Schoolgrounds, Battlegrounds

On April 20, 1999, two Littleton, Colorado high-school seniors marched onto their campus and ruthlessly executed 13 classmates and teachers, injured 25, then committed suicide. Their cold efficiency and nonchalance were haunting. Many are asking, "How can this happen?...Again!"

In a late-90s' twist, some students--trapped in classrooms and closets--contacted the outside world via cell phones. But for all the technological connectedness of today's kids, are they connected to the things that really count? Or has our culture become tragically disconnected from a livable moral framework? Does a lack of stable, affirming social relationships portend even more youth violence? The perpetrators' fascination with putrid shock rocker Marilyn Manson, the film "Natural Born Killers" and Nazi ideology fill news stories. Should we expect different outcomes? Where is God amidst evil and suffering?

Moreover, is the scorn that was reportedly heaped on these violent killers tied to this behavioral explosion? An unbroken pattern related to similar incidents suggests so. Finally, what are the deeper issues and how can we address this vexing problem and its causes at a level that will truly make a difference?

—Leadership University Editor/Webmaster, Byron Barlowe

Feature Articles:

The Littleton Shootings: Looking for the "Why"
Sue Bohlin
Much discussion regarding the schoolhouse shootings at Columbine High in Colorado deal with the how's of what happened. The author goes deeper to discuss the possible why's.

Littleton's Martyrs
Chuck Colson
An early draft of a radio commentary by former Nixon cabinet member and Prison Fellowship Ministries Director, Charles Colson. He tells the story of a brave young girl, shot by the teenage gunmen in Colorado for her faith.

Related Resource:

Is There Meaning in Evil & Suffering?: Perspectives From Three Worldviews
Features noted Christian apologist and author Dr. Ravi Zacharias in a panel discussion with well-known spokesmen from the naturalist, Eastern and theistic Christian worldviews.

Related Articles:

The Morality of the West: From Bad to Worse
Ray Cotton
A critique of the ethics being taught in our schools and how it has changed from bibically based values to the morality of political rationalism. The reasoning of moral relativism is destroying our society and corrupting the minds of our youth.

Violence in Society
Kerby Anderson
Christian radio commentator and author discusses issue of violence in society with special emphasis on television violence.

Blaming the Guns Again
Timothy Wheeler, M.D.
Even before all the details were known and the police had conducted their investigation, television reporters were looking to assign blame for the shootings. Once again, fingers pointed toward America's "gun culture." Is this logical or even right?

State Education and the Decline in Morality
Paul A. Cleveland
Developing the personal moral character of children is an essential prerequisite for the continuation of civilization. Further, education is an important component of that process since moral behavior requires empathy for others. Regrettably, state schools are wholly unsuited to this task.

How State And Local Officials Can Combat Violent Juvenile Crime
James Wootton and Robert O. Heck
Policy statement from The Heritage Foundation (1996) recommending institution of various programs to stem youth violence, particularly the Serious Habitual Offenders Comprehensive Action Program (SHOCAP). Contains detailed research on youth crime and analysis of why today's juvenile justice system is failing.

In Memory of Rachel Joy Scott and A Wake–Up Call to America's Youth
Pastor Bruce Porter
Rachel Scott fell victim to the two young Colorado gunmen who later took their own lives. Her testimony as a born-again Christian serves as the impetus for this powerful challenge to other youths across the United States.

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