The sons of divorce

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.
  • Marc Lépine, 25, killed 14 women in Montreal in 1989. His parents separated when he was seven.
  • 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….


Ah yes, but gun control is easy for the liberal because there is little that he has to give up.  There’s no personal accountability and sacrifice involved with that.  It’s an easy way out and a good way to pin the substance of the problem on a conservative hangup with guns.

But  Divorce?  That’s a whole new ballgame that they must – at all costs – refuse to talk about or acknowledge because that would require considering a change of behaviour and that’s anathema to the nouveau religionists of secularism.

8 thoughts on “The sons of divorce

  1. Divorce is not involved in 100% of the cases–Robert Poulin (St. Pius X High School 1975) was from an intact family. But his parents left him alone with his porn habit and inflatable sex doll and did not provide him with proper moral guidance. The proponents of the modernistic « sex positive » lifestyle should think about that one.

  2. 100% of the priests convicted of being pedophiles were not married. May we conclude that all unmarried males are pedophiles?

    • Not logical–all priests are unmarried, whereas not all pedophiles are unmarried. Some pedophiles are married and molest their own children. In fact, there are more married pedophiles than unmarried ones.

  3. Statistics show that 558 Canadian couples got divorced in 1921. Canada was a Christian Country of sorts in Government, Law and Education. The Lord’s Prayer and The Ten Commandments were on Government, Courtroom, Schoolroom Walls, and thus in The Canadian Conscience.The common reason for lone parenthood was the death of a spouse. Between 1999-2009, the majority(60%)occurred before the 15th anniversary. As a result of this no-fault divorce Secular Christ-less political culture thousands of children are experiencing the divorce, or separation of their parents. Many researchers have examined the importance of marriage for children and adults,and have found that children of divorce suffer many negative consequences that continue into adulthood,which include greater risk for their own marital instability. The trauma charts of Psychology textbooks list divorce up at the top with the death of a parent or family member.
    Knowing the damage that divorce, parental separation,and death of a family member can have on children, and adults it is necessary to re-examine Canadian Secular Government policies of,no-fault divorce !968 and abortion on demand 1973, Laws.

  4. Ideologues have trouble not riding their hobby horses into public debate. I thought that Canada was a saner country than my own United States, particularly as far as guns were concerned. But now some anti-divorce fan wants to obfuscate the gun mania by bringing in divorce as a red herring. Listen, let’s concentrate on the issue at hand. Unless guns are as stigmatized as cigarettes among sensible people, we Yanks are never going anywhere on this issue.
    (Sorry, I rode my own hobbyhorse there).

    • You may wish to read this post by Steve Kellmeyer:

      The murder rate correlates much better with median age than with gun ownership. Kellmeyer says “Ukraine and Russia have higher homicide rates even though both have only one-tenth the guns the US has. France has three times the guns Russia has, Australia has twice the guns, but Russia easily outpaces the homicide rate in both those countries as well. The Ukraine is in the same situation – fewer guns than similar countries, but a lot more murders. If gun ownership correlated to intentional homicide rates, the United States should top the list of homicidal countries. Instead, it is only about half-way down.”

      I own no guns myself and am not remotely interested in owning any. I have commented because the reaction of “we need more gun laws” is based on an overly superficial analysis. Stigmatizing guns “like cigarettes” will accomplish nothing at all—countries with fewer guns than the US nevertheless have higher murder rates.

      On the other hand, John’s post about the role of the disintegration of the family and its resulting increase in the mental stress on children is a far more useful and interesting analysis.

  5. Ad a devoted Catholic who is divorced and annulled and a single parent of a son, now 23, the stats may show one thing but please don’t make so many generalities. My son is almost 24 and working and making his life and is independent. I raised him from the time he was 3 years old. He went to Catholic school, received the Sacraments and was hugged by both of his parents. He went camping with me and his mother after the split. He had hockey, lacrosse, baseball, vacations, a dog, friends…all the normal things. He had a father who baked him cookies at Christmas and a mother who did her job too.

    The issue is not “divorce.” Divorce is a reality in many cases; the issue is, notwithstanding the divorce, putting the child first and above ones own needs.

    My son is a kind, responsible and independent young man. While I wish he would go to church, that is a claim most Catholic parents can make.

    Would I have preferred it different? Of course.

    But please. The problem is not divorce any more than the problem was a gun.

    • D.A.J.D.

      You are correct. We are not dealing with a blanket statement of condemnation but a societal trend of acceptance and flippancy towards family breakdown.

      There are obvious consequences to family breakdown and as a PUBLIC POLICY, the State should be doing everything it can to foster and nurture family life — not to tear it down, as it has been doing.

      There will always be divorce and family breakdown because that is the nature of our fallen human condition, but as a society, we should start to acknowledge it and mitigate against its damage.

      It’s much easier to blame superficial and largely irrelevant causes than to fight against what Jesus condemned the Pharisees for by their support for divorce i.e. their “hardness of hearts”.

      Go in peace D.A.J.D. there is no condemnation from me for anyone who did what they could in difficult circumstances.

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