[Congressional Record (Bound Edition), Volume 145 (1999), Part 11]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages 16034-16035]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov]

                        TRIBUTE TO VIKKI BUCKLEY


                           HON. BOB SCHAFFER

                              of colorado

                    in the house of representatives

                        Wednesday, July 14, 1999

  Mr. SCHAFFER. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the life and 
contributions of Vikki Buckley, Colorado's Secretary of State, who 
passed away this morning after suffering an apparent heart attack on 
Tuesday. Quoting a friend of hers, ``Vikki's no longer in the hands of 
doctors. She's now in the arms of God.''
  Vikki, who proudly proclaimed herself to not be a hyphenated 
American, but a proud American. She held the distinction of being the 
first Black Secretary of State and the first Black Republican woman 
elected to a statewide constitutional office. Winning her first 
election by 57 percent to 36 percent in 1994, she was re-elected last 
November. Running for office for the first time, Vikki was selected for 
the Republican ballot after defeating several opponents at the Colorado 
Republican State Assembly in 1994. She distinguished herself from her 
opponents when she stood up and delivered one of the best speeches I've 
had the pleasure of hearing.
  An outspoken conservative, Vikki served as the state's chief election 
official and traveled around the state and country continuing to speak 
out on varying issues of importance to her, enduring the wrath of 
liberals. Most recently, she gave the opening remarks at the National 
Rifle Association's annual meeting in Denver, CO. Her speech has been 
acknowledged nationwide and most insightful concerning the heart of 
humanity and the preservation of the entire Constitution of the United 
States, including the Second Amendment.
  Mr. Speaker, I hereby submit Vikki's speech for the record.

 Welcoming Remarks of the Colorado Secretary of State Ms. Vikki Buckley

       Good morning! I greet you as Secretary of State of Colorado 
     and I welcome you to Colorado, a state where some of us 
     believe strongly in the entire Constitution of these United 
     States, including the Second Amendment.
       Isn't it ironic that many who would run you out of town 
     would themselves be unable to even vote had we as a nation 
     not honored all provisions of the United States Constitution?
       To them I say--shame on you!
       I stand before you today as one who has worked closely with 
     the family of Isaiah Shoels. Isaiah was the Columbine High 
     School student who was killed in part because of the color of 
     his skin.
       I must agree with Isaiah's father Michael who has stated 
     that guns are not the issue. Hate is what pulls the trigger 
     of violence.
       We are witnesses to new age hate crimes which we must 
     eliminate if we are to remain the greatest nation on earth.
       What is a new age hate crime?
       When our children leave for school without a value system 
     which places a premium on human life--we are accessories to a 
     new age hate crime.
       Parents, when you raise your children and send them to 
     school without a value system which teaches the difference 
     between right and wrong; then parents, we have committed a 
     new age hate crime.
       I say to those who run our schools, when you allow children 
     to graduate who are technologically and functionally 
     illiterate--you have committed a new age hate crime because 
     those children are destined to be economically tortured to 
     death as though they had been chained and dragged behind a 
     pickup truck in Jasper, Texas.
       Those who would run the NRA out of town need to look at our 
     own children who are engaging in irresponsible sex and having 
     children they cannot take care of. Such irresponsible sex is 
     a new age hate crime--raise as much heck about that as you do 
     the NRA and you will save more lives in 5 years than are 
     taken with guns in a century.
       If we allow the language of hate in our homes--when terms 
     such as ``nigger'' are freely used then we are laying the 
     foundation for new age hate crimes. The language of hate must 
     be challenged.
       Just before a skinhead gunned down a black man on a 
     downtown Denver street last year he asked, ``Are you ready to 
     die, nigger?'' Columbine eyewitness accounts reveal that just 
     before Isaiah's killers fired they asked, ``Where is that 
     little nigger?'' The language of hate must go.
       Now I know that some of what I say here today can make some 
     of us squirm a little bit. We are all guilty of harboring 
     some prejudices and stereotypes. But it is when we are most 
     uncomfortable about addressing an issue that we become so 
     close to real problem solving.
       People we can do better. I am not a hyphenated American. I 
     am an American. That is why I know we can do better.
       I find it difficult to discuss--but I have been a victim of 
     a gun-shot wound. I know first hand the pain and fear--but 
     that experience has not made me an opponent of the NRA or the 
     Second Amendment.
       That is why I stand before you today and ask you to join me 
     and commit NRA resources to combat violence and hate. I am 
     not talking a slick PR campaign, I am talking about a 
     programmatic approach designed to combat violence and hate. I 
     will be in touch to make this proposal a reality.
       Together, we can work for a living memorial to those who 
     perished at Columbine. But we must stand ever strong against 
     those who would ignore sections of the U.S. Constitution 
     which they do not like. We are a strong

[[Page 16035]]

     democracy because the guiding principles of our Constitution 
     and all of its amendments including the Second must be 
     adhered to in its entirety, not selectively.
       Thank you and God bless America.

  Vikki, the mother of three sons and the grandmother of two, was once 
on welfare to support her children. She left public welfare 25 years 
ago when she became a clerk typist in the Secretary of State's office, 
the office which she eventually directed as Secretary of State. She 
attended Heritage Christian Center and was a board member of Project 
Heritage. She was a founding member and director of the Colorado Stand 
Up for Kids Organization, and mentored young ladies in the nonprofit 
organization Empowering Young Ladies for Excellence, and spoke to 
international women's organizations regarding bridging differences to 
make a stronger global community. She has worked to help homeless kids 
and has worked tirelessly in the cause of stopping youth and gang 
  Vikki was twice featured in significant publications, the December 
1995 Ladies Home Journal--``Against all Odds'', and Atlantic Monthly, 
1996, ``America's Conservative Women.'' She received numerous awards 
including the Political Award from National Federal of Black Business 
Women and numerous ``Breaking through the Glass Ceiling'' awards.
  Mr. Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to share a 
snapshot of Vikki Buckley's life and the contributions she has made to 
the state of Colorado and this Nation. Our lives have been enriched for 
having known Vikki.