August 21, 2013

Using the Christopher Lane murder to argue for gun control.

Promoters of gun control seem willing to use any shooting as an argument for gun control, but the murder of the jogging Australian baseball player is especially inapt. Here's Steve Clemons polemicizing in The Atlantic:
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....

The young college baseball player... 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."
The accused teenagers were in a car. Lane was jogging by the side of the road. If it's really true that they were simply bored and wanted to amuse themselves by killing that particular man in that situation but they didn't have a gun, they could have run Lane down with the car. Wouldn't that have been easier than taking aim while driving? And if their mental state really was what the reported confession makes it sound like, wouldn't that have been more entertaining?

***

In last night's post about this murder, I said "Why is this murder story the lead story? I've got to assume it's counter-Trayvonistic." That is, unlike The Atlantic, some commentators are presenting this story as an example of black people targeting a white person, as if to rebalance things after media made the Trayvon Martin incident the symbol of a larger racial problem. I recommend noticing who's doing what in America's endless discourse about race, but what I want to add here is that Trayvon Martin — according to evidence presented at trial — beat George Zimmerman's head against the pavement. As Zimmerman's lawyer put it in the closing argument, Martin armed himself with the concrete curb. The pavement was appropriated as a deadly weapon, and Zimmerman used the gun in self-defense.

Promoters of gun control portray handguns as a special sort of object, because they are useful only for wounding or killing other living beings and they are designed and possessed for exactly that reason. Concrete curbs and automobiles are designed, purchased, and used for nonviolent purposes, though they can be repurposed to maim and kill. If you like gun control, this difference is important. If you don't, you'll probably say: Because there are so many ways to inflict violence — including innumerable household objects and the bare fists of whoever happens to be stronger — decent people have a right to bear arms in self-defense.

***

Only yesterday, in New York City, a cab driver, in a rage, turned a car into a deadly weapon.
“It was like a damn movie,’’ said the bike messenger, Kenneth Olivo.

He and rogue hack Mohammed Himon, 24, of The Bronx were heading north on Sixth Avenue when the cyclist cut off the cabby, law-enforcement sources said. Himon, in his yellow cab, chased Olivo to 49th Street, where the cyclist allegedly banged on the taxi. Himon “wanted to turn, but he didn’t want to wait . . . He wants to be Number 1,’’ Olivo said.

“I told him to calm down . . . He gets angry, he honks his horn, and he accelerates, and that’s it — I’m on the hood of the car, and the woman is under his car . . . He accelerated, because I couldn’t escape him.”
The woman, a British tourist named Sian Green had "her left leg... severed below the shin, and part of her right leg was left hanging by just the skin. "

Yeah, Mohammed Himon. Let's see if anyone jams this story into their larger "global jihad" template.

45 comments:

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, while you were posting this I was posting a comment about gun control on yesterday's Chris Lane murder thread.

Repeated here for convenience.

I expect that banning guns in the 21st century would have the same effect as banning alcoholic beverages did in the first years of the 20th.

southcentralpa said...

I don't have a link handy, but I'm always reminded of a four-panel cartoon. "You just stabbed someone? What's wrong with you?", then "You just beat someone to death with a baseball bat? What's wrong with you?" then "You just ran over some guy with a car? What's wrong with you??" then finally "You just shot someone? We need more gun control!!"

Chuck said...

I wonder, Ann, if it is really true as you suggest that the murder of Christopher Lane is "the lead story."

I saw it as a headline on Drudge. Where else has the story been headlined as the first front-page story?

I found it ironic that the Drudge headline linked to a Melbourne, Australia newspaper. (Filled, incidentally, with Aussie-isms like "dobbed" that I had never encountered.)

I see it as the most glaring problem; the murder of Christopher Lane really hasn't been treated in the mainstream media as a "lead story."

RecChief said...

I believe that one of the three is white. What does that say about the Lane/Trayvon race situation? Since the alleged perpetrators are underage, what would more gun control, short of an outright ban on all civilians owning guns, have done? After all, none of them would have been able to purchase a firearm in a lawful way as current law stands. Finally, where are Jamie Foxx, Spike Lee, Al Sharpton, et al.? Who is the President going to call? Which one of the four (three perpetrators and one victim) is Obama going to identify as "If I had a son, he would look just like..." Maybe this isn't about race at all, just one person's aim to maintain a position no matter what the cost. If it's about guns, I guess the gun grabbers are just following their playbook.

Tom Gallagher said...

And yet, according to the EPA, NYT and hollywood, CO2 is the greater threat to humanity; the more ethereal the straw man, the more successful the dissembling.

sane_voter said...

I accidently submitted the first post before I was ready. I was also going to say that this crime makes more of a case for stop and frisk rather than gun control.

Ann Althouse said...

"I wonder, Ann, if it is really true as you suggest that the murder of Christopher Lane is "the lead story." I saw it as a headline on Drudge. Where else has the story been headlined as the first front-page story?"

If you click the link and go to the post (which is the previous post on this blog), you'll see the context of the quote: Drudge. I was asking why it was the lead story on Drudge. With a screen capture. That was all I was talking about.

