© 1999 Creators Syndicate, Inc.

One unfortunate aspect of political campaigns is that they tend to pressure
candidates into speaking out on all major events and issues and offering
political solutions for every solitary problem encountered by our society.
One of those events is last week’s tragic student massacre in Littleton,

Putative Senatorial candidate Hillary Clinton emitted the predictable
utterances about tightening gun control legislation. “We need to stand up
and say what needs to be said about guns and firearms and bombs.”

Al Gore also pressed for governmental limitations on the availability of
guns and called for moving more rapidly on the V-chip proposal to shelter
children from violence on television. Gore said that this incident has
shown us that we need “to confront the problems that really need new laws
and new solutions.”

While we are all struggling to make sense out of this madness, we should
not delude ourselves into thinking that all of society’s problems are
susceptible of political solutions. We are a dangerously prideful people if
we believe we can construct governmental fixes for every problem or
political vaccines to prevent every violent crime.

Most of these well-meaning proposals would be ineffective to prevent
similar tragedies because they target the symptoms rather than the causes.
For example, even in the extremely unlikely event that stricter gun laws
could have kept guns out of the hands of these young criminals, no law or
armed guard could keep them from making crude bombs and furtively placing
them in the school building. The fact that the phrase, “guns don’t kill
people, people do”, is a cliché, does not subtract from its truthfulness.

Many Republicans, on the other hand, have blamed Hollywood and video game
makers and urge boycotts and condemnation. Others have suggested that more
guns (in the hands of armed school guards) might have deterred or mitigated
the violence. Though these proposed solutions do not involve governmental
action, they unfortunately are also somewhat symptom-oriented.

Granted, it’s difficult to differentiate between symptoms and causes when
it comes to media violence. Life does indeed sometimes imitate art and
Columbine may be an eerie example of that. The murderers were reported to
have seen the movie, “The Basketball Diaries”, which included a scene of a
trench coat-clad student mowing down his fellow students in school. But
even if the movie may have generated an idea as to the means of the killing,
it is doubtful that it planted the killing-seed itself in the warped minds
of the murderers.

What, then, was the cause of these murders? Reports that the murderers
came from ideal homes and nice families prompted
columnist Mona Charen to ask whether “a parent who knows of such things [the
kid’s strange behavior patterns] and does nothing, or a parent who doesn’t
take the time to know, [can] be considered nice?” Plus, we have now learned
that detectives found a shotgun barrel, bomb-making materials and weapons
visible in one of the boy’s homes.

Some have suggested we need more school counselors, but the latest news is
that only two months ago, the two murderers graduated “with flying colors”
from a yearlong court-ordered juvenile diversion program which included
anger management classes.

Our frantic search for a man-made solution for Columbine and similar
horrors is emblematic of the root cause of these problems. While we should
do what we can to eliminate pornographic violence on the internet and in the
media and thereby discourage platforms for the dissemination of evil, we
must understand that we are not dealing with merely human problems, but
spiritual ones.

Spiritual problems can only be solved on a spiritual level. These kids
were not lost in a vacuum; it appears they were captured by the spiritual
reality of evil. The murderers were worshipping at the altar of the darkest
forces in the universe, forces that exalt death over life. The only way to
restore a respect for life is to turn in humility and submit to the Author
of Life.

We can talk until we’re blue in the face about bringing God back into the
classroom, but, as parents, we better start by bringing Him back into our
homes. To be sure, parents are instrumental in instilling values in their
children, but niceness alone doesn’t cut it.

We should obediently teach our children the value of life–that life is
precious because we were all created by a God Who loves us and desires a
personal relationship with us. That knowledge and relationship are the
armor they will need to fight the spiritual battles they will encounter this
side of Heaven.

To find out more about David Limbaugh, and read features by other
Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate
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