3 Oklahoma teens allegedly kill Aussie baseball player “for the fun of it”

Three Oklahoma teenagers allegedly followed and then shot to death an Australian baseball player “for the fun of it.”

The police say one of the teenagers has already confessed.  The boys are 15, 16, and 17.

The Australian victim was 22 year old Chris Lane, who was followed by the boys and gunned down while jogging in Duncan, Oklahoma.

The 17 year old, who confessed, says the boys were bored, so they decided to kill somebody.  They saw Lane jog by them, decided they’d kill him, so they followed him, and they did.

chris-lane

This isn’t just a gun control story. It’s a culture story.

We’ve got a horrific culture of violence in our country.  And it’s an issue that’s complicated as hell.  It is far too easy to get a gun in America.  But we also have a larger culture that is too quick to turn violence, and too quick to revere violence.  A culture that simply isn’t responsible enough for gun ownership.  And that culture of violence is not just fed by gun advocates, it also creates more gun advocates.  It’s a vicious circle.  Then you add poverty, discrimination, a resultant underclass, and yet another sub-culture of violence to the mix, and you end up with three bored teenagers deciding to gun a guy down because there’s nothing to watch on TV.

I’ve never been sympathetic to the 2nd Amendment crowd.  But I’ve also never been sympathetic to children who act like animals.  I’m tired of both.  And it’s not clear that either side in this debate, the left or the right, is willing to face all the issues that make this kind of violence possible.  Some on the right think guns aren’t the problem, and some on the left think guns are the only problem.  Neither is right.

A former Australian deputy prime minister, who was heavily involved in successful gun control efforts in that country, is calling on Australians to boycott travel to the US.  He hopes that perhaps this might send a message to America that the gun culture is out of control.

Good luck.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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131 Responses to “3 Oklahoma teens allegedly kill Aussie baseball player “for the fun of it””

  1. andrew767 says:

    Meanwhile some 400,000 indigenous Australians have been killed during the US mining of West Papua and neither the media or US public seems to mind that.

    For 51 years repression, torture, and some 400,000 deaths has been inflicted on West New Guinea (West Papua). American voters do not know, but thousands of very powerful Americans know where their money is coming from.

    Its a scheme designed by bonesman Robert Abercrombie Lovett who with members of the Rockefeller clan was a director of the Freeport mining company.

    Lovett and the Rockefellers wanted the world’s biggest gold mine, a sacred mountain homeland of the Amungme people in Dutch administrated West New Guinea. Neither the Dutch nor the locals would ever grant the Rockefellers a mining license so the 1936 geology & survey reports were illegally hidden from the Dutch who had granted NNGPM the exploration license.

    But in March 1959 the New York Times reported the Dutch were sending teams to identify which mountain was the source of alluvial gold found along the southern coast of West New Guinea. So by August 1959 Forbes Wilson was flying to claim the magical mountains for Freeport and its directors as a “possible copper reserve” but no mention that it was the source of the gold or that the oil-men had hidden the geology & survey reports since 1936.

    But how to get rid of the Dutch? And how to prevent the locals having control of their lands? And how to trick the Kennedy brothers into it?

    Lovett told President-elect Kennedy to appoint McGeorge Bundy as the US National Security Adviser, who had the NSC begin a campaign asking Kennedy to approve a scheme for Indonesia to colonize West New Guinea (West Papua) – see Dept. of State summary http://t.co/LMW3WX082I

    The problem with the NSC plan to blackmail the Dutch into selling West Papuan people to Indonesia had a problem; it was no longer legal to buy & sell people or nations. The SOLUTION was United Nations Trusteeship. So long as the UN did not attempt to perform its legal duties under articles 76, 85, 87, and 88 of the UN Charter any UN trust territory can be mined and its population exterminated by whichever UN member is appointed as the new administrator.

    The NSC told the Kennedy brothers that it was to save the world from communism. And it got UN approval because Moscow like the US businessmen wanted to buy business relations with Indonesia…

    But behind the smoke & mirrors it was always about the gold & avarice. This genocide has made some Americans richer than God, and it will continue so long as the UN keeps its back turned to its colony…

    How is the UN being blinded? Simple trick, the US got the Netherlands to sign a contract purposing the UN should become responsible for the colony; the UN Secretary General added that proposal to the agenda of the UN General Assembly which used article 85 of the UN Charter to approve the plan and make West Papua a UN trust territory. BUT the the UN Secretary Generals have NEVER told the UN Trusteeship Council about the approval General Assembly resolution 1752 (XVII).

    So long as Ban Ki-moon also with-holds notice of General Assembly resolution 1752 (XVII) from the agenda of the Trusteeship Council, the gold mining and repression can continue unabated

    Under the plan as the Kennedy brothers wrote it, the colonization was to end by 1969 but Robert Kennedy was dead by then and President Nixon conducted a tour of S-E-Asia that helped keep the news media away from West Papua as the Indonesia military conducted a hoax “act of free choice” – raise your hands up when we tell you or we will kill the rest of your families and burn your towns to the ground. A dirty secret every US President since Nixon has kept from the American public.

  2. brazilian says:

    I believe Chris Lane being white was determinant in him being targeted . This was not random

    here is the link:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/22/james-francis-edwards-tweets-racist-messages_n_3794913.html

  3. brazilian says:

    Not really. One of the murderes, james edward , posted racist tweets against white people. So , CHrisLane was not selected randomly. He would not have been targerted if he were not white.

  4. peppie says:

    guns dont kill,the dumbass that pulls the trigger did.exucute all tree of them.dont matter what color they are they killed some one.all 3 of them should be killed

  5. Moderator3 says:

    Please decide which username you want to use.

