The collapse of manhood, the absence of viable male role models in a culture, creates monsters — existential nullities, terrified of women, who will do anything to feel “real” again, if only for a few minutes.

As a culture, we’re not allowed to discuss the roll his parents’ divorce played in the Connecticut shooter’s mental state, the fact that his father was living a short distance away with a new wife. No amount of love from his mother could have made up for this, and in some ways the closer she tried to get to him the worse he would have felt the absence of a competent male in the household, the more her power as a woman would have suffocated him.

Her competence with firearms would have only added to his sense of male suffocation, made him want to take control of the only viable penises in the house. He shot his mother IN THE FACE, and all the adults he killed at the school were women. However sick the guy was from other causes, I’m convinced it was his manhood issues that tipped him over the edge.  His “death” as a man filled the universe for him, and made the lives of others as meaningless to him as his own.

Why is it only young men who commit spectacular symbolic crimes like this?  I think it’s because mothers are not failing our culture — they’re doing the best they can in the absence of competent male partners.  Fathers are failing our culture.


  1. Both Columbine shooters were raised in two-parent households. Same goes for shooters Seung-Hoi Cho, James Holmes, Jerad Loughner…the list goes on. People are allowed to talk about the role divorce may have played in Adam Lanza’s actions, but I don’t think they have much of an argument.

    • Thanks for your comment, Daniel. It’s my feeling that young men these days, in all sorts of family situations, have manhood issues, which can be exacerbated by absent fathers, and that divorce has much more severe consequences for kids than our culture likes to admit. Family friends said that his parents’ divorce was traumatic for the Connecticut shooter and that his emotional problems got worse afterwards. I suspect that this will be confirmed as more information emerges — but we shall see.

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