Christopher Lane was an Australian baseball player studying in the States on an athletic scholarship, and majoring in finance. Last Friday, he went out for a jog while visiting the family of his American girlfriend of four years, Sarah Harper, in Duncan, an affluent south-central Oklahoma town most notable for being the birthplace of Halliburton, and passed the house where three teen-aged boys were staying. The 17, 16 and 15-year-olds, who had left a "chilling message" on Facebook about their intentions, then followed the 22-year-old Melbourne man in a black Ford Focus and shot him in the back before driving off.
Several people rushed to try to help Lane after hearing the shot and seeing him staggering on the road before collapsing. “He was face down on the ground and he was shot in the back with a .22 revolver,” builder Richard Rhodes said. “I had another lady stop and we tried CPR on him. And he passed away right here.”
The teens were caught four hours later after a concerned parent called police with a message: "Several juveniles are coming over to kill their son." The three were arrested in a church carpark adjacent to the intended victim's home. After police arrested the three teens, the oldest told police that they chose Christopher Lane at random. "We were bored and didn’t have anything to do, so we decided to kill somebody.'"
The youngest boy danced and laughed as he was being taken into a police station to be charged. District Attorney Jason Hicks said, "He thinks it's funny, and it's all a joke," Mr. Hicks said. While one of the boys is known to juvenile authorities for previous infractions, none of them have any apparent links to a gang or drugs. All three have been charged with first-degree murder and will be tried as adults.
“He was an absolute joy to coach,” baseball coach Dino Rosato said of Christopher Lane. “Chris was an extremely well-respected teammate. ... He set a great example for all of his teammates, but more importantly for the younger players. He was a mature student-athlete who his teammates could look to for advice and support.”
The senselessness of this murder has stunned and outraged Australians, and former deputy prime minister Tim Fischer, who led Australia's gun control reforms alongside former prime minister John Howard in 1996, has called on Australians to boycott the United States. "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. I am deeply angry about this because of the callous attitude of the three teenagers - it's a sign of the proliferation of guns on the ground in the USA. There is a gun for almost every American."
Mr Fischer has suggested that Australians turning their backs on America would send a stern message about the need for tighter gun control, and help build pressure on the US Congress to finally act.
Bless. I guess he hasn't gotten the memo - America isn't like Australia; we just don't talk about gun control in this country. Ever. Our politicians are too gutless and afraid of the NRA. The only politicians who are urging their government to enact even tighter gun control laws, including banning semi-automatic weapons and stricter gun storage, after three bored American teenagers shot and killed a man they'd never met just "for fun" are...