  6. What has this world come to says:

    This is just sad. I read in a different article, that the father of the shooter didnt believe his son did it, when in fact it was his son who said he did it. This is the problem, The children were bored? had nothing to do so they killed for fun. The parents allowed thier children to post on social media sites them posing with weapons? making racial slurs towards a group? These kids had no supervision and no respect instilled in them from thier Parents. Yet they want to defend them in court? This is a hate crime and an example of what our nation is coming to. We live in a society now that has a voice when it is convient for them. This case is not like the Zimmerman case in any way shape or form. I wish people would stop comaping every race crime that happens to the Travon Case.
    Prayers and condolences to the lane family, this is a horrific crime. I am sorry for your loss.

  7. jo40 says:

    Take God out of schools and this is what you got. Not a coincidence!!!

  8. neroden says:

    That’s what “well-regulated” is about. The people who wrote the Bill of Rights actually admired Switzerland…

  9. neroden says:

    Someone should tell the NRA rank-and-file that the NRA leadership is (a) lying to them, and (b) employed by the guns and ammo manufacturers to create hysteria in order to sell more guns.

  10. Moderator4 says:

    Boyd Timothy Babcock, you are banned. Goodbye.

  11. PIP says:

    I am an African – American man (late 50s) and I have to say this murder deeply disturbs me. I just cannot understand this pathology. Three black children, bored and stupid, set out to kill a man for kicks. It makes no sense whatsoever. Where does this social disconnect come from? How could they have thought this act a good idea? How could they not realize the repercussions of their actions? And now incarcerated, they will probably face a lifetime in prison, which is what they have earned. And believe me, if they are placed in general population, they can look forward to older black inmates treating them severely for this monumental act of heinous stupidity.

    I truly believe that their victim wasn’t selected for his race but that he was convenient. As the writer stated, the U S is mired in a culture of violence, and this goes hand in hand with guns. But as I stated above, how could these kids not see that what they were about to do was terrible? What kind of values were they taught? Is this a clear indication that their parents failed them? I’d have to say yes.
    This kind of killing isn’t new. There are any number of examples over the years of murder committed by youths who claimed they killed out of boredom – for kicks. And these young killers never consider what they are really doing, or the consequences. I can think of one situation where a teenaged boy was shot in a gunfight with a rival – and was surprised that the bullet HURT!
    There is a growing pathology in America that is truly terrifying. This is just one instance of a larger madness.

  12. Jay says:

    Troll…

  13. Boyd Timothy Babcock says:

    asshat!

  14. Jay says:

    Troll…

  15. Jay says:

    I must say this is the first pro-control article I actually respect. The Idea that guns are the problem is usually toted with no regard for the criminal element. While I will say that I disagree with the gun culture being part of the problem, the mere fact that you acknowledge the fact that the NRA did not gun him down is very positive to an actual conversation.

  16. Boyd Timothy Babcock says:

    I am not surprised. This is what Nigizerangs do. I hope the white population stands up and says we are sick and tired of these Nigizerangs crying when one of them gets shot like Trayvon for being a thug and beating someones head in the ground, but when this happens a hunting down an innocent man you see not one march or protest by the water head Al Sharpton or Jessie Jackson. Its always the Shelia Jackson Lee the bitch who is as dumb as a hammer, its not the gang bangers its the guns. When will we learn? There is a reason why no one want to move into a black neighborhood. They are animals.

  17. Julie Autuore says:

    Who is the one injecting race into the issue now?

  18. jabberwocky says:

    Not a gun issue. A thug issue.

  19. ArthurH says:

    You mean the ninny Springer Show? Radio comedian Fred Allen once said that “television makes it possible to be entertained in your home by people you’d never invite into your home.” But after a week of Springer’s obviously low-IQ messed up “guests,” you are no longer entertained but repelled.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Conservatives are what’s wrong with the country. They deny people access to vital information and resources, and then just ignore the problem. Someone poor is black, a drug addict, is pregnant and single? Just make them second class citizens and hope they go away. The relative cost of giving poor people vital resources to stop crime, disease, and pregnancy is low. Yet conservatives pooh pooh about the “costs” of helping poor people. Even though tax fraud is the country’s largest economic problem, not welfare or other aid to the poor.

  21. adolphus says:

    Also what keeps getting lost in the noise is that the Martin/Zimmerman case came to national attention not because a white person killed a black person under dubious racial circumstances, but because the police appeared to be doing absolutely nothing about it. That’s what locals were protesting for and why more and more people took up the cause. It wasn’t until the proverbial “outside agitators” (right and left, black and white) descending that the whole thing took on larger racial overtones. There have been any number of similar crimes in Florida, see Michael Dunn case in Jacksonville, that have not gotten nearly the attention because authorities treated the crime with some respect and moved in the alleged perpetrator and got the wheels of justice, such as they are, moving.

  22. adolphus says:

    With all due respect. While this crime is horrendous, it is an anomaly. Violent crime has been going down for decades, including murder. In the last 40-50 years it has never been safer to “step out your front door.”

  23. Anonymous says:

    The NRA is like the IOC. They’ll keep their mouths shut as long as they make money.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Hmm, could it be possible that the 17 year old defended himself? Even if he beat GZ, wasn’t it in self-defense since the much larger, armed man was chasing him first? Only in America is chasing someone, them starting a fight grounds for “self defense.” There is even recorded proof of his intent, as well as the police saying “stop following him,” yet people like you are too stupid to get it.

  25. Ninong says:

    George Zimmerman was a Neighborhood Watch volunteer. In fact, he was the ONLY person who volunteered for the program. Apparently that made him the de facto leader of the group (of one).

    He was officially trained by a local police sergeant. She instructed him on the rules of the Neighborhood Watch program and gave him a copy of the official handbook for Neighborhood Watch volunteers.

    Rule: Never carry a weapon of any kind while on Neighborhood Watch duty.
    Rule: Never follow a suspect.
    Rule: Never confront a suspect.

    We know for a fact that Zimmerman violated all three of those rules. Those are the only facts that we know for sure. We know that Zimmerman called in a report of a suspect and that he was asked if he was following the suspect and he said, “yeah.” We know that he was told, “we don’t need you to do that.”

