In an act of inconceivably sociopathic violence, a Division II college baseball player in Oklahoma was gunned down by a trio of teenagers in a drive-by shooting.
The confessed motive? Boredom, which led to a desire to randomly shoot the first person they could find. (Do they not have f*cking Netflix or video games or bowling alleys or board games or firecrackers or bongs in f*cking Oklahoma or something? For f*ck’s f*cking sake).
The victim was 23-year-old Christopher Lane, a catcher for the East Central University baseball team. Lane was out for a jog in his girlfriend’s hometown of Duncan when the trio of miserable little shits — ages 15, 16 and 17 — decided to shoot him in cold blood without even knowing who he was.
The loss is unquestionably devastating for Lane’s teammates and his family. Lane was a native of Melbourne, Australia who came to the United States to play college baseball. To hear about your son’s loss from half a world away must be the most wrenching emotion a human can feel.
Not that it is the norm in the US, but sadly it’s an act unlikely to have occurred in Lane’s homeland. The rate of gun-related homicides was 0.13 per 100,000 people in Australia in 2010. In the US, that figure is 3.6 per 100,000. And fair or not, crimes like this will only add to the perception of those overseas that we’ve not advanced all that much from the days of the Wild West and Roaring Twenties.
On the flip side, it seems unlikely any gun control measure would have kept firearms out of the hands of these particular teens, who are too young to purchase them in the first place. This sounds more like a flaw in upbringing than law.
Maybe our culture is just that warped. Maybe that obsession with impersonal violence will always be there. Or maybe you’ll just never be able to stop a lunatic with a plan.
Any way you look at it, too many people will have to live with the aftermath of a senseless tragedy that cannot be undone.