Allow me to take a moment to grieve the tragic shooting of three here in my hometown. These store owners, Egyptians immigrants and apparently Christians, were shot by teenage thieves in cold blood during a robbery attempt. The sixteen year old girl who shot two of the victims said that her gun went off accidentally. Now, as a compassionate man, and as a Black man who understands well the power of systems in shaping social behavior and the endemic nature of injustice that breeds crime, I have a certain measure of concern for whatever were the environmental factors that led to this shooting. But if I may allow my conservative side to come out a bit, this is the most ridiculous and powerful evidence for the breakdown of civil society in our country. This girl admits to murdering two people in cold blood and says that the gun went off, “accidentally.” For me this is a clear parental failure, a neighborhood failure, and a social failure. Who is responsible for this girl? Where are her parents? And how could she dare to utter the words accident in conjunction with a cold blooded shooting? It is clear that while she feels some responsibility, she thinks that at least part of that responsibility is absolved by saying it was an accident. What values are we transmitting in our society when those words, those thoughts can even pass by a person’s lips or through their minds? This girl lives in a society and is a product of a culture that has “cast off restraint” and is “perishing.” The shooting is clearly her fault, but the fault also lies with a culture that undermines parental and social authority. Say what you will about the dysfunctionality of the 1950’s, but we didn’t have 16 year old girls robbing convenience stores and shooting vendors at point blank range and then calling it an accident!