The deplorable massacre at Sandy Hook School, at Newtown, Connecticut has made many people, including the President of the United States think about why such event has happened and how such tragedy can be prevented in the future.
Right away some people blame the killings on the proliferation of firearms. The killer used an assault rifle owned by his mother. He was armed with hundreds of rounds of ammunition also owned by his mother. So the conclusion: control the sale of guns. Or even ban the gun.
Michael Cook of Mercatornet.com has another idea. I quote his statements:
“The gun control lobby is fond of saying: guns don’t kill people; people kill people. If Americans can’t stop the supply of guns, how about stopping the supply of rage-filled shooters? President Obama seems to be open to ideas at this level. ‘In the coming weeks, I will use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens — from law enforcement to mental health professionals to parents and educators — in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this,’ he said.
How about improving the mental health of young men by a nation-wide campaign to prove that divorce is a bigger health hazard than smoking or obesity? A bit of research shows that a significant proportion of rampage killers come from homes shattered by divorce. Adam Lanza’s parents split up in 2009 after 28 years of marriage. A neighbor told the Washington Post that “The kids seemed really depressed”.
The same melancholy story is the background to other rampage killers:
- Only three days before the Connecticut murders, 22-year-old Jacob Roberts ran amok in a Portland, Oregon, shopping mall. He killed two people with an automatic rifle before committing suicide. He had never known his mother and was raised by a divorced aunt and her husband who shared custody of him.
- Wade Page was a white supremacist who shot six Sikhs dead in Milwaukee before being killed by a police officer earlier this year. His parents were divorced.
- Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people with a car bomb and semi-automatic rifle in Norway in 2011. He has been jailed for 25 years. His parents divorced when he was one year old.
- Mitchell Johnson, 13, and Andrew Golden, 11, took a bag of rifles and handguns to Westside Middle School in Jonesboro, Arkansas, and killed four girls and a teacher in 1998. They were jailed until they turned 21. Johnson’s parents were divorced.
- Thomas Hamilton, 43, killed 16 children and a teacher in Dunblane, Scotland, in 1996 with four handguns before shooting himself. His parents were divorced when he was three years old.
- George Hennard, 35, shot 23 people dead with a Glock 17 semi-automatic, and then shot himself on October 16, 1991, in Killeen, Texas. His parents had divorced in 1983.
- James Oliver Huberty killed 21 people, including five children, in in a McDonald’s restaurant in San Ysidro, California in 1984. His parents were divorced.
Every year, over a million children are affected by divorce in the US. Sure, only an infinitesimal fraction of these go on deadly shooting sprees. But every year, more than 11 million firearms are sold, and only a couple of those are used by mass murderers. Divorce control makes even more sense than gun control.” (*)
I suggest that before our lawmakers even think of proposing the divorce bill, they think hard about what is good for our children and for the future of our country, other than thinking that we are the only country that does not allow divorce and so we must jump into the bandwagon. There must be good reasons why our former lawmakers did not want divorce for our country.