When the citizens of our great country receive the news of mass shootings that result in the killing and maiming of innocent people, they are horrified and saddened.

According to a database compiled by The Associated Press, Northeastern University and USA Today, there were 25 mass killings in 2018 with 140 killed, and in 2017 there were 32 mass killings with 225 people killed.

Many are quick to describe the killers as angry, young, white males. Little attention is given to the fact that the carnage that occurs regularly in our big cities is often committed by angry young males of color.

What is it that motivates these young males to be so violently aggressive? There are many factors involved, but it is obvious that the lack of respect for life is paramount.

When nearly 3,000 totally innocent babies are killed in their mothers' wombs each day, it is not hard to realize that that killing mentality spills over and contaminates the minds of many who are unstable.

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When males are constantly put down, ridiculed, debased, disrespected and described as toxic, there are those who will respond in a violent way.

The violence on television, social media and the movies help to incite and produce angry young men.

Until we regain a true respect for life, I fear that the killing will continue and probably escalate. It is a problem that can be solved, but do we have the will? The moral underpinning of our nation, indeed, the heart and soul of our beloved republic, is at stake.

Vernal P. Hegenbart, Sparta

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