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Why A Good Father Prepares His Sons For War


“There is a beast in every man, and it stirs when you put a sword in his hand.”—Jorah Mormont

Men were made for violence. It’s part of why they were created. To protect the weak. To fight for themselves and for nations. To compete and to win.

Do you know why men like football? Why they watch boxing? Why Romans watched the gladiators slaughter each other? Because part of men was made for violence and their instincts draw them to it. We cannot suppress human nature. We cannot half-embrace who and what we are—how God made us, and how we are built.

Will Leitch wrote an embarrassing article about his experience shooting a gun, and how hard it was to find out his son is doing well in school. You can read the insanity here, but be careful your eyeballs don’t get stuck in the roll position. Here’s a little gem about Will’s dad just handing him a shotgun with no instruction and telling him to fire away:

It was a Winchester Model 37, 20-Gauge shotgun…one day I came home from school, and Dad was home early, waiting for me with that gun. ‘Time for you to learn this,’ he’d said….Unsteady and unsure of himself, he loaded a bullet into the chamber and told me to aim somewhere deep into one of the endless cornfields that make up whole swathes of this country still, the sort of vast expanse that you can fire a rifle blindly into and not worry about hitting anything anyone would ever notice. I told him I did not want to. He nodded gently and said he knew that but I had to fire anyway. I wanted to make him happy, or least not make him mad, so I held the gun out in front of me, with dinosaur arms, put my finger on the trigger and, holding my breath and biting my lip so hard that my braces started to crank and ache, pulled it.

The kickback was so powerful and immediate that it sent the weapon flying behind me, but what I most remember was the sound. The whole world screamed blinding white; I didn’t even hear my father scramble behind me to pick the rifle off the ground. He was ashen — plainly terrified, even though nothing that bad had actually happened. I must have looked stricken, too, because he put his arm around me and, for one of the few times I can remember, apologized. ‘I shouldn’t have done that,’ he said. ‘I know you didn’t want to, but I thought it was something that a man was supposed to do. It wasn’t.’ He smiled. ‘To tell you the truth, I didn’t really want to do that either.’

Our society has a mass failure of fatherhood. Even many of the fathers who don’t run out on their families can’t seem to figure out how to turn boys into men. That’s because most men don’t realize that is the goal for raising boys. Not to coddle them. Not to dump your insecurities on them. Not to lie to them about what life is and what life isn’t. Your mission as a father is to turn that boy into a man.

Will’s father failed him that day. No man teaches his son to shoot by handing him a 20-gauge shotgun, with no instruction on its operation, and telling him to fire away. That’s a half measure. It’s lazy parenting.

Hard parenting is sitting a son down and teaching him how to use a weapon safely. Tell him how deadly a weapon can be, then show him how to operate it with confidence and skill. That is being a father.

Actually, I Don’t Want My Child to Succeed

Leitch’s article continues:

Last year, my wife and I met with my son’s teacher for a parent-teacher conference… William was one of her brightest students, reading at a third-grade level already, and he’s diligent and patient and picks the right friends…’when you think of what you would want a kid in your class to act like, it would be William.’ It was around now that I started tapping my foot uneasily and looking warily around the room. Something about this felt vaguely wrong in a way I couldn’t put my finger on, and what she said next said cinched it for me: ‘He’s just the golden boy.’

Is he? Or does he just look the part? What makes my kid so special? Oh, and: What kind of jerk am I for questioning such a lovely compliment about my own child?

But how am I supposed to feel about my children’s success when I know, deep down, in my heart of hearts, that the world around them would be a better place if more children like them won fewer of the spoils? …I want equality, and a fair playing field, and more opportunities for people who haven’t had them in centuries past…

It’s difficult to imagine how tortured a father has to be to hear an exemplary report about his child and feel guilty about it. That is a man who has been told to fight against who he is and why he was created.

But this is a consistent theme for liberals. They have a nagging self-loathing, combined with a belief that the strong are only strong at the expense of the weak. If that’s how you want to live your political life, have at it. But for your child’s sake, man, don’t pass that misery on to your offspring.

…in a macro sense, the lessening power of men (straight and white particularly) is an unquestioned societal good. When others rise, we must fall. It will be good not just in a moral sense, but a practical one. As a patriotic American who believes our country is a better place when all have an equal chance, and who believes it is time for the historical ledger to be balanced, this is what I want for the future.

Imagine hearing your father say these words when you were a a child! Children are trying to find a way and a purpose in this life. They want to be loved and guided. A father is the most powerful influence a young man will ever have. What if dad thinks you shouldn’t have too much success because of your skin color? I can’t imagine a better way to spiral your son into confusion and depression.

Bullies Are Created by Weak Men

That brings us to the part where Will doesn’t even realize he asked and answered his own dilemma: “Thanks in part to more enlightened attitudes about gender and parenting, it is hard not to see male entitlement and aggression as toxic forces degrading our culture. But it is also hard not to notice that the world is now run by the aggressive and the bullying.”

Those “enlightened” attitudes are destroying young boys, and bullies are filling the vacuum of power. Strong men are not toxic to society. They are the protectors of society. We are not enlightening young men when we tell them to run from violence. We are setting them up for a listless, uneasy existence as they back away from bullies tormenting the weak. They’ll know deep down they should be doing something about the bully, but they won’t, because they have never been given the tools. Their dads threw those tools away.

My sons are seven and nine. They have been told their entire lives that I will bring down holy terror on them if I ever find out they bullied someone. But they also have been told it is their duty to stop bullying by any means necessary. Do not fool yourself into believing the feel-good lies society tells you about how to stop a bully. From now until forever, the best way is a punch in the nose.

If you find that distasteful, you need to get over it. You are wrong. One can no more suppress human nature than one can stop a firehose. If you do, eventually it is going to break out somewhere, and when it does, it’s going to be ugly.

Emasculating Men Never Ends Well

Maybe ugly means a lifetime of suppressing your instincts in subservient misery while seeking forgiveness and acceptance from people you haven’t wronged and shouldn’t bother with. Maybe ugly means you let all that anger out shooting up a school. Maybe you beat your wife. Yell at your coworkers. Chew out the waitress.

Obviously there are different degrees of how this manifests itself, depending on the person and level of suppression. Certainly we can agree that Ed Gein wearing people’s faces and Nikolas Cruz shooting up a school is one level, but thinking men should weaken themselves is another. Weak men may not be as violently damaging as a school shooting in the short term, but at a macro societal level, it’s worse in the long term.

A man’s nature cannot be repressed. Men were made for the intentional use of force and power. Throughout history, societies have understood this. Here in America, we have coddled and weakened our boys by refusing to embrace the very nature they are born with, then told ourselves this is progress. It is not. It’s fighting against a tidal wave that cannot be stopped. Attempting to divert the wave just results in more damage.

Embrace boys’ natural instincts. Teach them to be kind, but also to punch bullies in the face. Teach them to prefer peace, but also how to make war. There is still good and evil in this world. Strong men are needed to keep it at bay. That’s on us, dads.