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Our Country and Our Characters Are Being Tested...

To watch "The Memo" click here.

Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thanks for watching us tonight.

First off, our condolences to the family of 35-year-old Conrad Johnson, shot dead by the sniper today. Mr. Johnson leaves two children, boys ages 14 and 5 and a wife. He's the 10th American to die. Three others have been wounded.

Early this morning Conrad was getting ready to drive his bus run when he was killed for absolutely no reason.

And that is the subject of this evening's Talking Points Memo.

After 9/11, Americans at least had an outlet.  There were bad guys, al Qaeda and the Taliban, and we were going to get them.  But now we have no outlet for our national anger.  The sniper is anonymous.  We are powerless to stop him.  There is nothing that any of us can do to end the murder.

That is frustrating and un-American because we are a people of action, people that want resolution and want it in a hurry.  Talking Points fears we may have to get used to being powerless as we are going to have to deal with terrorism, but both domestic and foreign, in the years to come.

Now, every psychopath on earth knows we are vulnerable, our weakness is our freedom, thus a sniper can cause terror chaos and grave countrywide concern.

Yesterday I said that we had to show courage in the face of murder and I firmly believe that. Predictably, some Americans attacked my position. Joe Hunter lives in Louisville, Kentucky, wrote, "O'Reilly, sure, you can sit at your desk in New York and talk about courage in D.C. But your opinion might be different if your 8-year-old was going to school there."

I expected that kind of response, because people react very differently in time of crisis. Once again, it is every American's duty to protect his or her family. And if you want to pull your kids out of school, that is your perfect right.

But I believe unless there is a specific danger that we should not alter our lives, as you have a much better chance of being hurt in a car accident today than you do getting shot by the sniper, even in the sniper zone.

Panic is emotion out of control, and panic is growing in America. We saw it after 9/11, but it was doused by the heroics of the rescuers. Now there are no heroics, only horror and fear. We are living in an age of terror. It is real. It is not going to go away.

All of us will have to make tough decision over the next few years. Our country and our characters are being tested. Each one of us will have to take that test, whether we like it or not.

And that's The Memo.

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day."

The slogan "Virginia is for Lovers" is a known nationwide, but now there's a T-shirt that says "Virginia is for Snipers."

The guy making the T-shirt, Lawrence Lindbergh, says the slogan is a little positive toward the sniper, but "It was so catchy, I just went with it."

Hey, Lawrence, you're ridiculous. Nobody-- nobody-- should be making money off this horrendous situation. Capiche?

— You can watch Bill O'Reilly's Talking Points and "Most Ridiculous Item" weeknights at 8 & 11p.m. ET on the Fox News Channel. Send your comments to: oreilly@foxnews.com

Bill O'Reilly currently serves as the host of FOX News Channel's (FNC) The O'Reilly Factor (weekdays 8PM/ET), the most watched cable news show for the past 13 years. He joined the network in 1996 and is based in New York.