I wish we all could have heard his message when he gave his presentation. On Thursday, May 27, 1999, Darrell Scott, the father of Rachel Scott, a victim of the Columbine High School shootings in Littleton, Colorado, was invited to address the House Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee. What he said to our national leaders during this special session of Congress was painfully truthful. It needs to be heard by every parent, every teacher, every politician, every sociologist, every psychologist, and every so-called expert! These courageous words spoken by Darrell Scott are powerful, penetrating, and deeply personal. House Judiciary Committee at the Rayburn House office building in Washington, D.C.
The following is a portion of the transcript:
“At this very moment in a cemetery in Southern Denver – Chapel Hill Cemetary – they’re erecting 13 crosses that I think are well known across the country, as a permanent memorial at the head of my daughter’s grave. And my heart really longs to be there with my children, Bethany and her husband Don, Dana, Craig, and Mike, but it’s with their blessing that I’m here today, and I appreciate that. I realize that I’m a mere pawn in today’s hearings, but I’m a willing pawn, because I dare to believe that I can make a difference. Every once in awhile, a pawn has been used to checkmate a king. I have no hidden agenda, and of course I have no political aspirations. I simply speak to you as a brokenhearted father, and I only ask that you allow your heart to hear me for the next few minutes.
Since the dawn of creation there has been both good & 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 reek 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! And remember that even a pawn in a master’s hand can accomplish much.
Thank you very much. “
Rachel was shot while eating lunch with a friend, Richard Castaldo, on the lawn outside the school’s library. She was killed by Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold with multiple gunshot wounds to her head, chest, arm, and leg. After the killings, her car was turned into a flower-bedecked memorial in the school’s parking lot by grieving students. Rachel’s younger brother, Craig, was also at the school at the time. He was in the library where most of the carnage took place. He survived unharmed.
Early news reports said that one of the gunmen, after having first shot Rachel in her leg, picked her up by her hair and asked the wounded girl if she still believed in God, and that she had answered “You know I do”. Her response provoked a second, fatal shot to her head at point-blank range. Some accounts attributed this version of events to Castaldo, who was severely wounded in the attack. Although his mother told a Dateline NBC interviewer about the exchange, Castaldo denied telling this story in a December 1999 Time magazine interview. The FBI later concluded that the exchange did not take place. Despite the controversy surrounding this issue, Rachel’s parents contend in their book, Rachel’s Tears: the Spiritual Journey of Columbine Martyr Rachel Scott, that their daughter was targeted by the killers and died as a martyr for her Christian faith. This was based on videotapes made by the teenage perpetrators in which they are said to mock Rachel by name for her beliefs.
The Columbine High School massacre occurred on Tuesday, April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School in Columbine, an unincorporated area of Jefferson County, Colorado, United States, near Denver and Littleton. Two senior students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, embarked on a massacre, killing 12 students and 1 teacher. They also injured 21 other students directly, and three people were injured while attempting to escape. The pair then committed suicide. It is the fourth-deadliest school massacre in United States history, after the 1927 Bath School disaster, 2007 Virginia Tech massacre,and the 1966 University of Texas massacre, and the deadliest for an American high school.
The massacre provoked debate regarding gun control laws, the availability of firearms in the United States, and gun violence involving youths. Much discussion also centered on the nature of high school cliques, subcultures, and bullying, as well as the role of violent movies and video games in American society. The shooting resulted in an increased emphasis on school security, and a moral panic aimed at goth culture, social outcasts, the gun culture, the use of pharmaceutical anti-depressants by teenagers, violent films and music, teenage internet use, and violent video games.