A place for President Obama to start addressing the violence in our society might be the 1969 report of Lyndon Johnson's commission on the causes and prevention of violence in America. The president, at the time, disavowed the report because it painted such an ugly picture of our national character.
Ours is a long tradition of violence, it concluded. We were born in violence and virtually every advancement has been through violence. Our western movies have long celebrated the classic stand-off between "the bad-guy with a gun and the good-guy with a gun," exactly what the National Rifle Association said we need now to protect our children. It's the only way, they say.
It's the American way. But does the good guy always win?