Dylann Roof has, according to news reports, admitted murdering nine people, after sitting through a prayer service with them, simply because they were black.

If he did commit this hate crime intending to create terror in the community, he certainly should be held responsible and punished appropriately.

But isn’t there a larger responsibility involved in this crime? This young man wasn’t born hating black people. Somewhere in his short life, he was taught to hate.

Some person or group led him to that awful belief and convinced him to obtain a weapon (how easy it is) and murder nine people who were never anything to him other than targets.

Perhaps predictably, and making this worse, a Houston attorney on the board of directors of the National Rifle Association has blamed one of the victims for the crime.

Really? Really? The victim should be blamed for his and eight other murders because he disagreed with the NRA about a gun policy?

Put the blame where it belongs: in the hands and minds of the hate mongers who taught a young man that it’s OK to murder people because of their race.

David Murray