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Young American men today are conditioned and trained from the very beginning to be violent.

We put video devices in their hands as soon as they are able to hold them, allowing them to play games in which the goal is to shoot as many people as possible. We let them grow up listening to music which glorifies and encourages the vicious shooting of people. We make it easy for them to watch “entertainment” in which people are shot. We encourage them to join the military and applaud when they are shipped overseas to shoot people they don’t even know.

And then we are aghast, shocked, and horrified when a young man walks into a school, shopping mall, restaurant, church, or theater and starts … shooting people.

Yes, yes, I know. It’s not that at all, but rather some abstract issue that simply needs to be addressed by the passage and enforcement of some LAW, which will take care of the problem. Fact is, though, no law or no government is capable of “protecting” everyone all the time and in all situations. If it was, you wouldn’t want to live under it.

This is a moral and spiritual issue, not a legal one. Like all moral and spiritual concerns, it cannot be resolved by legal means, but must be addressed by changing one’s attitude and behavior toward other people, even the ones who are strangers. Change the mind, change the heart, change the culture.

It starts with you. And me.

Roger Mitchell, Stevensville