FATHER OF TWO VICTIMS OF COLUMBINE HIGH SCHOOL SHOOTING
BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON CRIME
HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
THURSDAY, MAY 27,1999 2:00 P.M.
2141 RAYBURN HOUSE OFFICE BUILDING
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 daughters 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 that blame lies here in this room. Much of that blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves. I wrote a poem just four nights ago that express my feelings best. This was written way before I knew l 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 makeup, 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 historic fact. What has happened to us as a nation? We have refused to honor God and in doing so, 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 continue 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 conscience and denies your God-given right to communicate with Him. To those of you who would point your finger at the NRA - I give to you sincere challenge. Dare to examine your own heart before you cast the first stone!
My daughter`s death will not be in vain. The young people of this country will not allow that to happen.