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About Kate Obenshain
From 2008 to 2012, Ms. Obenshain championed her conservative convictions as vice president of Young America’s Foundation, a group that inspires emerging young leaders at the Reagan Ranch, Reagan Ranch Center, and on college campuses across the country. In 2003, she founded the Jennifer Byler Institute, a leadership training program for women in Virginia. Ms. Obenshain garnered national attention as the first woman chairman of the Virginia GOP. Serving from 2003 to 2006, she led the charge against tax increases and the expanding role of government. During her tenure as chairman, she eliminated the Party’s massive debt by implementing a business mentality and aggressive fundraising operation. She rebuilt the grassroots operation and restored strong conservative philosophical underpinnings as well as the credibility of the Party that had faced significant challenges before her term. While she was chair, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution identified her as a rising star in national politics. Ms. Obenshain served as Virginia Senator George Allen's chief of staff and as his chief education and health policy advisor while he was governor. From 1995 to 2000, she advanced budgetary reform and programmatic accountability as an appointee of Governors Allen and Gilmore on the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.
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Culture of Violence Will Be Ignored After OK Killing
Kate Obenshain
August 23, 2013
Those who will or already have reduced the brutal slaying of Christopher Lane to an issue of gun control don't want to deal with the complicated, tough issues involved: a culture of violence promoted by gangs that are recruiting and preying on young people and destroying lives, rap lyrics glorifying killing, rampant drug use among kids, and schools that are hotbeds of violence.

The murder of Chris Lane was not just senseless violence, or some random tragedy. He was targeted. We don't yet know why. But he was intentionally slaughtered. The killing is indicative of a cultural crisis across our society. This happened in Duncan, Oklahoma. Population: about 24,000. According to news reports, the Crips have been in this part of small town America for a couple years, and kids are cowering in their homes because they're being recruited and threatened with death if they don't join.

One of the accused was 15. He's in school--think teachers didn't realize he was troubled, in a gang, violent, possibly using and/or selling drugs?

Our teachers see what's happening. They know drugs are rampant, they know rap and a culture of violence are stealing our children. They put their lives on the line every day to go into these places and try to offer a better future to our young. But they are given no back up, no useful tools to deal on a daily basis with the crisis (think the current "mediation in lieu of consequences" fad would have impacted Lane's killers?) because we as a society would rather shout about racism and guns than deal with the problems destroying a significant portion of that generation.

It's much easier to offer up gun control as a panacea that will fix the problem of violence in our society--particularly for the left. That way, they don't offend Hollywood, the music industry, teachers unions, Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton. They just offend the NRA. But we all know gun control won't touch The actual problems. With hundreds of millions of guns in circulation in the US, restrictions only keep guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens.

Look, this is hard. It will take a painful, courageous self-examination of where we are as a nation--the fact that we are sacrificing a generation because we're too scared to talk about tough issues of popular culture, poverty, schools filled with violence, drugs and no discipline, and yes, race. Because we've been conditioned by academia and the media to see it as politically incorrect and insensitive--ok, as downright racist--to dare to talk about violence by blacks or other minorities and the destructive forces profiting off that violence.

Is our president going to lead us courageously into that discussion? One can only hope. He's the one to do it. But given his track record of not addressing these issues with seriousness, but instead stirring the racial pot when it suits him (Columbia police "acted stupidly" in the Henry Louis Gates incident; and If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon."), don't hold your breath.

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