When teenage thugs are called "troubled youth" by people on the political left, that tells us more about the mindset of the left than about these young hoodlums.
Seldom is there a speck of evidence that the thugs are troubled, and often there is ample evidence that they are in fact enjoying themselves as they create trouble and dangers for others.
Why then the built-in excuse, when juvenile hoodlums are called "troubled youth" and mass murderers are just assumed to be "insane"?
At least as far back as the 18th century, the left has struggled to avoid facing the plain fact of evil - that some people simply choose to do things that they know to be wrong when they do them.
Every kind of excuse, from poverty to an unhappy childhood, is used by the left to explain and excuse evil.
All the people who have come out of poverty or unhappy childhoods, or both, and become decent and productive human beings, are ignored.
So are the evils committed by people raised in wealth and privilege, including kings, conquerors and slaveowners.
Why has evil been such a hard concept for many on the left to accept?
The basic agenda of the left is to change external conditions.
But what if the problem is internal? What if the real problem is the cussedness of human beings?
Rousseau denied this in the 18th century and the left has been denying it ever since.
If the things that the left wants to control - institutions and government policy - are not the most important factors in the world's problems, then what role is there for the left?
What if it is things like the family, the culture and the traditions that make a more positive difference than the bright new government "solutions" that the left is constantly coming up with?
What if seeking "the root causes of crime" is not nearly as effective as locking up criminals?