“Since the dawn of creation, there has been a portion of both good and evil in the hearts of men and women. We all contain the seeds of violence and the seeds of loving. “The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of her heroic teacher and the other 11 children who died must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers. “One of the first recorded acts of violence was when Cain slew his brother, Abel, out in the fields. The villain was the not the club Cain used. The true killer was Cain and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain’s heart.

“In the days following the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the National Rifle Association.

“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 do not believe they are responsible for my daughter’s death.

“I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy — it was a spiritual event which should force us to look for where the real blame lies.

“Much of the blame lies here in this room, (the U.S. Congress.) Much of the blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves.

“I wrote a poem expressing my own feelings.

“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,
“Then ask the question ‘why?’
“You regulate restrictive laws,
“Through legislative creed.
“And yet you fail to understand,
“That God is what we need.”

“We all consist of three parts — body, soul and spirit. When we fail to acknowledge that third part of our make-up, we create a void which allows evil, prejudice and hatred to rush in and cause havoc.

“Spiritual influences were present in our educational systems for most of American history. Many major colleges began as theological seminaries. These are historical facts.

“What has happened to us as a nation? We have refused to honor God and, in so doing, we have opened the doors to hatred and violence. And, when something as terrible as Columbine occurs, politicians immediately look for a scapegoat like the NRA; they immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws and continue to erode our personal and private liberties.

“We do not need more restrictive laws. (The shooters), Eric and Dylan, would not have been stopped by metal detectors. No gun law will stop someone who spends time planning this type of massacre. The real villain lies within our own hearts.

“The young people of our nation hold the key. There is a spiritual awakening taking place. It will not be squelched.

“We do not need more religion. We do not need more gaudy television evangelists spewing our verbal religious garbage. We do not need more million-dollar church buildings being constructed while people’s basic needs are being ignored.

Darrell Scott concluded his speech to a quiet, dumbfounded U.S. Congressional committee, this way:

“As my son, Craig, lay under that classroom table in that school library and saw his friends murdered before his very eyes — he did not hesitate to pray.

“I defy any law or any politician to deny him that right.”

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