Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Racially motivated hate crime. Nothing to do with gun laws. Don't get distracted.

Three teens accused of murdering baseball player Chris Lane identified

L-R: James Edwards, Chancey Luna and Michael Jones.
Channel 7
L-R: James Edwards, Chancey Luna and Michael Jones.
The images of three youths police say murdered Melbourne baseballer Christopher Lane have emerged.
The Oklahoma teens, who face first-degree murder charges, have been named as Chancey Luna, James Edwards and Michael Jones, News.com.au has reported.
But their parents yesterday protested their innocence.
Jennifer Luna, whose son is suspected of firing the fatal shot, claimed her son was at home saying: "My son is not that way. My son is a good kid."
Earlier today, former deputy prime minister Tim Fischer has urged Australian tourists to boycott the US in the wake of the shooting murder of the Melbourne baseball star.
Chris Lane
Mr. Fischer said he was deeply angered by the latest tragedy and said Australia turning their backs on America would help send a stern message about the need for tighter gun control.
Christopher Lane, 22, was randomly gunned down while jogging through the town of Duncan in Oklahoma on Friday afternoon local time.
Mr. Fischer, who led Australia's gun control reforms alongside former prime minister John Howard in 1996, said choosing not to travel to the US would help build pressure on the US Congress to finally act.
"Tourists thinking of going to the USA should think twice,'' Mr. Fischer 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.
"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.''
Meanwhile, Lane's American girlfriend today revealed her heartbreak at losing her "best friend", and parents of the accused protested their innocence.
Sarah Harper, 23, also told the Herald Sun that she didn't know what punishment would be appropriate of the three teenagers, aged 15, 16 and 17 years, accused of Lane's murder.
It comes as Duncan Police Chief Danny Ford said he had secured the confession of the 17-year-old who summoned investigators to his jail cell and claimed he and the younger boys were bored "so they decided to kill somebody".
"He said he was the driver of the car," Chief Ford said.
"They saw Christopher jog by the house they were at, they chose him to be the target, they got in the car, drove up behind him and shot him in the back.
"He said the 16-year-old fired the shot."
The three teenagers are being held in the Stephens County Jail in Duncan.
A spokesperson for District Attorney Jason Hicks said the charges were still being reviewed.
Lane, who grew up in Oak Park in Melbourne's north, had only been back in the US for three days after an eight-week break in Australia with Ms Harper.
"I don't want them to have any future that Chris wasn't able to have as well," Ms Harper said of the accused teenagers today.
"It's been pretty rough. It's been hard knowing he was taken so close to home, let alone taken in the way he was. To be pointed out like that …"
Ms Harper said she and Lane had joked about America's soft gun laws before he was shot.
"He wasn't a fan of guns," she said.
She fondly described Lane as a smart, kind and curious guy who would "do anything for anybody".
Ms Harper, also a talented sportswoman, said she and Lane just "meshed together" within weeks of meeting at college in Oklahoma in August 2009.
"It was more of a personality (we had in common), not so much interests. He was intellectual, into world news, and I found that quite boring," she said.
"He really wanted to travel more. He loved the idea of seeing the world."
Two of the accused teens' parents insist they were not involved in the killing.
"That's my baby boy," said the mother of the 16-year-old accused of firing the single bullet from a handgun into the back of Mr Lane.
She doesn't believe her son was involved in the shooting, saying today he was not a member of a gang and definitely not the one who pulled the trigger.
The father of the 15-year-old accused of being in the car admitted his son had been in some previous "kid stuff" trouble with the law, but described him as a good boy who also was not part of a gang.
"I don't think so," the father replied when asked if his son could have been part of the murder.
"Because he's not the type of person. He likes to wrestle. He's into sports."
The two teens have suffered tragic lives, their parents said. The 15-year-old's mother is in jail. The 16-year-old last year dealt with the death of his stepfather and brother.
The parents of the teens sent their condolences to Lane's family in Australia and Ms Harper.
"My prayers go out to them," the father said.
"I have lost several loved ones recently myself. I feel sorry for the individuals and family."

1 comment:

mushroom said...

I cannot understand how the local sheriff said one of these three was a Caucasian. Maybe Luna, like George Zimmerman, is classified as a "white hispanic".

Just for the record, I have bought guns at gun shows, and a background check was run on me, as it was on everyone else buying from a federally-licensed firearms dealer -- the vast majority of sales that take place at a show. The only time background checks are not run are on transactions between private individuals.