    We know that Zimmerman was carrying a weapon. We know he followed the “suspect” and we know that he got out of his car. What happened after he got out of his car is anybody’s guess because there were conflicting reports, partial eye witness reports and partial ear witness reports. The best ear witness report that we had was the recorded 911 phone call but who was screaming for help was disputed by both sides.

    One thing we do know is that Trayvon Martin was shot by a Neighborhood Watch volunteer who wasn’t supposed to be carrying a weapon in the first place.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Another phrase can be used to describe it – “the customer is always right.” We’ve been taught in recent decades never to argue with stupidity. Especially teachers whose jobs are at stake, and who can get fired for pissing off a parent.

  27. mason hernandez says:

    Defended himself, you mean, stalked, against police advice, then shot and killed

  28. John says:

    Why is there no mention of the race of the attackers? When George Zimmerman defended himself against Trayvon the Thug, we knew then what everyone’s race was? Why does the media censor race?

  29. Judge Edward Singleton says:

    We need a educated and well train society of gun owners. If we had that we wouldn’t need a large military. But kids need to taught in school the proper use of guns and the things that go with it. In the event that America should be invaded, every American can get their gun and walk outside being well trained in the use of it and protect the country. How many people live in the USA. That would be one big instance army. I think that is why the forefathers made the second amendment. We have just lost sight of it today. Gun control is not a solution it is a problem. As was stated in the post it is a cultural problem we need to address.

  30. jess says:

    The racial makeup of DUNCAN, Okla. was 90.48% White, 1.07% African American, 2.95% Native American, 0.47% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 2.36% from other races, and 2.63% from two or more races.

    Only 1.07% of the population, makes one wonder what % of crime is attributed to this 1%

    Sad, people get control of your kids, you have a problem.

  31. unclemike says:

    One of the kids’ mother was quoted as saying no way her son would ever do this, he’s not that kind of kid.

    Naturally.

  32. unclemike says:

    Except the killers appear to be 2 black teens and 1 white teen.

  33. goulo says:

    > I think John’s point is this: Even if all the guns were magically gone tomorrow the violent tendencies would remain.

    But again, I honestly don’t see anyone (left or otherwise) who disputes that or seems unaware of that. Most leftists/progressives/etc I’ve seen who are for gun control also seem quite aware that US culture is screwed up and violent due to many reasons, e.g. crappy education and employment opportunities, terrible privatized prisons focused only on punishing instead of rehabilitating, increasing homelessness and economic inequity, institutionalized racism, and so on.

    Concretely who actually thinks guns are the only problem?

    John’s comment about right and left both being wrong almost sounded like a mainstream media throwaway line to be “fair and balanced”, as if to balance out right-wingers are wrong when they say guns are a problem by saying a straw-man sort of appeasing statement that left-wingers are wrong when they say “guns are the only problem” – except no left-winger I’ve ever heard of says that guns are the only problem.

    So why create/propagate such a caricature of left-wingers, which just helps right-wingers discredit gun control advocates as a naive out-of-touch group? “Look, by their own admission, they actually think gun control will magically solve the problem of violence!”

  34. Bill_Perdue says:

    The ‘gun culture’ as you put it, is fueled by the wars and mass murders of the Clintons, the two Bush administrations and now by Obama and both parties in Congress’s.

    For decades they financed zionist death squads in Palestine, from Irgun to IDF thugs, invaded, occupied and committed genocide in Iraq, invaded and occupied and committed mass murder of civilians in Afghanistan and indiscriminately murdered civilians in Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, Sudan, Pakistan and elsewhere. And before all that there were the American genocides in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

    Add to that cauldron endemic police violence (almost 600 killings last year) and a culture that promotes violence against LGBT folk, people of color and immigrants and you have a combustible situation where incidents like this are to be expected.

    It likely that at some point these youths may choose to plead not guilty by reason of insanity. Instead they should plead not guilty by reason by reason of being born in the USA.

  35. benb says:

    If Travyon Martin’s life isn’t worth squat, why should anyone else’s matter? And Oklahoma…didn’t tornado proof all their schools ’cause they were waiting for FEDERAL FUNDING:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/10071972/US-tornado-Oklahoma-storm-shelter-plans-derailed-by-lack-of-federal-funding.html

    And Sandy Hook… and what can the adults in this country accomplish? Nothing. No, we’d rather protect the right to bear arms for the Crazy, the Sociopathic, and the Angry than give up the Holy Sacrament of the Right to Bear Arms.

  36. Rob Dowdy says:

    I’m sure that’s been a facet of human society going back to antiquity, I was just using the most recent, glaring example I could think of. I remember staring at the TV screen in disbelief after 9/11, watching everyone fall all over themselves to canonize the United States and demonize the evil terrorists (read as: the rest of the world, for the most part), as if we had existed to that point in a vacuum, innocent and blameless, as if no one could possibly have any reason, beyond craven insanity, to wish us ill.

    Never mind that Saddam was our own carefully cultivated creature until he turned on us. Never mind that Osama was our own creature until he also turned on us (or we turned on him and used his country and his people as a cudgel in a proxy war against the USSR, from his POV).

    Screw all that namby-pamby nuance. They’re mean and we’re nice and God — the REAL white one, not their dirty brown one — likes us better, so whatever we do in the world is good and just.

    There can never be an excuse or a justification for mass murder, but we can acknowledge that and still endeavor to have an honest discussion about the actual motives people might have to want to kill us all.

  37. Guest says:

    I’m sure that’s been a facet of human society going back to antiquity, I was just using the most recent, glaring example I could think of. I remember staring at the TV screen in disbelief after 9/11, watching everyone fall all over themselves to canonize the United States and demonize the evil terrorists (read as: the rest of the world, for the most part), as if we had existed to that point in a vacuum, innocent and blameless, as if no one could possibly have any reason, beyond craven insanity, to wish us ill.

