In the wake of the tragedy in Littleton, Co. most of the focus has
been on who, or what to blame. The parents, the teachers, the school
administrators, movies, music, the Internet, and even a few intrepid
types have claimed the two disturbed kids might actually be accountable
for the havoc that resulted in 15 deaths, including their own.
Now that the dust has settled and bodies cooled it strikes me that
the most amazing tragedy of the event was no one ... no student, no
teacher, no adult, no cop, attempted to do anything resembling
courageous. The media reported acts of "bravery" as getting people to
hide here, there, and everywhere. Hiding may be prudent, but it is not
heroic. Even the heavily armed SWAT troops with their flak jackets and
kevlar helmets avoided putting themselves at risk. Why? The mere fact I
have to ask the question is beyond daunting.
Were the students, teachers and cops so conditioned by politically
correct programming that action became anathema to them? I guess to ask
the question is to answer it.
I've had a lot of e-mail on this. One international security firm
wrote: "We are getting calls, all from the older guys throughout the
business, who take great exception to the Colorado cops who waited to go
in. The killing obviously took a while, and the event could have ended
sooner with less loss of life. It is politically correct to say 'the
objective is to go home at the end of the shift.' For the rest of us,
'The objective is to go home at the end of the shift -- and be able to
look at yourself in the mirror.' There is no honor in going home if you
do it at the expense of others."
"You GO IN! If you take a bullet, you did it trying to save or rescue
children. You don't say 'what a tragedy.' You don't come up with
multiple reasons why you couldn't go in. That is the job, and you go in.
... We have real-life counter terrorism professionals living about 30
miles outside of Denver -- who can't get the cops there to listen when
they are told this type of stuff is coming their way." That's from
professional badge carrying, gun carrying career types. Sadly, a dying
breed... guys who actually probably read 'Red Badge of Courage.'
I don't like to Monday morning quarterback what happened in Columbine
High school. You and I were not there. We were not faced with the choice
of sacrificing our personal safety to do something courageous. We still
don't know all the details. However, we do know 15 people are dead, and
despite the scope of that tragedy, fewer lives should have been lost.
One report tells of a security guard who actually engaged the deadly duo
but missed. There was a long period of time during the "hostage stage"
that gunfire continued and young people died.
Am I suggesting someone should have put themselves at risk? Am I
suggesting someone do something stupid and use deadly force? Yes I am.
For some of the witnesses, to the great sadness, it was their job ...
for others it was their duty.
We as a people have become so conditioned to comfort, so
indoctrinated to correctness, that we are mutating from the land of the
free and home of the brave, to the land of the sheep and home of
cowards. Ask your oldest living relative if they would rather live on
their knees or die on their feet? Then ask the same question of your
Books have been and will be written about the myriad contributing
factors to what caused two kids to do what they did. There is a long
list of suspects to blame from parents, to teachers, to cops who had
been warned, to a society that in an effort to embrace diversity -- any
kind of diversity -- has sanctioned perversity.
We have become so focused on our own comforts that far too many
people fail to acknowledge an inherent duty we all share. De Tocqueville
once observed, "America is great because America is good. When America
ceases to be good it will cease to be great." It has come to pass. We
are witnesses of the age in which America ceased to be great, because it
ceased to be good.
From our national leadership tainted by a contemptible, lying,
misogynist with the moral compass of a slug, to states that undermine
parents' rights, and cherish victimhood as a role to be embraced.
Schools don't teach, parents don't parent, and the body politic is
shocked and amazed when bad stuff happens. There ARE consequences to
actions ... and to lack of action. Fifteen people are dead because of
actions which never should have been allowed to transpire. Fifteen
people are dead because of lack of action by individuals who were in a
position to do something and didn't.
Teddy Roosevelt once said, "It is not the critic who counts, not the
man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of
deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is
actually in the arena; whose face is marred with sweat and dust and
blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again,
and who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends
himself in a worthy cause; who, if he wins, knows the triumph of high
achievement and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while
daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and
timid souls who know neither victory or defeat."
Survivors of the Littleton, Co. tragedy must live their lives as
"cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat."