Rick Santorum isn’t the best messenger for conservatism. I’ve never thought him particularly quick on his feet and very gaffe prone. But his instincts and his statements, when not operating in a ‘gotcha’ environment, are pretty damned good.

He was on CNN with their affirmative action hire, Chris “really, I’d have this job if my name wasn’t Cuomo” Cuomo.

Former Sen. Rick Santorum pointed the finger at broken homes and fatherless young males as a major contributor to mass shootings when asked to weigh in on the gun-control debate on CNN.

“Gun control is a debate that we need to have,” Mr. Santorum, a Pennsylvania Republican and CNN political commentator who boasts an A+ rating with the National Rifle Association, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. The former senator reiterated his call to focus on the family during an appearance Monday on CNN’s “New Day.”

“But another debate we need to have is something that’s also common in these shootings, the fact that these kids come from broken homes without dads. That is not something we’re talking about, and that is the commonality,” he said. “We want to talk about things we can work together on? How about working together to try to see what we can do to get more dads involved in the lives of their kids.”

He added that “75 percent of these school shooters since Columbine did not have dads in the home. This is a serious issue and we’re not talking about it.”

See what I mean by gaffe?

Santorum has been excoriated on the left by speaking the obvious fact. Fathers are vital in the upbringing of boys and teaching them to be men in the same way mothers are indispensable in teaching girls to be women.

In this era where men are viewed by society as superfluous and dangerous–I’m looking at the harpies of the #MeToo mob now who’ve made asking a woman out for a drink into a career-ending sexual harassment claim unless the guy is sufficiently hot–it is very, very fraught to say that men have any role in a family or any role in society beyond sending child support payments on time.

At The Federalist, Peter Hasson finds that virtually all school shooters have one thing in common: they were not raised by their biological father.

As University of Virginia Professor Brad Wilcox pointed out back in 2013: “From shootings at MIT (i.e., the Tsarnaev brothers) to the University of Central Florida to the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur, Ga., nearly every shooting over the last year in Wikipedia’s ‘list of U.S. school attacks’ involved a young man whose parents divorced or never married in the first place.” His observation is largely ignored.

In contrast, conversations about black-on-black violence often raise the link between broken households (or fatherless homes) and juvenile delinquency. But when the conversation turns to mass shootings, we seem to forget that link altogether.

Now, this isn’t to say that every single mom is doomed to raise a mass shooter. Not every kid who grows up without his father will turn into Roof, and not every mass shooter grew up without his dad. Mental instability can be a product of any number of factors. But to ignore the link between a mass shooter and his fatherless childhood would be to simply ignore the facts. On CNN’s list of the “27 Deadliest Mass Shootings In U.S. History,” seven of those shootings were committed by young (under 30) males since 2005. Of the seven, only one—Virginia Tech shooter Seung-Hui Cho (who had been mentally unstable since childhood)—was raised by his biological father throughout childhood.

And the current condition of society indicates that if this thesis is correct, we’d better get used to school shootings:

The fact is, divorce and family breakdown—which, to answer my emailer’s question, is the root of fatherlessness—is catastrophic for children. There’s more than one reason why, but an obvious one is that in the majority of cases, divorce separates children from their fathers.

This is destructive to both boys and girls, but each sex suffers differently. Girls who grow up deprived of their father are more likely to become depressed, more likely to self-harm, and more likely to be promiscuous. But they still have their mothers, with whom they clearly identify. Boys do not have a comparable identification and thus suffer more from father absence. They also tend to act out in a manner that’s harmful to others, which girls typically do not.

The root of fatherlessness is deep and wide, but it ultimately rests in two things: our culture’s dismissal of men as valuable human beings who have something unique to offer—on the one hand, we tell them to ‘man up,’ and on the other we tell them manhood is the problem—and its dismissal of marriage as an institution that’s crucial to the health and well-being of children. This long-standing belief has been supplanted by the notion that marriage is about the emotional fulfillment of adults.

The current debate we’re supposed to be having over guns is just counterproductive and dishonest. The laws in place are more than adequate to prevent school shootings if they are obeyed. Just as the laws against murder are more than adequate when they are obeyed. What we’re really doing, in terms of an analogy, is blaming an auto accident on the color of the vehicle.