Some heartbreaking news out of Duncan, Oklahoma today. Three teens were reportedy so "bored" that they decided to randomly murder another human being. James Edwards, 15, Chancey Luna, 16, and Michael Jones, 17, are currently in police custody on charges of killing star baseball player Christopher Lane, 22. He was tragically gunned down while jogging through Duncan on Friday afternoon.
Duncan police chief Danny Ford explained what happened in this nightmare-turned-reality: "They saw Christopher go by, and one of them said: 'There's our target' .... The boy who has talked to us said: 'We were bored and didn't have anything to do, so we decided to kill somebody.'"
"They followed him in the car to that area, shot him in the back, and drove off," Ford said.
It truly doesn't get much more cold, callous, and disturbing than this.
Of course, reading a story like this one inevitably brings up this eternal debate: Gun control is such a hot topic nowadays, but I think we can all come to the same conclusion. There really is no easy answer ... or we would have figured it out by now. Would stricter laws have kept the gun out of the hands of these teenagers? Would they have found a way regardless? How do we keep guns out of the hands of violent people? Impossible questions to answer, but ones we must figure out to try to keep these senseless acts of gun violence to a minimum. No one can argue that it has gotten way out of control.
Former deputy prime minister Tim Fischer, who led Australia's gun control reforms with the prime minister back in 1996 (Christopher was from Melbourne attending a college in Oklahoma on a baseball scholarship), thinks he has one solution. Tim is encouraging tourists not to visit the US to put pressure on the government. "Tourists thinking of going to the USA should think twice," he said. "This is the bitter harvest and legacy of the policies of the NRA that even blocked background checks for people buying guns at gunshows."
Not sure if tourists refusing to visit the US will have much of an impact on gun legislation -- at least it's increasing awareness that something has to be done? -- but there's another issue I hate bringing up with these arrests, yet everyone is going to be talking about it anyway: race. The two charged with first-degree murder are black, while the third accused of being an accessory is white. Christopher Lane was white. The expected inflammatory remarks regarding the race of those who were involved already are imploding comments sections, as race relations and crime is another extremely important issue that, again, will not be easily resolved -- especially in the context of this blog post. I'd prefer to get to the heart of this entire thing.
Three teenagers were so bored that their immediate thought was to kill the next person who passed by them on the street. Imagine if someone you loved was innocently jogging on a Friday afternoon and then, the next you hear, they are dead, all because the perpetrators had nothing better to do.
How far have we fallen as a society for something like this to happen? Who failed these kids so that when they were bored, the first thing they thought of doing was to (allegedly) take someone else's life? If they did what they were arrested for, stories like these bring yet another sobering light to the evil some humans are capable of possessing.
Today should have been the first day of Chris's new semester at college, but instead his family is planning on bringing his body back home to Australia. Such a promising life cut way too short.
Here is more on this sad, sad story:
Do you think anything could have been done to prevent this random act of violence?
Image via Sky News