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A new report from St. Johns, Arizona, provides new insight into possible reasons why an eight-year old boy shot and killed his father and another man last week.

According to the deputy attorney for Apache County, Brad Carlton, the boy was spanked by his father the night before the killings for school-related problems.

Although all the facts are still not known, what we do know is that a small boy was taught violence and treated violently by the man he killed. The father, Vincent Romero, put a rifle in the boy’s hands and taught him to kill prairie dogs. Second, he taught the boy another lesson in violence by physically abusing him.

As reported in the New York Times today, “the boy in Arizona was no stranger to weapons — his father, an avid hunter, reportedly trained his son to shoot prairie dogs — and psychologists said that might have played a role.”

Most parents who believe that spanking children is OK, would agree that hitting an eight-year old is certainly not appropriate.

As explained in our previous post, All Physical Discipline of Children Is a Form of Abuse, hitting children teaches them that violence is acceptable.

Why are we so surprised, then, when children act out violently, especially when they have also been taught to hunt and kill innocent animals?