Stop blaming killers' mother for liking guns

The recent shootings in Oregon and Connecticut have drawn massive amounts of media attention and so have these shooters mother’s; I have heard a good deal of criticism levied at the mom’s of these murderers, specifically for being pro-gun.  Are the moms really to blame? I think not and, frankly, I’m tired of this gun control instinct to blame every person and object for the crime but the criminal.

I agree that it is necessary to look at all of the circumstances surrounding horrific and evil incidents and to pursue all angles during an investigation.  I also believe that there are some anti-gun people who sincerely want to dig at the heart of the problem and find solutions to mass violence.  I think it’s normal and natural for citizens and victims to want to know why after a tragedy.

But I don’t believe that it helps us to understand the nature of these horrible situations better to focus on assumptions rather than facts (especially when it’s a murderous psychopath’s nature we’re talking about).

Civil people would never think of committing mass murder, so why would they assume they can offer any insight into the reasons behind such evil, insane acts? The uncomfortable truth is that we may never finger a satisfying culprit when considering what brought about these cases (other than, of course, the only actual culprit, the killer himself).  Subsequently, the only way for these people to make sense of senseless violence is to look for things they might be able to comprehend—triggers that, in their worldview, they think may cause a person to commit unthinkable violence.  When people attach assumptions like these to evidence, they often cannot help but bend the narrative they see unfolding to support their conclusions, and the facts—that a lone gunman acted on his own cognizance—get pushed to the bottom in favor of tangents.

The result that we’ve seen time and again is the tendency of gun control advocates to concentrate their efforts on everyone (e.g. mothers) and everything (e.g. firearms and so-called “assault weapons”) except the person who committed the crime.  Sure, I concede that there are a lot of factors that contribute to the reasons behind violent attacks: social behavior, mental illness, family structures, violence in the media, and so forth, but none of these things have anything to do with an interest in guns by a responsible adult.

According to news reports, Laurel Harper gave no indication whatsoever that her son would eventually become violent. This has not stopped the media, however, from dogpiling on a social media post she wrote over three years ago.  Harper wrote, “I keep two full mags in my Glock case. And the ARs & AKs all have loaded mags. No one will be ‘dropping’ by my house uninvited without acknowledgement.”

In full disclosure, there’s a good chance that if I had read that post three years ago, or today for that matter, I would have “liked” it.  I share a lot in common with that person and I appreciate enthusiasm for self protection and interest in firearms.

The assumption that because Harper posted something on social media three years ago that was gun related and it contributed to her offspring being a murderer is just plain incorrect.  An interest in guns is not transferred through our DNA and to assume that a mother’s influence over her child’s interests and actions is absolute flies in the face of everything I’ve experienced as a parent. More than likely, Harper owned those guns for the very reasons she stated in her post—to protect herself and her family.

Whenever I think of motherhood, I am reminded of some lines the famed author Victor Hugo penned on the subject:

“She broke the bread into two fragments and gave them to her children, who ate with eagerness. ‘She hath kept none for herself,’ grumbled the sergeant.

“‘Because she is not hungry,’ said a soldier.

“‘No,’ said the sergeant, ‘because she is a mother.’”

I know at least one mother who has guarded her life and the life of her children with a gun and I think it’s wonderful that she now teaches her children the importance of firearms and self protection. Mothers need a lot more praise than just on Mother’s Day.

I’m eternally grateful for my own mother and I am glad she loves the Constitution of the United States of America and the Second Amendment too.  No one should ever blame my mom for my actions.

The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the position of

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