Opinion

KERNS: We Don’t Have A Gun Crisis; We Have A Young, Angry Male Crisis

REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez

Jen Kerns Contributor

Since 1982 more than 100 mass shootings have occurred, including the two tragedies in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio over the weekend. These mass shootings happened regardless of whether the president of the United States was Democrat or Republican. In fact, the first high school mass shootings such as those in Columbine, Colorado in 1999 and Paducah, Kentucky in 1997 occurred when Bill Clinton — a Democrat — was president.

Since the political party of the commander in chief doesn’t appear to be a determining factor, it’s worth pointing out that there is one common denominator among the shooters.

Of 113 mass shootings since 1982, data indicates that 110 were perpetrated by males — in particular young, angry males.

If the inanimate object of the gun were solely to blame, then statistically speaking women would represent only three percent of gun owners in the country. However, statistics on gun ownership show that is not the case. There are nearly as many female gun owners as male gun owners, according to the Pew Research Center — 31 percent female to 43 percent male. Yet women don’t commit 31 percent of gun violence.

We don’t have a “gun” crisis in America. We have a crisis of angry, young men.

A few factors are contributing to this crisis.

The generation coming of age today grow up in what sociological experts have called the “fatherless” generation, in which nearly 40 percent of students from kindergarten through 12th grade are raised without a father in the home. The Center for Disease Control reports that historically, 85 percent of children who display behavior disorders come from fatherless homes. Similar reports show that the majority of teens in jail come from fatherless homes.

Add to this historic data the dawning of the digital age, in which it seems that teens are more likely to interact with a digital device than a parent at home.

The Pew Research Center reports that teens now spend an average of nine hours per day online — a figure which even teens admitted was troublesome, according to the report. Thirty years ago, at least some portion of that time would have been spent having family dinners and interacting with parents in the household.

Add to this the fact that 72 percent of males ages 18 to 29 play video games (compared to just 49 percent of women in the same age range) according to the Pew Research Center. The center reports that 92 percent of teenage boys have access to a gaming console. “First-person shooter” games, in which the player can cause mass casualties in a matter of minutes, sometimes even seconds, make up at least one-fourth of all video games today.

Any investigation into the root case of young, male anger must consider these factors.

As the nation grapples with yet another mass shooting, many have asked if President Trump should denounce white supremacists.

The answer is that he already has.

In his official statement in the wake of racial violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, Trump called racists “evil.” He specifically called out by name “the KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists” to condemn them. However, millions of Americans never heard this condemnation because the mainstream media reported only that he initially called protestors on the left and the right “fine people.”

By failing to report Trump’s full statement on Charlottesville for nearly two years, it is fair to say that the mainstream media contributed to heightening political and racial tensions.

Until we as a society can solve the greater crisis of helping angry, young, men resolve their anger, the media must do its part to cover the entire story — not just the side it wants you to hear. Until that happens, more people will continue to needlessly die in future tragedies.

Jen Kerns (@JenKernsUSA) is the founder of Women for A Great America, a group dedicated to educating and engaging women on civic issues. She served as spokeswoman for the California Republican Party; spokeswoman for California’s Proposition 8, which went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court; and as a Fox News writer for the 2016 U.S. presidential debates.


 The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.