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Our Nation Is Suffering an Epidemic of 'Fatherless' Children

James and Kimberly Snead, the couple who welcomed Nikolas Cruz into their home after his adoptive mother died in November, described the 19-year-old Florida school shooter as “very polite” and “normal,” during an interview on “Good Morning America” Monday. James Snead and his wife had tried to help Nikolas by letting him move in with them when his adoptive mother died last November. His adoptive father died in 2004.

“The latest school shooting in Florida is the ultimate nightmare,” said Glenn on the show today. “I don’t care who you are, it hurts your heart. Our hearts ache for the families of the murdered and injured students. There aren’t words for this kind of tragedy.”

Besides being a young male, the Florida shooter has something else in common with almost every single mass shooter in recent years — he grew up without a father, noted Glenn. “This isn’t to drum up sympathy for the murderers. And obviously, not everyone who grows up without a father has their life ruined, becomes a criminal, or worse. But America has an epidemic of fatherless homes and we are only getting worse.”

In 1960, just 5 percent of American children were born out of wedlock; today it’s over 40 percent. “Marriage means nothing to people,” Glenn said. “Our society is feeling the stress of more than half a century of this epidemic. So many of our children are lost and it’s getting worse.”

This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.

GLENN: Where do we begin today?

I guess the quote, "He looked lost, absolutely lost." That's the way that James Snead described the 19-year-old Florida school shooter. He saw him up close. He was led inside of police headquarters in handcuffs.

James Snead and his wife had tried to help the teenager.

They had been -- they took him in. He was living with them. The shooter's mom who had adopted him when he was a baby, died last November. His adopted father died in 2004.

So this couple took him in. The latest school shooting in Florida is the ultimate nightmare. And I don't care who you are. It hurts your heart.

Our hearts ache for the families of the murdered and injured students. And there aren't any words for this kind of tragedy.

It's unreal to me that we're referring to this as the, quote, latest school shooting. We are caught in a vicious cycle of tragedy. And it's dividing us, because we're all trying to win.

We're -- we're pointing fingers. We're blaming. And we're -- we're making the other side into monsters.

When something like this happens, it's natural to scramble to pinpoint something or someone to blame. It's the human way of trying to make sense of a tragedy and trying to make things better.

It's the gun. It's the person. It's the FBI. It's the social services. It's the school district.

We all want to prevent this. All of us who -- those who believe in the Second Amendment and those who don't, we all want to solve this. But nobody has all the answers. And there isn't a single solution. And -- and we as a people are being pushed into ridiculous corners. The political hard left sees no issue other than guns. And you'll notice, it's, why won't the Republicans do anything?

And the hard political right sees no issue beyond gun rights. They're just coming after our guns.

Well, they can argue all they want. But that leaves this huge, deep canyon of problems, all in the middle, that everyone is refusing to even look at.

We're sick as a society. A kid could have walked in the 1960s into any gun store and bought any gun and all the ammunition he wanted at any time and no questions asked.

We didn't have shooters. There were more guns per capita 150 years ago than there are now. We didn't have people going in and doing this. Why?

What is happening to us? It is clearly not the gun! There is something deeply wrong and ill in our society.

Have you heard anybody talk about this one fact? The Florida shooter had something else in common with almost every other single mass murderer in recent years.

He grew up without a father. Why aren't we talking about that? The data is so clear about the links between fatherless children and violence and suicide and dropping out of school and drug and alcohol abuse.

Of the deadliest mass shootings in the last 15 years, nine of them were committed by males under 30 years old. Seven of those nine came from fatherless homes.

Now, this isn't to drum up -- oh, we're trying to -- no, we're not. We're trying to understand it.

And obviously, not everybody who grew up without a father has their life ruined, becomes a criminal, becomes a murderer. But America has an epidemic of fatherless homes! And we are only getting worse.

We are now saying that every single choice is acceptable, when we don't know if that is true.

We're conducting a grand experiment on the human race. And we have no idea -- do you know what really -- really the effects are, of your kids on social media? No. We can guess. I can tell you this, the leaders of Silicon Valley, they don't have their kids on Facebook. They don't have their kids on Instagram.

What do they know that we don't?

