06/21/05 — Lost rudders: As values fall by the wayside, sinister influences fill the void

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Lost rudders: As values fall by the wayside, sinister influences fill the void

An e-mail message is circulating around the area about a few statements made to some legislators by a man who lost his daughter in the 1999 Columbine High School shootings.
Darrell Scott was called to speak to a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee last week, according to this e-mail. While there, he said a lot of things about gun control, hatred and the tragedy of losing a daughter.
But he also said something else that many of us might not have stopped to think about since that tragic day that left 11 young people and one brave teacher dead.
Mr. Scott does not blame the guns that shot the bullets that killed his daughter and her classmates, and he rightly points out that all the preventative measures in the world would not have stopped the two young men who were determined to become murderers.
What he suggests, and we should think about, is that the reason two young men formed such an evil plan has more to do with a disconnect from the guidance and beliefs that help people make other choices than it does with guns.
Mr. Scott said this country has removed too much of the spiritual influence that has helped guide generations. He points to the campaign to remove prayer from schools and other attempts to separate faith from public life as signs that this country is not headed in the right direction. Left without a rudder, he suggests, many people do not move to good deeds and helping each other, but fall victim instead to more sinister influences.
You might not agree with everything Mr. Scott is saying. He has very strong beliefs.
But it would not hurt any of us to think about how much direction this country sometimes can seem to have lost. The standards are not quite as high, and we are sometimes too quick to ignore the rights of the majority to protect the minority.
Prayer in schools might not be the answer, but would there really be anything wrong with adding more of a moral code to the education we give our children? Couldn’t we curb a little bit more of the violence they are exposed to, and maybe even get them to think more about values and the types of adults they want to grow up to be?
None of that might have prevented Columbine, but if there is a chance that re-evaluating where we are might prevent even one person from making that same choice, isn’t it worth a look?

Published in Editorials on June 21, 2005 11:57 AM