Commentary | The Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting recalls the famous quote by George Santayana: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” This philosophy was a slight modification of statement made by Edmund Burke: “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.” If we heed these words, we might look to past school shootings like the Columbine massacre.
Darrell Scott is the father of Rachel Scott, the first person to die in Columbine at the hands of the two estranged youths. Some of his thoughts have begun to become popular again through emails and Facebook. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Rachel’s brother Scott was a survivor of the Columbine massacre. He believes that the nation’s focus should be on how schools teach character, integrity, and values, not just academic achievements.
So far, events seem to indicate that history will be repeated in the wake of the Sandy Hook school shootings. Rupert Murdoch has called for gun bans and even moderates are questioning whether we need gun control reform. Some bloggers are even calling for the death of the NRA president and suspending the 2nd amendment.
After Columbine, there was a similar reaction, and a Congressional House subcommittee was formed to consider the question of further gun control laws. Darrell Scott gave his testimony, laying out his thoughts on the subject of gun control and how it pertained to the tragedy he had just experienced:
“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 that blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves.”
This sentiment echoes another idea that is being publicized all over the media: That, since God and prayer is not officially endorsed by the government-funded public school system, a corresponding gap in teaching spiritual or moral strength may inevitably lead to human choices that cause such tragedies.
Mike Huckabee has been criticized for saying, “we’ve escorted [God] right out of our culture and marched him off the public square … and then we express our surprise that a culture without him actually reflects what it has become.” AFA President Brian Fischer thoughts on the subject were a bit more crass, claiming that God did not intervene in the tragedy because “God is not going to go where he is not wanted.”
Some decry these statements as being a politicization of what should be a time of mourning. Darrell Scott had some strong words to say on that subject, although he does not say God allowed this to happen but instead puts the emphasis on human decisions:
“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 reek havoc.
“Spiritual presences 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.
“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 acknowledgement 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.”
Do you think that the words of this Columbine father should guide our thoughts in considering how to prevent future school shootings?