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This weekend our nation experienced a horrible attack by a deranged man in Arizona.  My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families in their time of need and suffering.

As the American people grapple for answers to the question of how something as senseless as this shooting could happen, we need to be measured and cautious before we place blame.

Hasty accusations have already been made before much information is known and an investigation has occurred.  I believe this is counterproductive and could in itself incite hatred.  This is not a time for political opportunism.

Just because we disagree with someone from another political party does not mean we wish them harm.  Furthermore, if something horrific happens to a person, it does not mean those who hold differing views are responsible for the actions of a disturbed individual.

(Read Franklin Graham's entire statement, here.)

What frightens me is that our country has accepted murder, violence and rape as entertainment that we see portrayed every day on TV, movies and video games.  I agree with Sheriff Clarence Dupnik when he alluded to the fact that this country needs some serious soul searching.  If we as a nation are not careful, we could see the destruction of the foundation upon which this nation was built.

Clearly our politicians and pundits on the left and right must also be careful.  Their leadership and rhetoric must set an example for decency and civility.

My prayer is that God will put His loving arms around the families and victims in their time of loss and great suffering, and that they would sense His presence and comfort in their lives. 

Franklin Graham is the president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and international relief organization Samaritan's Purse. Photo courtesy of Samaritan's Purse.

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