violent boys. These boys invariably were from fractured families without any involvement by their fathers. Gun violence will not be fixed by more laws or by eroding our constitutional right to bear arms, which do nothing to address the disintegration of the American family. I hold my breath, hoping not to read about one of my boys in the news.
Susanna Hofmann McShea