    Never mind that Saddam was our own carefully cultivated creature until he turned on us. Never mind that Osama was our own creature until he also turned on us (or we turned on him and used his country and his people as a cudgel in a proxy war against the USSR, from his POV).

    Screw all that nuance. They’re mean and we’re nice and God — the REAL white one, not their dirty brown one — likes us better, so whatever we do in the world is good and just.

    There can never be an excuse or a justification for mass murder, but we can acknowledge that and still endeavor to have an honest discussion about the actual motives people might have to want to kill us all.

  38. discus_sucks_ass says:

    yeah, yeah but hows the Mexican food?

  39. emjayay says:

    Excellent. But “the whole “America, Love It or Leave It” line spouted by all those “patriots” who would brook absolutely no disagreement on the divine perfection of the Union.” thing didn’t come up after 9/11 for the first time. The same kind of people had the phrase on pro-Vietnam war bumper stickers quite commonly back in the late 60’s.

  40. emjayay says:

    This kind of thing is the norm in certain sectors of our country. I’m only an amateur sociologist and I can think of some things that seem likely to help. I’d like to know what the real pros might have to say. A lot of them have probably said it already. We never seem to ask or listen.

  41. emjayay says:

    Actually culturally for all the many Christianists etc., American culture is generally far more advanced/modern than Russia’s. And not particularly generally going backwards.

  42. emjayay says:

    What? You mean they don’t have bangers?

  43. samizdat says:

    America is a sick country.

  44. Buford says:

    Real simple. It’s the combination of, 1.) sick minds, and 2.) easy access to guns that make America so dangerous… so until someone develops an accurate way to identify who is ‘sick’ and who is not, we need some sensible, better-safe-than-sorry gun regulations to ensure public safety in the interim.

  45. Rob Dowdy says:

    That’s the worst, scariest part. If they’d done it out of anger or if he had upset or offended them in some way … I don’t know. It wouldn’t change anything, not really, but the true horror is that he did nothing wrong. Not wrong in the sense of bringing it on himself, just wrong as in ANYthing. He was just THERE, he was the thing they decided to destroy in a fit of boredom, purely at random.

    There was nothing he could have done to avoid drawing their attention, no precautions he could have taken to guard against it, no reasonable way he could have known to be worried.

    But he was just living his life, like all of us. He woke up that morning, went about his business with the next six or seven decades of his life stretched out before him like the open road, and then he just happened to be in their line of sight and now he’s dead.

    It could have been you or me or anyone else.

    That’s what the lives of others are worth to some people. And the rest of us have to somehow live in a world filled with that type of banal evil without curling into a ball like a pillbug and giving up.

  46. Linda Lee says:

    An example is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politics_in_Switzerland. People used to keep assault rifles and ammo as home at part of the militia, but you didn’t have high rates of gun violence.

  47. Rob Dowdy says:

    Yep, it’s pretty cool that they still know have to have a proper brawl here without it ending in a hail of bullets or anything worse than a bloody nose, a black eye, and some bruised pride.

  48. trinu says:

    There is no cure or treatment for sociopathy. Kids who commit crimes out of immaturity might commit robberies, vandalism, etc, but they DON’T kill for the thrill of it. These kids didn’t do this out of anger. It was cold-blooded murder.

  49. Rob Dowdy says:

    And yet society seems to be chugging right along here. There isn’t rampant lawlessness in the streets, young girls aren’t being dragged out of their beds and raped in the night, homes and businesses aren’t being burgled en masse … in short, they as a society did away with guns and the sky didn’t fall.

    Things got … better.

    Someone should tell the NRA.

  50. woodroad34 says:

    I just saw an article on gun control legislation for everytime a new gun was invented or something like that–down through the history of America. Of course, there was some conservative, old white man trying to sound rational and his comment was that “guns don’t just jump off the wall”. I thought “no, they don’t. people take them down and shoot things”. Somehow, like corporations, conservatives are desperately trying to, Copelliaesque, make their little dollies come alive; this old jerk was actually trying to make you feel sorry for the poor ol’ gun. These kids, although now sorry for themselves ’cause they got caught, actually were just shooting at someone for the fun of it all — Oklahoma being just soooo boring and all; there wasn’t nuttin’ to do. Where were these conservatives, who desperately try to foist their social agenda on all living things, when these little sociopaths were around? It seems to me they like to wear moral trousers, but don’t have the belt to hold their trousers up.

  51. Ninong says:

    Mass killings are rare in Australia now because after Martin Bryant killed 35 people and wounded another 23 they decided to pass a new gun control law. That happened in April 1996 in Port Arthur, Tasmania. The Australian government used the fact that the US National Rifle Association was funding the local gun lobby to rally support for the new law.

  52. Micheal Planck says:

    I’ve been here over 2 years, and my experiences mirror yours (aside from seeing any actual exercise of racism). There’s less hate, and when some hoon* cut me off in traffic I realized I could stop and give him a beating if necessary, without worrying about being shot.

    You forgot to mention their sausage sucks and their bacon rocks.

    It’s not just the people; it’s policy. The wealth gap is lower, unemployment is lower, the minimum wage is higher, everybody gets the same vacation and health care… in so many ways its as if poor people in Australia are still treated like actual real human beings!

    * Aussie for young man driving like an idiot

  53. Rob Dowdy says:

    I’ve been living in Brisbane, the capital city of Queensland, since February. Australia is very much like America in a lot of ways. I’ve been made to feel welcome here over the last few months and, culturally, there wasn’t much shock in the transition. It feels a lot like home except the weather is nicer, the animals are all either ridiculous or lethal or both, they drive on the wrong side of the road, and they absolutely mutilate perfectly innocent vowels.

