Eminent Domain Stuff
New London Update (2/24/06)
Coverage of the Rally at New London's City Hall (w/ pics)
Sunday, May 23, 2004
Darrell Scott Before Congress
Darrell Scott is the father of Rachel Scott, one of the students killed in the Columbine school shootings on April 20, 1999. I seem to recall hearing something about him going before Congress, but my memory is far from perfect. I received a forward this morning (as many of you probably have) with the text of his testimony before the US House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on May 27, 1999. The PDF can be found here, and other related links here (scroll down about half way). This is obviously ‘old news,’ but I think it is both important for its content and in that stands in stark contrast to something that has happened much more recently. Here is a bit of what Mr. Scott had to say:
"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."
…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!"
Here is a man who lost his daughter to absolutely senseless violence perpetrated by two very sick and confused teenagers. I cannot ever begin to imagine the pain of losing a child in any way…but to have lost your child like this must be unimaginably worse.
And yet, notice what he says. He lays the blame for this horrific act at the feet of the individuals who actually carried out this evil. Additionally, while he implicates the legislators by proxy, he does not call for their political heads on a platter. Rather, he challenges them to make things right.
Now, let’s compare Mr. Scott’s response to losing the most precious thing in his life to a more recent event. The beheading of Nick Berg caused both personal and national trauma. The response of his father has been nearly diametrically opposed to that of Mr. Scott, as I have mentioned previously. The Berg family claims (and are probably correct) that US forces held their son in Iraq causing him to be unable to leave before things went south, leading Mr. Berg to say:
"My son died for the sins of George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld. This administration did this,"
The equivalent would have been if Mr. Scott had gone before Congress and blamed the NRA for his daughter’s death. After all, the reasoning would go, without the NRA protecting the right of US citizens to own and carry guns, his daughter would still be alive.
The difference here, and the reason that I have immeasurable respect for Mr. Scott, is that Rachel Scott had no choice but to be in school and no reason to suspect that anything bad might happen to her. She was just going about her life like millions of other innocent kids in this country. To then be killed and have her father be man enough to stand up and lay blame where it belongs, namely at the feet of those who killed her, is amazing.
Mr. Berg’s response has been markedly different. He has laid the blame for his son’s brutal murder at the feet of President Bush and Donald Rumsfeld. Further, he has done so after his son was killed having been taken hostage in a war zone. His son was an adult who made a conscious decision to do good in the world while putting his own live in danger. That is a noble act and it should be applauded.
However, his father’s response has been a disgrace. I think the Berg family has the right to grieve however they see fit. The thing that concerns me (and should concern every American) is that Mr. Berg has used the death of his son, who supported President Bush’s decision to liberate Iraq, as an opportunity to undermine our efforts in that region. This action has put other sons and daughters still working for peace in Iraq in greater danger and is, therefore, both immoral and inexcusable.