Australian student/baseball player gunned down in Oklahoma by 'Bored' teenagers

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Vash01, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    I don't know if this belongs here or in the PI forum.

    This news absolutely infuriated me. :mad: How immoral people have to be to kill someone because they had nothing to do? I don't care that they were 15,16,17 years old. IMO that's old enough to know the difference between right and wrong. I hope they will be charged as adults and given the harshest possible punishment under our law.

    http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/201...own-college-ballplayer-oklahoma-cops-say?lite

    How did these teenagers get a gun? How could they even think that they could just kill someone for 'entertainment'? I can't imagine what the parents of Christopher Lane- the slain Australian student- must be going through.

    The sad thing is our gun-toting culture will not change, no matter how many innocent lives are taken away by guns. It's becoming embarrassing to be an American at this point.
  2. Southpaw

    Southpaw Saint Smugpawski

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    It's not just happening with guns, though. There's been a case in NJ recently about a family who was out for a stroll one evening and some teenagers decided it would be great fun to jump the father and beat the crap out of him in front of his wife and kids. The father died from his injuries a couple of days later. No guns were involved.

    There's also been another case of a twelve year-old girl who was killed and tossed in a dumpster for her bicycle by a couple of teenage brothers. No gun involved there, either. They strangled the poor girl. They have admitted to luring her on Facebook with the intent to do harm.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again - we have an anger and sociopath problem in this country more than we have a gun problem.
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  3. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

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    My heart and prayers goes out to the victim's family and friends.
  4. Tesla

    Tesla Whippet Good

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    This. I didn't read the article but seriously? This is not a gun issue.
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  5. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    I read about Christopher Lane's murder on ESPN. So sad and senseless.

    There was a similar case here in the 1990s that got a lot of press and took several years to solve - three bored teens who decided to murder someone for kicks, except they stabbed and beat their victim to death instead of shooting him. I suspect the most effective way of preventing such crimes is to find these sort of kids and intervene before they get to the point of planning, let alone committing, an actual crime. But what if there are no warning signs?
  6. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    I agree that violent people can find different ways to commit crimes. IMO the problem of emotional instability is exacerbated by the easy access to guns.

    From what the police said, two of these guys have had some problems in the past, but they did not specify anything. The teenagers are to be arraigned this afternoon.
  7. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    How can you draw that conclusion without reading the article?
  8. Tesla

    Tesla Whippet Good

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    I did read the article after I posted. I still say this isn't a gun issue. Not by a long shot.
  9. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    Parents have guns.
    Access is often simple.

    If this is what these teenagers will do when "bored", as a random act, I shudder to think what they might have done if they had planned something.

    My deepest sympathy to Christopher's family, girlfriend, and teammates
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  10. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    What bugs me is - are we as a society so morally bankrupt that members of our society don't even understand that taking someone's life is wrong? I know this is a small percentage of our society, but to kill someone to overcome boredom is shocking to me. They didn't even do it out of anger, hatred, or money. That's what is scary.

    On another note, people do kill innocent animals as a sport (hunting) and many people don't see that as wrong. I do. I am wondering if this is where it starts? Regardless, 15-17 year olds have to know that killing a human being is a crime with very heavy punishment. There is some discussion on cnn.com by readers about the race of these teenagers (they happen to be black) and why cnn is hiding that information. This doesn't even strike me as a race crime.

    In any case, as more information starts coming, may be it will shed some light on the mental makeup and background of these 3 criminals. Chances are they are not in any school, since they had nothing to do.
  11. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    Breaking news: They will be charged as adults - First degree murder

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/20/justice/australia-student-killed-oklahoma/index.html

    ESPN tells a little more (mentions guns too):
    http://espn.go.com/college-sports/s...e-australian-college-baseball-player-oklahoma

    Former deputy prime minister Tim Fischer criticized the National Rifle Association and asked Australians to avoid the U.S. as a way to force its Congress to act on gun control.

