Darrell Scott's Columbine Testimony
By David Emery, About.com Guide
Netlore Archive: Mr. Darrell Scott, the father of a victim of the Columbine shootings, did in fact deliver the stirring testimony before Congress that has been widely quoted in forwarded emails.
Description: Forwarded email / Viral text
Circulating since: June 1999
Status: Transcription is authentic (see details below)
Email text contributed by Glenda S., Jan. 4, 2001:
Guess our national leaders didn't expect this, hmm?
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 sub-committee.
What he said to our national leaders during this special session of Congress was painfully truthful. They were not prepared for what he was to say, nor was it received well. 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. There is no doubt that God sent this man as a voice crying in the wilderness. The following is a portion of the transcript:
"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,
"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!"
Do what the media did not... let the nation hear this man's speech.
Analysis: Darrell Scott, the father of Rachel Joy Scott a student killed in the 1999 shootings at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado did make this speech during testimony on May 27, 1999 before the Subcommittee on Crime of the House Judiciary Committee. It was the first of many similar talks he has delivered on the subject.
Spurred on in part by writings in the notebooks and diaries left behind by his daughter, Mr. Scott the son of an Episcopalian minister, though he himself is adamantly non-denominational quit his job, set up a non-profit organization called The Columbine Redemption, and embarked on a grueling schedule of speaking engagements all across the United States to spread his message.
Was Scott's testimony inadequately covered by the press, as most versions of this forwarded email suggest? Opinions will differ. There wasn't a great deal of major news coverage you aren't likely to have seen it on television, for example but there was coverage. (The same goes for the testimony given by several other of the parents of the Columbine victims who appeared before the same committee, some of whom expressed opinions which differed considerably from Mr. Scott's.) Darrell Scott's speech was covered nationally by the Scripps Howard and Associated Press wire services, not to mention in daily newspapers across the U.S., such as the Denver Rocky Mountain News, the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Washington Times, the Boston Globe, the Arizona Republic, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Chicago Sun-Times... well, you get the idea.
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Sources and further reading:
Columbine Victim's Dad Says NRA a Scapegoat
From the Denver Rocky Mountain News, 28 May 1999
Dad Carries Slain Teen's Message
Article on Darrell Scott's continuing mission from the Denver Post, 20 Oct 1999
Gore: GOP Plotting with NRA Against Gun Control
Associated Press, 28 May 1999