Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Gun Control, Morality, and Violence

                The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday is the simple fact that there is a connection between violence and morality – or the lack thereof – and gun control is not the answer.  The numbers of people who own guns continue to increase, and yet gun deaths are decreasing except in large urban areas and random massacres.  Guns were readily available to most of my classmates fifty plus years ago, but none of them were used to shoot up our school!  I believe that the main reason why there is so much violence in our society today is the lack of morality among the citizens of our nation and world.  As God was taken out of our schools, out of government, and out of public activities, the level of violence increased.  
Darrell Scott is the father of two victims of the Columbine High School massacre in Littleton, Colorado, on April 20, 1999.  His daughter, Rachel, was killed, and his son, Craig, saw two of his friends murdered.  Mr. Scott, along with other parents of victims, was invited to address the Subcommittee on crime of the House Judiciary Committee on May 27, 1999.  He did not mince any words as he shared his thoughts with the legislators.  He courageously spoke “powerful, penetrating, and deeply personal” words as he spelled out the truth to our national leaders during this special session.  His words should have been “heard by every parent, every teacher, every politician, every sociologist, every psychologist, and every so-called expert!”  His words should have been taken into consideration as new laws were contemplated and legislated.  They apparently were not because new violence struck in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012.  We as a society have not learned the lessons articulated by Mr. Scott.

Our main stream media covered the testimonies of Mr. Scott and other parents of Columbine victims who appeared before the committee, but there was not a “great deal of major news coverage.”  In fact, “several other” parents differed in opinion from Mr. Scott.  I am grateful for our “alternative” media (Internet) because it keeps information such as this “active” instead of letting it disappear.  E-mails containing Mr. Scott’s remarks have been circulating since June 1999, and now his words are being shared on Facebook and other social media.  There is little doubt in my mind that Mr. Scott saw the real problems that cause violence and explained them very clearly.  I believe that our society will never be safe – never truly free - until we honestly face the problems that cause violence rather than point fingers and destroy liberty by passing new laws.  A partial transcript of Mr. Scott’s remarks is as follows and has been declared “authentic” by Urban Legends.

                “Since the dawn of creation there has been both good and evil in the hearts of men and women.  We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence.  The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher, and the other eleven children who died must not be in vain.  Their blood cries out for answers.

                “The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field.  The villain was not the club he used.  Neither was it the NCA, the National Club Association.  The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain’s heart. 

                “In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA.  I am not a member of the NRA.  I am not a hunter.  I do not even own a gun.  I am not here to represent or defend the NRA – because I don’t believe that they are responsible for my daughter’s death.  Therefore I do not believe that they need to be defended.  If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel’s murder, I would be their strongest opponent.

                “I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy – it was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies!  Much of the blame lies here in this room.  Much of the blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves.
I wrote a poem that expresses my feelings best.  This was written way before I knew I would be speaking here today:

Your laws ignore our deepest needs,
Your words are empty air.
You’ve stripped away our heritage,
You’ve outlawed simple prayer.
Now gunshots fill our classrooms,
And precious children die.
You seek for answers everywhere,
And ask the question “Why?”
You regulate restrictive laws,
Through legislative creed.
And yet you fail to understand,
That God is what we need!

                “Men and women are three-part beings.  We all consist of body, soul, and spirit.  When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our make-up, we create a void that allows evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and wreak havoc.  Spiritual influences were present within our educational systems for most of our nation’s history.  Many of our major colleges began as theological seminaries.  This is a historical fact.  What has happened to us as a nation?  We have refused to honor God, and in so doing, we open the doors to hatred and violence.  And when something as terrible as Columbine’s tragedy occurs politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA.  They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that contribute to erode away our personal and private liberties.  We do not need more restrictive laws.

                “Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal detectors.  No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this type of massacre.  The real villain lies within our own hearts.  Political posturing and restrictive legislation are not the answers.  The young people of our nation hold the key.  There is a spiritual awakening taking place that will not be squelched!  We do not need more religion.  We do not need more gaudy television evangelists spewing out verbal religious garbage.  We do not need more million dollar church buildings built while people with basic needs are being ignored.  We do need a change of heart and a humble acknowledgment that this nation was founded on the principle of simple trust in God!

                “As my son Craig lay under that table in the school library and saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes, he did not hesitate to pray in school.  I defy any law or politician to deny him that right!  I challenge every young person in America, and around the world, to realize that on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School prayer was brought back to our schools.  Do not let the many prayers offered by those students be in vain.  Dare to move into the new millennium with a sacred disregard for legislation that violates your God-given right to communicate with Him.  To those of you who would point your finger at the NRA – I give to you a sincere challenge.  Dare to examine your own heart before casting the first stone!  My daughter’s death will not be in vain!  The young people of this country will not allow that to happen!”

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