    "Tourists thinking of going to the USA should think twice," Fischer told the Herald Sun. "This is the bitter harvest and legacy of the policies of the NRA that even blocked background checks for people buying guns at gunshows. People should take this into account before going to the United States. I am deeply angry about this because of the callous attitude of the three teenagers (but) it's a sign of the proliferation of guns on the ground in the USA. There is a gun for almost every American."

    I agree with other posters that this goes deeper than the guns- it's a culture of violence, lack of understanding basic morality (like not killing, stealing, etc.). Still, to those in another country it could come across as the result of the lack of gun control.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2013
  12. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

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    Great choice of words, there.

    This story is just awful. :(
  13. liv

    liv Well-Known Member

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    Glad they will be charged as adults and with first degree murder. You CANNOT just think you can kill someone for kicks. There seem to be more cases where the kids do something violent and then basically smirk.

    I think the problem includes everything: easier access to guns than kinder eggs, video games where you are taught to shoot and sneak up on people etc with no consequences (ie. training for any young sociopaths), no one taking responsibility for their actions anymore ( everyone suing everyone else etc), violence on tv, glorification of idiots on tv (reality tv where the crazier stuff you do makes you a celebrity), creeps on internet meeting other creeps and indulging their creepiness online, etc.... just to name a few.

    I am afraid of where society seems to be headed...
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  14. snoopy

    snoopy Team St. Petersburg

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    Piers Morgan has this story on. Police dude says the boys wanted to be part of gang culture. I assume that must mean they want to go to jail too.

    If I was a Australian, Asian, African etc parent, I wouldn't want my kid going to school in the US.
  15. misskarne

    misskarne Spirit. Focus. Ability. Tenacity. Aussie Grit.

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    In Australia the only people who have guns are the police, farmers and evil criminals. And sports shooters, but there are very, very strict regulations concerning storage, use, etc. (Michael Diamond nearly couldn't go to Beijing because he broke one of those regulations.) The evil criminals usually shoot each other more than they do civilians, and the farmers need theirs for shooting rabbits or euthanizing large animals. We just don't understand the culture that just anyone can buy a gun in the US. It's a foreign concept.

    So it doesn't surprise me that the Australian press is making it a gun control issue. Because really, how many times do we hear of yet another shooting in the US? I'm not surprised the thought of going to the US worries people. The idea that just anyone can have a gun there freaks me out, honestly. I still want to go - I have a "dream trip" planned that mostly involves skating rinks and NASCAR tracks - but it does make me very wary.
  16. Whitneyskates

    Whitneyskates New Member

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    You know, I used to roll my eyes when someone would say morally bankrupt - but now, how can someone not think that our culture isn't morally bankrupt? Thugs who beat their girlfriends are given Grammies and standing ovations, men who abandon their families for porn stars, hookers and cocaine are #winning and get a t.v show, a song about using ecstasy wins a Teen Choice award, and teenage pregnancy is entertainment.

    I'm sure these three pieces of scum have friends who are wannabe gangbangers as well, and are just amazed at what they did and think that their future prison sentences are something to be proud of.
  17. Kasey

    Kasey Loving on babies!

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    I refuse to think that our culture is "morally bankrupt", because that is a huge generalization. I work with, meet, and deal with remarkable, honest, wonderful people every day. I pity anyone who doesn't. However, good news is generally not thought to be news, but the way things "should" be. Credit is not given to true heroes, to true everyday hard-working and law-abiding people. So of course, the focus is on the negative, and the more sensationalistic, the better. It's easy to say that "society" is all falling apart, but really, it isn't ALL of society, and I guess that's what I take exception to. Yes, in my job, I deal with the dregs of society as well; but I definitely think the good people outweigh the bad.
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  18. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    I don't think the US has moral bankruptcy as a whole. We still give a lot to charity and volunteer to help others. I know multiple people who work for non-profits for the public good (including Teach for America and the Peace Corps), when they have the intelligence and drive to make a lot of money working on Wall St or the like. The industry I'm aiming for - design - has always been thought to be only for marketing, but a large segment of it is moving toward service design.