    Australian television has a lot of American and British programming and the news covers happenings in North America and Europe quite extensively, so there’s this huge sort of uneasy awareness of how violent the US is among everyday Australians. Because they see so much coverage of the violence, which is more likely to be what’s on the news than the good stuff, they probably have a somewhat skewed notion of how violent it really is, but sadly it’s probably not TOO skewed.

    Anyway, whenever there’s another high-profile shooting in the US it makes the news here. The Trayvon Martin case was covered fairly extensively here. I was a bit shocked and saddened to learn that Australia seems in general to be much less insular and self-involved than the US (not that there isn’t plenty of that arrogance here, too, it’s just less overt and institutionalized, I guess). People here seem much more aware of global goings-on than does the average American.

    I’ve been asked more than once if I owned a gun back home. My favorite was a half-serious, “Doesn’t everyone have to have a gun because everyone else has a gun? Mutually assured destruction, right?” And then there was the lady who asked my partner, conspiratorially and a bit scandalized, “What’s the deal with these Republicans? YOU aren’t one of them, are you? They seem so nasty!”

    There’s a lot of racism here, to be sure, but the flavor of it is not the same as it is back home. Here it seems more rooted in nationalism than in picking and choosing the “good” colors from the bad. Perhaps because I grew up in the deep South, and perhaps because here in Oz I live in a large, modern city and am not being exposed to the worst Australia has to offer, I don’t know, but the racism on display here seems less cruel and rancid than what I grew up with.

    The other day I was walking back from the supermarket, lost in my thoughts and the sea of people around me. Brisbane is very much an international city and it’s common to hear snippets of conversation in many languages and see faces in the crowd representing a wide swath of humanity. I moved here from Kansas City, so it’s all a bit exotic, even after all these months, and sometimes makes me feel quite provincial.

    On that particular day there was a man, a very rough-looking character in need of a shave and a shower, who decided to accost a group of three “brown” gentlemen on the footpath (that’s what they have instead of sidewalks here). I have no idea what their ethnic roots might be, but they were speaking Italian. They were walking pretty much right next to me, speaking quietly among themselves and seeing the sights, of which there are many near the vast expanse of the Queen Street Mall.

    “Where are you from,” the rough character demanded. And then, when he got no response, even louder: “Where are you from?” He was right in the guy’s face, very aggressive. I can’t imagine his breath was pleasant at that range. I don’t think the gentleman he was addressing had any idea what he was saying, but his tone and posture left little room for doubt about his state of mind. The three gentlemen attempted to ignore him and go about their business.

    “Welcome to my fucking country!” the rough guy spat at them. “How about I cut your fucking throat?” And then he stormed off down the footpath. I caught the eye of one of the gentlemen and offered a shrug and a sad smile. He shrugged and we all went on our way.

    I was concerned during that exchange, and I was ready to do what I could to defend them if it came to that, especially after the threat was made since I was pretty sure they couldn’t understand a word he was saying and would be taken by surprise.

    But I wasn’t deep-down scared.

    The asshole was an older guy, wearing a large heavy-looking backpack, who walked with a slight limp. I figured I could take him if he pulled a knife, that surely the four of us could subdue him if it came to that, long enough for someone to shout down a cop.

    I do cardio every day. I work out. I’m in excellent shape. I could have outrun that jerk so easily without ever breaking a sweat. I could have run circles around him and laughed at him and ran some more circles around him. So I wasn’t afraid, because gun crime is exceedingly rare here. Mass shootings are rarer still.

    In America I’d have been terrified of that man, and with good reason.

  54. NMRon says:

    Conservatives, the Christian Right, Republicans, financed by CEO’s and Wall Street board rooms have glorified carefree careless violence. Every minute of every day their propagandists demean and casually call for the murder of the others. The others being gays, liberals, or that smart-ass jogging down the street. They’ve made America a Right-Wing Heaven, better known to everyone else as Hell.

  55. Rob Dowdy says:

    Bear with me a bit, I’m going somewhere on the whole parenting thing.

    This all makes me remember an attitude that became very prevalent back in the early days of the Bush presidency following 9/11: the whole “America, Love It or Leave It” line spouted by all those “patriots” who would brook absolutely no disagreement on the divine perfection of the Union.

    America could do no wrong, you know? They hate us for our freedoms, not because the United States and Great Britain spent decades treating an entire geographic region and all its cultures like nothing more than pieces on a game board and means to an end.

    Saddam groomed by the CIA and installed in Iraq to destabilize Iran/the region? Osama groomed and then armed as a “freedom fighter” to break the financial back of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan the way Viet Nam had broken that of the US? Crazy talk! Irrelevant lefty lies meant to corrupt the faith of patriots and destroy the nation from within. How dare anyone suggest America, this great nation chosen by God as a shining beacon of democracy for all humanity, might have made a few mistakes and made a few enemies along the way! The notion that we might be able to look to our past actions in order to truly understand why people would want to do us harm was anathema and anyone suggesting it was a traitor. No matter that we’d then be doomed to keep making the same mistakes, keep kicking the same hornet nests, and being shocked and appalled when, inevitably, the sting came.

    The thing about perfection is that it can’t be improved upon, so if you convince yourself that a broken, sickly thing is perfect just as it is and shout down anyone who disagrees then the absolute best-case scenario is that you’re stuck with a broken, sickly thing forever. More likely, you’re stuck with a broken, sickly thing until it withers and dies.

    But a lot of Americans think that sort of blind devotion is “patriotism” in the same way that “love” is believing, really believing, that your precious snowflake is the best kid ever. It’s a very childlike, pernicious, insidiously destructive idea, this notion that if you love a thing you must never, ever question or find fault with it or attempt to truly know and understand it, warts and all.

    To love a thing, we are told in America, is easy. You love it just as it is! Just the way God made it!

    So you end up with a lot of tearful mothers and fathers of monsters being interviewed on the news saying things like, “He’s such a sweet boy, such a good boy, always been such a good, sweet boy … I don’t believe it, I don’t understand how this could have happened.”

