Governor Mike Huckabee of Arkansas is the designated recipient of the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month Award for May.

In Washington, D. C., John Michael Snyder, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director, said he decided to nominate Huckabee for the CCRKBA Award when he saw and heard the Governor’s comments on television following the March 24 slaying in Jonesboro, Arkansas of a school teacher and four school children allegedly by two other children, aged 11 and 13.

On March 25, Gov. Huckabee said he was angry at a culture that breeds this kind of act, “whether it’s in the television programs they see, the movies they see, the language they use, the things they are exposed to and the glorification of those things.”

Huckabee told the Cable News Network (CNN) that “I’m not sure we could expect a whole lot else in a culture where these children are exposed to tens of thousands of murders on television and movies, and we desensitize human life…

“It should shock us and maybe wake us up to recognize that this isn’t an individual problem of students or one school or even a state. It’s a cultural disease that we’ve got to address.”

Snyder said what so impressed him about Huckabee’s remarks was that, despite the expected clamor for more and more gun control following the misuse of firearms in this tragedy by the two alleged child-murderers, Huckabee, the Governor of the State in which the incident occurred, “did not jump on the gun control background, but showed both common sense and measured judgment in his remarks.

“Huckabee, a hunter and outdoorsman himself, did not follow the knee-jerk, politically correct program and point his finger at firearms ownership in general, as did a number of other people in public life, but he looked at the situation in a more statesmanlike manner and reacted in a much more prudent way. This takes conviction, judgment and courage and he certainly is to be congratulated for his response.

“After he made his comments, others made similar comments, and he may have started the ball rolling in a proper direction. Perhaps now more and more people will realize that criminal violence is a serious problem and that the response to it lies not in infringing upon the right to keep and bear arms of law-abiding citizens who are not part of the problem but, rather, in determining what the roots of the problem really are and resolving to do something about them. Let’s hope that turns out to be the case. In any event, Gov. Huckabee is certainly deserving of this Award.”

Among those who apparently agreed with Huckabee’s remarks was Robert H. Knight, Director of Cultural Studies for the Family Research Council, who stated “there is a steady drumbeat of violence in television and films that says you can solve your problem with the click of the trigger.”

Knight said he believes the breakdown of the family is the primary reason that killings by the young have become so commonplace, but stressed that the “sheer volume of media violence is a major contributing factor.”

Ron Slaby, a psychologist at Harvard University who specializes in television’s effect on the developing child, said he is convinced that violence portrayed on film and television contributed to the Jonesboro killings.

Shortly after a 14-year-old boy killed three fellow students at a high school in West Paducah, Kentucky, reported Joyce Howard Price in THE WASHINGTON TIMES, Slaby said he was certain that media violence was a contributing factor in the incident, and he was proven correct. The boy said he was heavily influenced by a film that featured a similar killing.

William S. Abbott, President by the Foundation to Improve Television, pointed out that “close to 3,000 studies” have made the connection between actual violence and violence portrayed in film and on television.

Leonard Eron, a psychology professor at the University of Michigan, followed 875 children from age eight to 30 that found a strong correlation between a person’s aggression and the violence of the television shows he watched.

Hopefully, then, Huckabee’s remarks may have sparked a fresh approach to the whole problem of violence, including violence youth. Let’s encourage that.

Mike Huckabee became Governor of Arkansas on July 15, 1996. Huckabee, the State’s Lieutenant Governor, ascended to the office when Gov. Jim Guy Tucker resigned. Huckabee had been Lieutenant Governor since 1993.

Huckabee’s career includes service as President of Cambridge Communications in Texarkana, Arkansas from 1992 through 1996, as a Pastor in Texarkana between 1986 and 1992 and in Pine Bluff, Arkansas from 1980 until 1986, as President of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention from 1989 through 1991, and as President of KBSC, a UHF 24-hour channel in Texarkana from 1987 through 1992.

Born August 24, 1955 in Hope, Arkansas, Huckabee graduated from Hope High School in 1973. He graduated magna cum laude from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas in 1975, completing a four year degree program in just over two years. He attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas in 1976 and 1977. He holds an Honorary Doctor of Humanities from John Brown University and an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Ouachita Baptist University.

He and his wife, Janet McCain, also of Hope, were married 24 years ago this month, on May 25, 1974 (Happy Anniversary!) and are the parents of three children, John Mark, David and Sarah.