    Random murders like this are exceedingly rare. It's just that when someone so senseless like this happens, we look for answers and think that there must be a reason. But sometimes there just isn't, beyond trying to reach out to troubled teens individually. There is no cultural reason.
  19. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    There are a lot of good people here, but murders are not rare at all. The only thing that's rare about this particular one is the motive- it's mind boggling that someone would shoot a person at random, for the fun of it. There is plenty of hatred and violence that may not be random like this. Nearly every day there is a story about someone shooting someone or a group. Just today, there was yet another gunman at an elementary school. Yes, there is something wrong here. Denying that is dangerous. If you don't recognize a problem, you cannot solve it. Unfortunately the good is not enough to overcome the bad at this time. I can fully understand why people outside the USA would be afraid. I live here and it worries me that there is so much violence here. There are crimes in other countries too, but they just don't occur as frequently as they do here.
  20. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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    Vash, we have problems in the U.S. This was a sickening crime, killing someone for "fun." But I agree with Kasey, it does not reflect our society as a whole. In fact, I think that we need to see it in perspective in order to address these kinds of random violence. We are not a hopeless morally bankrupt society, if we were no one would raise a weary eyebrow when something like this happens.

    I think it is right to be appalled and concerned about incidents like this one, but our society is a strong one and we need to call on that fact when dealing with these problems. Don't lose hope.
  21. snoopy

    snoopy Team St. Petersburg

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    Maybe we aren’t morally bankrupt but we have a culture that worships guns and violence. The kid in Georgia in the news this morning – wanted his shooting of police to be filmed! Everyone wants to be a version of High Plains Drifter.
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  22. heckles

    heckles Well-Known Member

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    Eh, I doubt there is a gang culture to be "part" of in Duncan, Oklahoma. What would their territory be--the dumpster behind the Sonic? This trio is just scum, plain and simple.
  23. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    Kasey, I'm with you!

    Dear Australians, I assure you that the entire US is not as your former deputy prime minister described it; and not to be "avoided".
  24. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    I would have agreed with you if the increase in violence had resulted in some kind of solutions, because there are people that are shocked by news like this one, myself included. There are at least some people in our society that want solutions, but when Congress refuses to act to curb the violence, it makes me very concerned. Our image in the world has taken several hits in the last few years because of the violence, yet nothing is done about it. I am not saying all is due to guns, but they are a factor, and the lack of emphasis on teaching what's right and what's wrong contributes to it. Look at the movies, the video games, the TV. It dehumanizes people in the minds of children who can be easily influenced. I could go on and on but it's very disturbing for me to see all this violence in our country.
  25. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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    Violent crime is down not up.
  26. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    Mass killings are up, however (not related to this thread though).

    If we want to catch up with the rest of the world in keeping violent crime down, we have a long way to go. My concern is more about the attitude, than the numbers.
  27. Southpaw

    Southpaw Saint Smugpawski

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    They're finally starting to take some action in gun happy Trenton.

    NJ Attorney General Announces Plan to Combat Surging Violent and Gun Crime in Trenton

  28. heckles

    heckles Well-Known Member

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    What is your definition of a mass killing? For example, was Jack the Ripper a mass killer?
  29. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    If you have to ask that question, you need to familiarize yourself with what's happening in the USA in recent years.
  30. heckles

    heckles Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps you need to familiarize yourself with global history, since murderous thugs of every nationality predate the advent of guns? What is your metric for determining this alleged increase, and does it account for other contributing factors, such as population growth and density, mental illness, economic and political instability, and other causal elements?
  31. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    Murders are not rare, but I said "random murders" are exceedingly rare. Which they are.

    My coworker can only afford to live in a dangerous neighborhood. But thugs normally don't go after people like her, and they don't go after people like me when I visit her. It's gang-related violence, perpetrated against members of different gangs. What she has to fear (for herself and for her kids) is being collateral damage, but she normally doesn't fear being specifically targeted. I mean, I've heard of "initiation" killings that are supposedly random, but I figure, even streets gangs don't want those kinds of killings to call attention to the gang. Kill someone related to a cop or a lawyer, they're going down.

