I received an e-mail from a dear friend concerning the path many Americans seem to be taking as it concerns our moral values.

As a school educator and administrator for nearly half a century, he stated: “During my 47 years in administration, we went from propping the doors wide open to allow some air flow to all sorts of mechanisms and practices to keep people out. America is not the country of our forefathers, our fathers, or even ourselves. What is America now? What is America going to be in fifty more years?”

My friend’s most urgent worry was about the beginning of a new school year and the possibility of copycat shootings in the classroom. Not far back in our nation’s history, this worry and possibility was nonexistent.

Some of the best minds, elite educators, and prominent clergy have diligently tried to come up with answers to our current dilemma of spontaneous and extreme acts of violence. Although it may be a minute few who perpetuate these hideous acts, the general decline of family moral values no doubt contributes to the atmosphere of violence that somehow seems to hover over our country.

I believe that most Americans do not think that weapons that can rapidly maim and kill, when used for that purpose, should be legally accessible to the citizenry. Add-on adaptable ammunition clips that have the ability to turn an ordinary firearm into a near automatic weapon should also be illegal.

In society and especially in our current American melting pot of myriad fanaticism often expressed in violence, individuals and organized groups of bigotry and hatred have not been, cannot be, and will not ever be totally eliminated or controlled.

In all honesty, the act of personal and individual multiple wounding and murder of innocent people cannot be blamed upon the choice of weapon. The individual is solely to blame for the act, no matter the method or weapon.

We, as Americans, should be more interested in the atmosphere of violence that is daily visibly consumed from TV programing, violent computer games and many sporting events. It has become hard to find any TV and movie programming in which a weapon of some sort is not involved.

The instant availability of visual extreme violence, even the witnessing of anguish and suffering in actual warfare, has inadvertently so softened the sensibility of many our youth that almost nothing causes them to experience alarm or emotional distress.

All of the mentioned contributors to our society’s often current numbness to violence could and may be a part of the answer to our dilemma of 21st century American society. The problem solving answers are complex and at times could seem nonexistent or unattainable.

No new laws, preventive measures, or extreme vigilance can guarantee success in preventing the next act of violence by an individual who is deranged, devoted, and determined with his or her mind made up to kill and destroy for whatever reason.

Blaming weaponry, opinions of leaders, childhood rearing, unethical influence of faulty reasoning, and the list goes on endlessly, cannot deter or rightfully explain the inner functioning of a distorted and deranged intellectual and emotional mind.

One aspect of our American society that could contribute greatly to any and all circumstances that we face as a nation would be a rejuvenation and return to the moral and ethical values that have sustained and brought forth the greatest and most envied nation in the world.

Being a nation whose laws and trust in God have brought us to this point in our illustrious history, we may find a simple return to the moral values of our founders to be a great medicine that could assist in curing us from this disease of violence and disrespect of others with differing beliefs that has befallen us.

No law, restriction, or attempted surveillance can totally prevent a disturbed violent person from obtaining a weapon of mass destruction. If tomorrow not another was manufactured, there are enough existing and attainable for anyone wishing to obtain one.

The only chance of stopping, or even slowing, hate and hurting others by violence, cruel words, and prejudice is by each citizen reestablishing a moral code that America was founded upon and, in so doing, change the tumultuous and explosive atmosphere in which we find ourselves. Doing to others as we would have them do to us is the unchanging formula of a peaceful and truly United States of America. May God continue to grant America his blessing and forgiveness; we urgently need both.