GRW3 said...

I wonder if poor Chris Lane didn't die because of political correctness. We all know of areas where we would not go on a bet, places just too dangerous to chance. In the past we would share that knowledge but would we now?

Where I went to college was within short walking distance of very dangerous places. If you are coach or official at that school the school Chris attended would you warn him about where to jog or would you keep your mouth shut? After what might be just good sense could be whipped up into racism and you could lose your job over it.

Ann Althouse said...

"I see it as the most glaring problem; the murder of Christopher Lane really hasn't been treated in the mainstream media as a "lead story.""

There are murders every day. Why does any one murder get national attention? The question is why make it a lead story, not why fail to make it a lead story!

I inferred counter-Trayvonism.

One could reject my inference and say that there are interesting details: the man was from Australia, the idea of "boredom" as a motive, the fact that he was healthy and running and then suddenly dead. The last on that list is a reason to identify with the man, but also a very ordinary realization: One might suddenly die (for example, of a heart attack or by a car accident).

jacksonjay said...

Jihadist repurposed an auto and a meat cleaver to butcher Lee Rigby!

White supremacist repurposed a pick-up truck to drag James Byrd, Jr. to death here in Texas!

Vehicles don't kill people, people kill people!

TMink said...

I have two guns in my house, a shot gun and a 22 pistol. Neither have perpetrated as much violence as our two dogs who routinely scratch us when jumping off our laps to check out the window. The guns have been in residence much longer than the dogs, but unlike the mutts, the guns just sit there and gather dust.

"Gun violence?" I don't think that word means what you think it means.

Trey

Drago said...

Ann: "Promoters of gun control seem willing to use any shooting as an argument for gun control.."

It's all simply part of the playbook:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323477604579000731721030424.html

Levi Starks said...

Yesterday on the NPR facebook page their was a link to a story about how the state of CA sends out teams of roving law enforcement officers to confiscate guns from people who are thought to illegally possess them. Among the disqualifications are the obvious convicted violent felon, to the mentally ill, and the the "has had a restraining order issued against" (and we all know how hard those are to get)
Of course this works well in CA, because the state keeps track of who owns firearms.
Well it got me to thinking that as long as we're going to be in the business of protecting people from potential harm, theres a few more areas in which we might want to direct our attention.
So lets apply this standard, If you're not competent enough to own a gun, by reason of felony conviction, or mental disease, then you're not competent to possess a motor vehicle, Or vote.
It's true that a car isn't designed to kill, yet in the wrong hands it does, and pulling a voting lever isn't the same as pulling the trigger of a gun, Yet people die everyday as a result of well intentioned laws. Once it becomes the governments responsibility to protect it's citizens from not just immediate threats, but from all kinds of possible harm it soon becomes difficult to draw a line.

Levi Starks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rumpletweezer said...

Guns are also designed to discourage bad people from doing bad things to you.

Matthew Sablan said...

Honestly, the most disturbing fact is if the reports that they were "bored" as their motive is true. That's Lifetime Movie of the Week kind of evil.

The Godfather said...

My only vantage point for viewing the national MSM is Good Morning America. Both the murder of the Aussie and the story of the enraged cab driver were featured this morning (the murder was also featured yesterday -- but with no identification of the races of the killers). The focus of the enraged cab driver story was that Dr. Oz was one of the people who tried to help the injured woman; the overall treatment was up-beat.

I don't think you get the same view of the world from GMA as you do from (say) Althouse.

MayBee said...

Promoters of gun control portray handguns as a special sort of object, because they are useful only for wounding or killing other living beings and they are designed and possessed for exactly that reason.

I know promoters of gun control say that, but that isn't all guns are useful for and it isn't all they are possessed for. Many people use guns to shoot at targets (or in Obama's case, skeet). They don't even imagine ever using a gun to kill another being. They possess the guns for solely recreation. Just like a jet ski.

John said...

Gun controllers are superstitious and like many such people have fixated on an object. There is a clown who writes at Slate who is obsessed with holding every parent whose child plays with a gun criminally liable for negligence. Somehow that negligence is different than letting your kid say swim in a pool alone or walk out on a balcony and fall to their deaths. Guns are magical objects to gun controllers. It is sad and pathetic.

lemondog said...

Any If I had a son comments from, ya know, the WH?

re: boredom, were their iPhones not working?

TML said...

That cab accident is just a terrible, terrible story.

sane_voter said...

The rest of the post I thought I submitted but didn't:

In the MSM, I believe the Aussie murder is more about an innocent foreigner dying than an anti-Trayvon statement. Witness the initial lack of disclosure about the race of the perps.

However, Bill O'Reilly has been pounding the theme of black crime and family dysfunction since the Zimmerman verdict. Drudge has been posting horrific black-on-white crime stories for a while longer. Both O'Reilly and Drudge are giving tacit approval to discuss such crimes against whites, contra the Trayvon narrative.

William said...

There must be an interesting and complex story behind the murder of this young Aussie. How does one begin to think of murder as an antidote to boredom? How did the white kid end up hanging out with that crew? Why did they choose that particular victim?.....There are lots of questions that hang over this case, and no one in the media will try to answer them.

madAsHell said...