    This man being specifically targeted for absolutely no reason at all is what's exceedingly rare. Murders are not rare, but the kind that happen most often are the kind that people don't care much about, because they're gang-related murders in low-income areas. That's culture, and that can be changed with a directed mission.

    Completely, utterly random murders like this? I don't know if a directed mission could help fix it nationwide. You think video games and movies are violent here? We ship our video games and movies overseas too. It's not that superficial. There are a lot of factors at work.

    Because they're teenage idiots?
  32. heckles

    heckles Well-Known Member

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    Teenagers have latitude to do idiotic things, such as having a Tumblr account. Murdering an exchange student ventures off the idiotic reservation.
  33. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    Of course, but it's somewhat related to their propensity to overblow the importance of social status. I feel the same way about kids who die during hazing rituals. It's just not worth it, man.
  34. heckles

    heckles Well-Known Member

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    Nah, delusional self-importance isn't just a problem with teenagers, as the AARP proves. But, sure, that this contemptible clique thought they had the right to do this to another person suggests that low self-esteem wasn't their problem.
  35. purple skates

    purple skates Shadow dancing

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    Actually, when you think about it, they are pretty rare. According to Wicki, the US rate was 4.7 in 2011. That means that for every 100,000 people, 4.7 were murdered. Extrapolate that out and you have a 1 in 21,000 (give or take) chance of being murdered - obviously some places have much higher risk than others, but for argument sake lets go with this number. If you look at this odds of dying graphic, fear of being murdered should be pretty low on your lists of things to be worried about unless you live somewhere like the South Side of Chicago.
  36. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    Well yeah if you put it that way. :p There's a FAR greater risk of developing cancer in your lifetime than it is being murdered.

    And as you said, it depends on where you live. If you're living in a non-gang-infested neighborhood, on the whole you should be okay.
  37. mag

    mag Well-Known Member

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    According to Wikipedia the 2012 rate for the USA is 4.8. Now if you head north by only a few miles it is 1.6 in Canada. In Australia it is 1.0 and in Western Europe the highest is Belgium with 1.7 (I ignored Liechtenstein at 2.8 and Luxembourg at 2.5 because they only had 1 and 12 murders respectively.) Clearly there is something different about the US. IMHO, the easy availability of guns has something to do with it.
  38. Prancer

    Prancer Ray Chill Staff Member

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    You mean the guy who had longterm mental health problems?

    How are you defining "the rest of the world?"

    And how are you planning to assess "attitude" without having some actual data?

    No, he was a serial killer; he killed three or more people one at a time. A mass killer is someone who kills four or more people in a single event.

    Meanwhile, and more relevantly, murders committed by youths in the US are at a 30-year low.

    The US is also clearly different from countries that have higher murder and crime rates, no?

    The US doesn't have the highest per capita murder rate in the world; according to WHO, the US is 108th. Contrary to popular belief, the US is 28th, not #1, on the list of gun murders per capita. The US doesn't even have the highest rate of firearms murders per homicide; that would be Puerto Rico, where a lot of people go on vacation. The US is 26th on that list.

    Is there are a strong correlation between gun ownership and gun homicide? Hard to say. In the Honduras, there are 6.2 guns per 100 people, but 68.43 homicides by firearm per 100,000 people (the highest gun homicide rate in the world). In Finland, there are 45.3 guns per 100 people, but the homicide by firearm rate is low.

    Figures (except the WHO one) are from UNODC--which data, by the way, does not include Russia, China or a few other countries that would undoubtedly be a factor in there in somewhere.

    There's no question that the US has a relatively high rate of violence for a developed nation. But if you are going to start talking about "the rest of the world," let's actually talk about the rest of the world.
  39. heckles

    heckles Well-Known Member

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    It seems like you're cherry-picking the globe via Wikipedia to support your point, so I'll do the same. The United States' other neighbor, Mexico, has stricter gun control laws, yet their rate is 23.7 in comparison to the US rate of 4.8. Brazil? Much stricter laws, and a rate of 21.0. Switzerland, which has the fourth-highest rate of gun ownership, has a rate of 0.7.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2013
  40. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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    uh, *shudders*, Prancer, in what country is Puerto Rico?
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