There are so many sad stories everyday that you can shake your head at or even ignore because we become inured to the cruelty and stupidity. But this story about an Australian young man murdered in Oklahoma made me hang my head for a few minutes.
Steve Clemons who usually writes about foreign affairs and politics was likewise affected.
I have been greatly affected by sad news from Oklahoma today, another case of a victim of gun violence that deserves as much attention and public concern as the more grisly mass slayings we have heard so much about and which still have not produced progress on gun control.
In the latest incident, Australian student Christopher Lane was killed while visiting his girlfriend in Duncan, Oklahoma. The young college baseball player, studying in the United States at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma, was allegedly shot and killed by three juveniles, one of whom confessed to the police, saying, “We were bored and didn’t have anything to do, so we decided to kill somebody.”
Clemens connects this tragedy to the ongoing lack of real progress on guns. You can’t fix crazy and you can’t fix stupid, but you can keep the crazy and stupid from getting such remarkably easy access to guns.
Last week, I was in Bartlesville and Tulsa, Oklahoma. I saw signs everywhere for a coming major gun show and was reminded by one of Tom Coburn’s friends that “his best friend in Oklahoma” owns those gun shows and is rabidly opposed to any form of gun constraints, even anything as innocuous and as sensible as background checks.
Tom Coburn should step up. He has the capacity to do so. This killing of a young man in Oklahoma deserves his response. Other teens in the state who have easy access to guns should learn from Coburn and hopefully Inhofe that this incident harms them, harms the state, and harms America in the eyes of not only Australians but many others around the world.
Indeed, if people like Senators Coburn and Inhofe care about the reputation of their state they could do something about it.
It’s not a bad time to add that throwing the word “evil” around in response to heinous acts like this is just an abdication of society’s responsibility for taking action. Evil is an irrational biblical concept that believers adopt to explain acts that are too uncomfortable to explain in rational terms. There’s no room for it in a rational society, it helps not one iota to mark something up to evil and walk away.