We don't know what that effect will be in 20, 30 years. It may be nothing.

How about video games? How about violent movies? Do you know that the -- that you can say all you want, my kids know. Well, they don't. Until they're 24, they don't.

The brain is different in children. Do you also know that even your brain, it doesn't separate fact from fiction. You can. You can.

You can look at that and go, well, that was a movie. But your brain processes the traumas exactly the same thing, as if you would have seen it firsthand. How many murders have we all seen? How many violent murders have we all seen?

Have we even noticed that heads pop on the screen now? That people take head shots and they pop and you see the gore?

Where were the people that used to say all the time, well, I don't want to see all the gore. That's in everything now.

You know, this -- this kid, he shot two people in the head. Head shots are pretty difficult.

Not only are they difficult in skill level, head shots are also really difficult emotionally. It -- it took us over 100 years to get people to do head shots on the first time shooting a human being.

There are so many problems. But can we talk about some of them that we can solve? In 1960, 5 percent of American children were born out of wedlock. Today, that's over 40. Forty! And it's not getting better, because marriage means nothing to people.

Why does it mean nothing? I hear the lecture my grandmother gave me. Do you think my grandfather and I loved each other all those years? Well, yeah, grandma, I kind of did. No. Marriage is hard.

Sometimes we chose just to stick it out, because we were married and it meant something. I don't want to bring more anger and divisiveness, boy, that is the problem. Our society is feeling the stress of more than half a century of this epidemic.

So many of our children are lost. And it's getting worse. Look at the depression and suicide rates. It's getting worse.

They have no moral compass. No truth to anchor their souls. Our schools, we should remove guns. Well, you've already taught them that you use a finger gun and it's dangerous. And yet, it seems to be getting worse, because the problem is in the soul. The problem is inside each of us.

How many of our kids are growing up without an identity? Or, you know what, a fake identity. They're growing up with a fake identity. Everything is great. You're perfect. You're special.

You know what, that's a lie. You're not -- I'm sorry. Your singing wasn't so good. Let's find some things that you are good at. Because everything is good at something. Just, not everybody is great at that.

Our kids don't know who they are. In the US, genealogy websites are the second most visited category site, after pornography.

Genealogy. Why? People are trying to figure out who they are. What is true? Where did I come from?

Having a father isn't a guarantee of anything. It's not a cure all. We make our own choices. We're responsible for our own choices. And there are plenty of abusive, or fathers that are in the home, but are completely absent. Trying to be a good dad. Seems like a niche thing these days. Trying to be a good man, I don't even know what that means. How do we expect a teenage boy to understand what a man is, when you can't even talk about it?

Try to understand what a -- what is a man? Tell me, what is a man? What is a good man? Is a good man a guy who picks up the recent Sports Illustrated bikini issue that doesn't have them in bikinis at all, but has -- what is it? No more hashtag bullcrap written all over their bodies, so we can teach our kids not to objectify women, through the objectification of women. Oh, my gosh. How do you expect a young man to grow up? How do you expect them to know what's right and what's wrong? What's up and what's down?

Our society is running the narrative right now that men are bad. That we don't place cultural value on masculine influence. We think we've evolved beyond the need for fathers. We don't need them anymore. Because they've done too much damage, you know.

And, men, you're not off the hook. We have not done ourselves any favors with our behavior. Too many of us are pigs. Too many of us are lazy. Too many of us are absent. And I include myself in these.

The unpopular truth is, we need a nuclear family. We need a father. We need to know what a man is.

The nuclear family is -- is not -- is not something from the 1950s. It's from the beginning of time. It's the bedrock of every society. And our bedrock has deep cracks into it. And it is starting to shake into sand.

You want to know what you can do? If you're a dad, dig in and do better. If you have the means, reach out and be a father figure to somebody who doesn't have a father.

We can make a bunch of reactionary laws, but laws mean nothing. Eventually, we can all be in a prison. And somebody will still be shivved in the prison, because it's not the shiv or the gun, it's what's inside.

And these reactionary laws will make us feel better for a while. Because we fixed it. But you cannot legislate the deepest needs of the human soul. And those deepest needs are to be known, to be heard. To have a place, to be accepted, and to be loved.