    It scares the hell out of me that they actually believe it, just the way they believe that “they hate us for our freedoms.”

    In a real sense they don’t love their children at all, no more than those patriots love their country. To love a thing you must truly know it, so loving things isn’t easy. It isn’t supposed to be, not for grownups anyway.

  56. nicho says:

    Even Project Runway has people throwing things around this season.

  57. rudolf schnaubelt says:

    irrelevant. do you read? z prejudged m based on race. that is prejudice per se. z alleged he was afraid based on race (though why the man with the gun was afraid of the unarmed youth remains a mystery, maybe he was lying about being afraid solely to avoid conviction). that is bigotry. and it is also an appeal to bigotry.
    the oklahoma case has neither of those characteristics. try comparing apples to apples. and try to read and cogently respond or say nothing. your vacant non sequitirs add nothing to the conversation.

  58. Rob Dowdy says:

    I don’t think he meant that the way it sounds. It’s not so much that some on the left act as if they think guns are the only problem, it’s that many anti-gun advocates are so rabid about getting rid of guns that they don’t stop and think about WHY the guns need to be gotten rid of.

    After all, a healthy, sane group of people could be wading around knee-deep in guns and ammo and not feel the need to shoot lots of people just because the guns are there.

    So I think John’s point is this: Even if all the guns were magically gone tomorrow the violent tendencies would remain.

    Granted, a guy with a machete in a movie theater is a much less horrifying prospect than a guy with a full auto and a big clip, but getting rid of the guns is just triage, it’s stopping the bleeding. Once they are gone you still have to deal with the underlying cause of the injury.

  59. KingCranky says:

    Different decade entirely, gun control not an issue, but reminiscent of killing “because they were bored”, or “for the fun of it”…..

    Leopold & Loeb, lots of search results to choose from.

  60. Thom Allen says:

    The media is so “absurd” that it posted the information and photos of the perpetrators that you cited in the link. Reality check time for you.

  61. Monoceros Forth says:

    And then he stalked and murdered someone. What’s your point?

  62. Rob Dowdy says:

    Then I would be even more disgusted by the fact that he saw a black child half his size, stalked him, directly and unilaterally caused a confrontation, got into a fistfight with a black child HALF HIS SIZE, panicked, and murdered that same child out of “fear for his life” … some “man” that is.

  63. Thom Allen says:

    “One thing I always want to know when hearing or reading about horrific stories like this . . . .” Sadly, very sadly, we are asking this question much too frequently. How many gun deaths have there been since Newtown? Granted, some have been accidents. But some have been from parents letting children get at loaded weapons. Some kill because they’ve been insulted. Some kill because they feel threatened. Some kill for any real or imagined minor provocation. And, more frighteningly, they feel JUSTIFIED in doing it.

  64. Rob Dowdy says:

    Wow, your fundamental misunderstanding of what the two crimes/trials were about is … fundamental. Trayvon was killed BECAUSE he was a black kid. These black kids killed because they were bored. The fact that they were black had NOTHING to do with the crime. White people kill all the time. So do Latinos and Asians and all other humans.

    So try to follow along: Trayvon was killed for being black, meaning his murder was fundamentally ABOUT race.

    Chris Lane: Killed for sport by people who happened to be black. Since violence in America is so deeply ingrained in the culture and since it is routinely committed by those of all races, the Chris Lane murder is about violence, not race. To the extent that it is about violence, it is also about ready access to guns, which make a violent person that much more dangerous.

    The only reason Lane’s murder could be construed to be about race is because people like you look at three black kids, note that they are three black kids, and say, “Well there’s your problem right there.” And then you throw your hands up — savages will be savages, after all — and that’s that.

    In short, you’re part of what’s wrong with this country in exactly the same way a mother who can’t bear to deal with a sick child ignores obvious symptoms of illness and allows a child’s simple, treatable illness to fester and rot and become terminal rather than simply deal with it for what it is.

    Do you think loving America means never taking a hard look at it and realizing it’s not perfect?

    There is nothing remarkable about this murder in America. Trying to blame “the blacks” is absurd and stupid.

    And that, my willfully ignorant friend, is why the media is not treating this like the Trayvon circus.

  65. BeccaM says:

    That’s why I included in there “non-punitive crime prevention.”

    A kid who blithely kills at age 15 or 17 probably had a whole host of unaddressed behavioral issues when he was 6 or 7.

  66. karmanot says:

    Move along vermin troll

  67. Thom Allen says:

    Not :just” that, they were waiting to kill again when apprehended. Did they even think about what they were doing? KILLING someone because they could? How it would affect him, his family, them and their families? They were just going to murder, cruise down the road to continue with their lives and never get caught.

  68. karmanot says:

    The nanny Springer Show is a prime example.

  69. karmanot says:

    There is the matrix of Christianity to consider: the cult of suffering, torture, brutality and finally crucifixion—–the ultimate form of love. No wonder…………..

  70. karmanot says:

    Having a mind melt with you Indigo.

  71. karmanot says:

    America: A Clockwork Orange

  72. Ninong says:

    I read a report that quoted the police that said they managed to catch the three teens before they could commit any more murders. Apparently they planned to keep doing it.

  73. Houndentenor says:

    Pardon me for being skeptical that people who kill for the fun of it can be rehabilitated. If we were talking about a great many crimes and people who commit them, I would agree. I have been watching Orange is the New Black with great interest. I find it interesting to see the flashbacks showing how the various women would up in prison. They all made bad choices. Not all of them are “bad people” (I think such a thing is rare, actually) but made incredibly bad choices that they might not make again. Such people should be able to do their time and return to society. But some are too dangerous to be allowed among the rest of us. If you can offer evidence that such violent sociopaths can learn empathy, I will be happy to change my opinion on this.

  74. Houndentenor says:

    Exactly. I’ve never heard anyone (left, middle or right) say any such thing.

