Tuesday, August 20, 2013

America in the looking glass

What's the difference between your average Islamic-extremist jihadi and your average American teenager with a gun?

The jihadi, at least, has a reason for killing. I'm not saying a good reason, but at least he has one. For three homegrown poster children for the culture of death, according to Oklahoma cops, not so much.

Because of that, an Australian baseball player out for a Friday jog in Duncan, Okla., is making an unexpected trip back home. In a coffin. Solely because he decided to go for a jog in his American girlfriend's hometown.

And solely because, by chance, three teenagers -- it is alleged --  decided that day was a good day for somebody to die, then happened to spy Chris Lane, catcher for East Central University in Ada, Okla.
It comes after a 16-year-old boy confessed to pulling the trigger and killing Lane, according to police chief Danny Ford.

Chief Ford said the 16-year-old was with two other teens aged 15 and 17 when they killed Lane during a random drive-by shooting in the town of Duncan.
He said the three teenagers had no motive other than to make a name for themselves.

All three are facing the charge of first-degree murder, which carries a maximum sentence of the death penalty.

Chief Ford told 3AW this morning one of the accused has confessed to pulling the trigger, saying he just wanted to kill someone.

"Lately there has been some pretty weak motives, but I don’t know that I’ve had one that they told us they were just going to kill somebody," he said.

He said the three teens were on a "killing spree" after , leaving a chilling message on Facebook.

Peter Lane said his son had left his mark and his death was just so pointless. 

Chief Ford said the teens drove to another house to murder a second unrelated victim just hours after shooting Lane in the back and leaving him to die in an upper-class area of Duncan at 2.57pm local time Friday (5.57am Saturday Melbourne time).

"They wanted to be Billy Bob Badasses," Chief Ford said.

"I think they were on a killing spree.

"We would have had more bodies that night if we didn't get them."

On one of the alleged killer's Facebook pages investigators said they found the message: "Bang. Two drops in two hours".

The accused are in custody in Stephens County Jail, awaiting formal murder charges expected on Monday local time.

Earlier, Chief Ford said one of the teens had been co-operating.

"He said, ‘Yeah, we did it but I’m not going to tell you who pulled the trigger’," he said.

One of the alleged murderers was Caucasian, the other two were black, Chief Ford said.

Lane, 22, grew up in Oak Park in Melbourne’s north and was in the US on a sports scholarship.

He was jogging through an area of "high dollar homes" after leaving the home of his American girlfriend, Sarah Harper, when he was followed and shot at the intersection of Country Club Rd and Twilight Beach Rd.

AMERICA'S gun nuts think we could prevent a lot of this kind of thing if only everybody -- or at least enough people --were armed.

What I want them to explain to me, though, is how you defend yourself against being shot in the back, out of the blue. Because that's how we roll in the red, white and blue, every-man-is-an-island incarnation of the culture of death.

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