Jan. 10. 2013
Good, Evil & Guns
By Mike McManus
The gun issue is heating up. People feel passionately on one
side or the other. This week Darrell Scott, the father of Rachel
- one of the victims of the Columbine High School shootings,
testified to the House Judiciary Committee:
“Since the dawn of creation there has been both good and 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. The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder
could only be found in his heart.”
Scott was critical of “how quickly fingers began to be pointed
at such groups as the NRA.” He is not a member nor even a gun
owner, but doesn’t blame NRA or gun owners.
He called Columbine “not just a tragedy” but “a spiritual
event.” He even said the “blame lies here in this room.” As
evidence he read a short poem he wrote:
“Your laws ignore our deepest needs,/ Your words are empty air./
You’ve stripped away our heritage,/ You’ve outlawed simple
“Now gunshots fill our classrooms,/and precious children die…
“You fail to understand,/That God is what we need.”
Scott is right in adding that “Men and women are three-part
beings. We all consist of body, mind, 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 wreak
However, Scott ignores some basic facts. According to Gallup
Polls, two-thirds of Americans are members of a church,
synagogue or mosque, and 43% attend worship services in any
By contrast, only 12% of the British attend weekly – about
one-quarter of the U.S. Yet only 63 British were killed in
firearm murders in a year compared to 12,179 murders in America
committed with guns.
The only reasonable conclusion is that even though the U.S. is
four times more religious than the British, Americans are 200
times more likely to be killed by a gun than is a British
What matters is not faith but the availability of guns in our
In 2010, 19,382 committed suicide with a gun. In fact, a
California study of handgun purchasers found that in the first
year after purchase, suicide was the leading cause of death.
In a recent column I reported that I accidentally nearly killed
myself with my father’s pistol at age 10. Two years later Dad
was threatening my mother with the gun. I grabbed it away from
him and hid it. I’ve never had a gun in my house.
In other respects Dad was a good father to me. He spent time
talking to me about the factory he ran, politics and the
American culture. He sparked my interest in journalism, which
led to my career.
However, I’ve experienced the danger of guns. Consequently, I
support several important reforms that Congress will consider:
First, every purchaser of a gun should undergo a background
check to see if he has a criminal or mental health record that
should prevent a sale. Fully 40% of sales are in gun shows where
background checks aren’t required. The two Columbine high school
shooters recruited friends to buy guns for them at gun shows.
One buyer said she would not have bought them if required to get
a background check.
Even so, 600,000 gun purchases were prevented due to background
However, there are many loopholes. Jared Lee Loughner, who shot
Rep. Gifford, was so disruptive in class that campus police had
been notified. Yet he was still able to buy the gun. The
Virginia Tech killer of 32 people was considered dangerous by a
Virginia court and ordered into treatment. But his record was
not reported to the background-check system.
Second, I believe assault weapons like those in Newtown should
be banned, along with high capacity clips of bullets. No hunter
needs to fire 30 rounds in a few seconds.
Third, I support the “buy-back” of guns. Camden, N.J. police
paid up to $250 for weapons with forfeited money paid by felons,
and 1,100 guns were turned in.
The key to fewer deaths is fewer guns.
30+ Years / 1700+ Columns
2017: Column 1861: Cohabitation: A Growing Problem - Part II
Cohabitation: A Growing Problem - Part I
Texting While Driving - A Killer
Why Have "Religious Nones" Tripled?
Norma McCorvey Roe of Roe v. Wade
The Worst Valentine: Cohabitation
Pornography: A Public Health Hazard
Christianity Gives Women Equal Opportunity
Sextortion Kills Teens
Assisted Suicide Is Growing
same sex marriage,
abortion and infanticide,