  75. WilmRoget says:

    Australian should work to kick the U.S. out of the Olympics along with the Russians – our culture is just as unhealthy.

  76. Anonymous says:

    Yes, I’ve heard stories like this too. Some parents are just as bad, giving kids weapons etc…

  77. nicho says:

    Race should be relevant when it’s relevant. I’ve seen no information that it was a factor in this case. But I guess that your being a racist, race is always relevant.

  78. nicho says:

    Because that was about race. Zimmerman murdered Trayvon specifically because he was black. These kids just picked a random victim — unless you have info that they specifically targeted him because he was white.

  79. nicho says:

    That’s what TV is for. /sarcasm

  80. nicho says:

    And some parents just ignore the kids. I have a friend who taught sixth grade. Granted it was a touch community, but he didn’t even dare turn his back to write on the board. One day, a bunch of girls from another class came into his looking for another girl who had apparently talked to the boyfriend of one of the girls in the group. They had a knife and they were going to cut her. He said calling parents was a joke. Some weren’t home. Some weren’t sober. And others didn’t care.

  81. Anonymous says:

    Does race even matter? GZ got off for murder; the motivation was irrelevant

  82. guest3 says:

    (Morpheus voice) What if I told you GZ mentored black children, voted for Obama, and went to prom with a black girl.

  83. rudolf schnaubelt says:

    strawmen. race was central to mr zimmerman’s murder of mr martin. z tracked m down because he was black: z was “afraid” because m was black (and you & the other racists nodded and said of course he was afraid after the young unarmed man was black and that’s just inherently threatening to racists like you.
    race has nothing to do with the oklahoma case. they did not kill the ozzie because he was white. they did not kill the ozzie because they were black. they killed because they were bored and armed with a gun.
    race of these kids is no more important to this murder than is the relative weight of the murderers & the victim. or what brand of car they used. or what shampoo they used.

  84. Anonymous says:

    Yes, it’s probably because they can’t be around that they don’t know their kids. But either way, kids can’t parent themselves…

  85. Indigo says:

    That. And ‘Less Than Zero.’

  86. Indigo says:

    I’ve heard that too, I have the impression that story is making the rounds here in Florida. I don’t know why. Is it nation-wide?

  87. Indigo says:

    You maybe think ‘1984’ is right now and Big Brother is watching us, thanks to the NSA. But there’s a shadow to this shadow and I think ‘The Clockwork Orange’ [by Anthony Burgess] is back strong in the wanton episodes of deliberate violence. You’re in for a horrorshow reading of a Slovo-English pidgin the malchicks gloss while stabbing and stomping the folks they meet on the stroll.

    Wow! They actually did that, a thrill-kill. There’s a deep shadow of our social structure to study for you. I have no idea what that’s about.

  88. MoonDragon says:

    Neuter the little beasts. Whatever it is, get it out of the gene pool and/or parenting line.

  89. BeccaM says:

    That’s a rather broad generalization as to parenting habits and preferences.

    I could just as easily say, “Unlike the old days, families now require parents to hold down multiple jobs just to get by, and work ridiculous hours, which greatly reduces the amount of family-time available, essentially leaving kids to raise themselves “Lord of the Flies”-style. With the primary message as to who and what they are being defined by schools that increasingly treat them like suspected criminals.”

  90. goulo says:

    Crazy messed up…

    ===

    John: “some on the left think guns are the only problem”

    Who on the left thinks that guns are the only problem? I don’t honestly remember seeing anyone think that (on the left or otherwise).

  91. Ninong says:

    You’re right, the three teens have been identified and charged. The two older teens are charged with first-degree murder and the 15-yr-old is charged with being an accessory to murder according to the report I read.

    The 17-yr-old confessed to being the driver of the car and he named the 16-yr-old, Chancey Luna, as the shooter. Chancey Luna’s mother, Jennifer Luna, is definitely white because I watched her being interviewed by an Australian TV reporter who just happened to run into her. She said she had not yet spoken to her son because the police wouldn’t let the parents have access to them yet. I’m not sure exactly when that interview took place.

    When asked if she had anything to say to Christopher Lane’s parents in Australia, Jennifer Luna said she wanted to let them know how sorry she was for their loss. She was clearly distraught while she said it because tears were rolling down her cheeks while she spoke. She said she couldn’t believe her son would do something like that because he was a good kid.

  92. guest3 says:

    Race should be irrelevent, tell that to the George zimmerman haters and hate-crime supporters.

  93. Anonymous says:

    Unlike the old days, parents want to be their kids’ friends and believe they can do no wrong. So many are wilfully blind to their kids’ true selves. Including the parents of the killers in question.

  94. AnitaMann says:

    River’s Edge came to mind when I heard this story. Bored teens, absent/clueless parents, stifling burbs that separate teens from “the other,” yeah, aint that America.

  95. rudolf schnaubelt says:

    this was a thrill kill & sadly, not that unusual. you are correct john.

  96. FLL says:

    I understand that in recent months, gang members or wanna be gang members in New York City have perpetrated anti-gay hate crimes, one of which even resulted in a fatality. As sick as these crimes are, the criminals had a motive, perhaps their fear of a society that is changing quickly. But this motiveless malignity in Oklahoma’s Bible Belt… is this what fundamentalist Christianity produces? The motiveless desire to create human suffering? Really? I wish I didn’t see that motiveless malignity on these comment pages, but occasionally I do.

  97. rudolf schnaubelt says:

    completely dissimilar inapposite fact patterns. the murder occurred. race is irrelevant.

  98. guest3 says:

    My point is showing how absurd the media is. Since the shooters are black and the victim is white, the race baiting media hides their identity, no mention of racism. Reverse the role, aka Trayvon, and it’s all about race!

  99. Anonymous says:

    Sadly there is probably another vitcim:

    He also said the killer left a chilling message on Facebook before the spree – “Bang. Two drops in two hours”.

