And then as gang members they use guns to defend their street families from those who try to do them harm the same way we'd defend our family members.
The murderous violence in our cities is never going to end until someone stands up and wakes up America with a "Put the father back in the family" speech.
Bill Cosby tried it - and caught hell. Others have caught hell for talking about the importance to children and society of intact families.
It's time for someone politically and culturally important - like the president - to make a big, brave speech and remind everyone in the country that families need fathers, and vice versa.
The "fatherless family" problem goes beyond the inner cities and it transcends race and ethnicity.
We have a nation today where 20 to 30 million children go to bed each night without a father in the home.
We have a pop culture that constantly disrespects and mocks fathers.
Try to find a popular TV show - or a Disney movie - where the father is not laughed at or depicted as a bumbling fool. It's not easy.
Dishonoring our fathers and denying their importance to strong families has to end. If we want America to survive, we need to put fathers back in the home where they belong.