August 23, 2013

BLOG: Main issue remains untouched in Duncan shooting

Adam Troxtell
The Express-Star


So, now we know the three obviously lost teenagers involved in the Duncan shooting of an innocent Australian baseball player were not officially involved in a gang.

Of course, this doesn't stop the clearly troubled youths from being inspired by them or the "thug life" and whatever that means. 

Their "pasts" are out there for everyone to see, from a spread in the Oklahoman that includes a Facebook photo of two of the boys flashing "gang signs," to a New York Daily News online article that includes a looping video of one of the group pointing a rifle kitted with a scope at the camera. 

Sure, that stuff matters; but, how much? 

What does it mean to the family and friends of Chris Lane that these three young men appear to have lived a life relatively separate from the understood rules and duties of society? For Lane's loved ones, it doesn't matter. These kids could have been black, white, hispanic, fellow Australians. The point is, it happened, and while we're busy psycho-analyzing the suspects - since, legally, they haven't been convicted yet - the key piece in this whole saga remains to be looked at: the gun.

It remains unseen both in our minds and physically, since police have yet to even locate the weapon allegedly used. 

Pictures of guns have been found with the suspects all over social media, so is no one wondering where they got the guns? How did they get them? And why are there so many guns just laying around that they can be picked up by anyone, even children?

Just yesterday, a five-year-old in Memphis was taken into police custody after he fired a gun in his elementary school cafeteria. Barely into childhood, and somehow he not only got ahold of a handgun, but also fired it. Luckily, no one was injured.

In an earlier blog post, I said the current regulations and checks on gun ownership were way to relaxed and it would result in a tragedy in our own backyard. Oklahoma, this is it. This needs to be the wake-up call. We must change the way we treat guns, both legally and mentally, if we are to prevent future atrocities.

Those who say I am politicizing a tragedy are the same people who simply do not want to hear the message. If we don't talk about this now, then when? There is a clear problem in this nation regarding guns, and I for one don't want a similar future for myself and my children.