  100. BeccaM says:

    One thing I always want to know when hearing or reading about horrific stories like this: How can such a degree of sociopathy among not just one, but three youths go unnoticed by anybody?

    Or, if noticed, why is our only response always, “Throw them in jail forever” — often the reflexive response even before they’ve committed terrible crimes of violence and depravity.

    There was a brief time of idealism when modern societies — including here in America — believed in rehabilitation and non-punitive crime prevention. When we realized, for instance, that when kids and teens are bored and have nothing useful or enjoyable to occupy their time, some of them will inevitably get up to no good.

    Our public schools are decaying, and increasingly little more than standardized-test day-prisons. The idea of youth centers is passe; I remember talking with kids in our old Santa Cruz mountains town and the refrain from them was always the same: “There’s nothing to do here.”

    And yes — we here in America have a serious violence addiction problem. Free and easy access to firearms greatly exacerbates it.

  101. nicho says:

    Still not sure what your point is. Some shooters are white. Some shooters are black. Some shooters are Latino. Some shooters are Asian. Your racism still shines through.

  102. Anonymous says:

    If all else fails, blame “mental issues,” give them 2 weeks of airtime, and feel sorry for them. It’s what we do for the white killers.

  103. balabanov11 says:

    try them as adults, and then throw them in jail forever, where they will finally be given something useful to do ….

  104. Ninong says:

    They’re out in force and posting about other shootings instead of sticking to the tragedy that is the topic of this particular thread.

  105. nicho says:

    That’s a very interesting point.

  106. nicho says:

    Maybe these murderers should have just said they were “standing their ground.” It worked for Zimmerman and could have worked for them.

  107. Anonymous says:

    I’m currently on vacation. When I read these stories from abroad, I remember how ridiculous “safety” in America is. If you don’t have money, you aren’t safe. There’s no sense of respect for your neighbor in the US, and people look at strangers like potential criminals.

  108. Anonymous says:

    It was your former school and I’m the Queen of England.

  109. nicho says:

    Please take your racism somewhere else. Thank you.

  110. nicho says:

    OMG — this tragedy has become a magnet for racists. Damn, those vermin come out of the woodwork at the slightest opportunity.

  111. anonymous2 says:

    That was my former elementary school. Problem is the thugs killings out number crazy white kids shooting by about 100 to 1. It also appears he was targeting police not school kids,,,not that that really matters

  112. Ninong says:

    How do you know that “the killers were 3 black teens?”

    Australian TV interviewed the mother of one of the accused teens yesterday and she is definitely white! Is her son adopted? Is he biracial? You must know something we don’t know. Maybe you live in Duncan? If so, please enlighten us. Otherwise just STFU.

  113. Anonymous says:

    Another distraction from conservatives, who put us in this mess and can’t argue it.

  114. nicho says:

    Well, the gunman in Newtown was white. The gunman in the Aurora theater was white. The guy who shot Gabby Gifford was white. I’m not sure what your point is — besides outright racism and bigotry.

  115. Anonymous says:

    It reminds me of the Sophie Lancaster murder. Teens killed her because she was a “goth.” Most likely the juvenile justice system/schools ignored these problem kids, as usual.

  116. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, just like the elem. school shooter that was apprehended today. Thug life. Smart.

  117. cole3244 says:

    heartland of america, small town america, things like this just don’t happen here, how many times do we here this pathetic refrain.

    the rest of the world is beginning to see what a society we really are and it ain’t pretty.
    guns guns guns, tough, macho, real men, mans man, obscene to say the least.
    rip chris and my personal apology to you and your peeps, what little good that will do.

  118. guest3 says:

    What they dont tell you is that the killers were 3 black teens. Might be politically incorrect to identify the killers then! Stop the “thug life” culture already, thats the problem imo.

  119. Strepsi says:

    I do blame U.S. culture, especially gun culture (arguing spouses who can only grab a frying pan might not end up dead; bored kids who can only grab a stick might not murder someone)

    But I also blame the last 40 years of suburban planning: I BLAME THE SUBURBS.

    Entire residential areas with no culture, no walkable areas, no evening activities, no town center, and thousands of bored teenagers. The suburbs are a mental and cultural blight, and I was thrilled to escape them. But none of this is new exactly — remember the River’s Edge 27 years ago?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiKuO-dABjY

  120. jomicur says:

    It was my first thought that, since this happened in Oklahoma, they probably come from “good Christian families.” I’m sure that commandment includes an exemption for Christian kids who are bored. Christians are exempt from all their other rules, aren’t they?

  121. DonewithDems says:

    The adults who allowed these underage thugs to have guns ought to be held just as accountable. I hope they all get the book thrown at them. I hope the victim’s family sues all of their families for everything they’re worth. But then this is Oklahoma.

  122. DonewithDems says:

    Land of the brave as long as you have a gun. Land of the free as long as your bank account says you are and are straight, white and vote GOP.

  123. jomicur says:

    Another fine demonstration of how sane, sensible and responsible people with guns are.

  124. bkmn says:

    I hope they are tried as adults.

    Personally, I would not be one bit surprised to hear that they are all Xtians, who simply ignored that one commandment that says thou shall not kill.

  125. jomicur says:

    Well, it IS the Land of the Brave. These days you have to be mighty brave to step out your front door.

  126. DrDignity says:

    Poor young man. A culture of cruelty, hatred. violence is not to be admired. Land of the brave? Home of the free? Border patrol & immigration are not at all welcoming. Better to spend the vacation money in a country that’s welcoming like Canada.

  127. The entire thing was so frivolous. I wish we could say this was some anomaly, but it’s not.

  128. Ninong says:

    Totally senseless! The 17-yr-old confessed to being the driver of the car. The 16-yr-old allegedly pulled the trigger and the 15-yr-old went along for the thrill of it. At least one of them breagged about it on Facebook!

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