I think Mr. Lane wandered into a neighborhood where you cannot be white.

I believe that one of the three is white.

I've seen two sets of photos, and in one set there is a kid that appears white. I'm sure NBC will sort this out for us.......or not!!

Indigo Red said...

Drudge also had this: 23:18:11 COPS: 'Bored Out Of His Mind' Teen Shoots Kittens With Bow & Arrow... Posts Gruesome Photos On FACEBOOK... Linked to a CBS Chicago story -
http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2013/08/19/police-indiana-teen-hunted-killed-cats-with-bow-and-arrow/

All I can say is at least some of today's kids are getting away from video game and going outside for entertainment. Isn't that what Michelle wanted?

R. Chatt said...

Man who dobbed in suspects accused of murdering Melbourne baseball player Chris Lane says his son was next

This was a gang initiation of young sociopaths in a very small town. If they were smarter they might have become serial killers. Stuff like this gets reported on the news every night in large towns and cities, but the violence is usually directed at other gangs not totally innocent bystanders.

That's why this story is unique.

RonF said...

"Promoters of gun control portray handguns as a special sort of object, because they are useful only for wounding or killing other living beings and they are designed and possessed for exactly that reason."

I've heard that argument many times. But when I ask them to consider that only about .003% of all guns in the U.S. are used in a given year to commit homicide, that a very small percentage of people are hunters, and that an overwhelming majority of both guns and bullets are fired to either put holes in paper or break clay pigeons, they have no answer.

Gabriel Hanna said...

Hitting a person with your car a) is hard to get away with, b) damages your car, c) can lead to your license being revoked or suspended and cramping your lifestyle in a way that murder with a firearm does not, d) requires more physical and mental effort, if less skill, than shooting someone.

Firearms are easy to kill with, by design. I say this despite being a Second Amendment absolutist--it's an admission against interest.

That being said, other commenters have noted that it was already illegal for these teenagers to carry guns and kill people; making it double-super-secret-illegal is only going to oppress the law-abiding. Abusus non tollit usum.

Hyphenated American said...

If Obama had a son, he would look like one of those murderers.

Cedarford said...

Drudge astutely sees the censorship the traditional media imposes and builds his following reporting stories that are spiked as too controversial to dwell on in the public space.
Drudge reports on dozens of black "flash mob" store loot and pillage invasions - people living near there, seeing the truth suppressed by other media outlets, commits to following Drudge more.

Guns? Guns are not the driver in this horrific stuff for the most part.
Start with looking past the Aussie killing to normal day-to-day black butchery in "gun-free zone " cities.

These thrill killings by blacks on blacks with their occasional homie gangsta "wigger wannabe" or mixed race hispanic amigo are not extraordinary, once in a decade type of events. It isn't the days of Leopold and Loeb, where the two jewish elites doing the disgusting deed shocked the whole nation, so aberrant was it.

Many are directed at blacks in places like NOLA and Chicago - where any guy NOT in their crew is considered a target of opportunity. It is rarely discussed how many of the thug killings of other blacks have no robbery, no "personal revenge" motive. Many times whites and asians and hispanics who unfortunately live or work or go to attractions near thug areas are hit because they are seen as easier prey, without gang protection, They are not "senseless violence". They are thrill killings, and the black community and leadership seem habituated to the animals. Many animals find killing is FUN, filling them with joy and feeling of power and excitement! Certain humans are no different.


When the black thuggery spills over into places past the ratty squalor of the almost all-black 'hoods black leaders rarely discuss...the incidents seem animalistic. Whites, Asians, and hispanics seem targeted preferentially, often deliberately due to skin color though all the powers that be deny it..

Authorities and media, thinking they are all noble about sweeping it under the rug for the sake of racial harmony, love their utterly predictable announcements: "There is zero evidence that the illegal beaten to death was a victim of a hate crime". And the public has come to understand the puppeteers of the regular media - mainly liberals and progressive Jews - actively suppress news of such events or try to keep them isolated to local discussion and uncommented on elsewhere. Certainly never hyped for ratings like the evil white Duke Lacrosse players, the evil white hispanic.

And "city leaders" and "police" join in the suppression of the event - again, that it would be "wrong to discuss this, give any prejudicial details" before the BIG TRIAL 2-4 years later.
Or do the usual lawyerly "There is no evidence a judge has ruled on to suggest race played any factor in the rape and beating deaths by 12-14 "troubled youth" of the two blonde women whose car broke down in inner Baltimore"

Due to this censorship, not just Drudge, but websites, some quite racist and many quite right wing, have begun to fill the PC Censorship Hole - And to list and assemble details of these race motivated "fun killings" by State and by city - and other atrocities the general public has obscured from them in the name of "racial progress".
This is an end around the traditional media "gatekeepers" who have tried to censor "racially corrosive" news, while simultaneously blowing up any crime or social justice pretend crime suffered by blacks due to other races into a national cause celebre.
Very disturbing. An apparant wide pattern of vicious inter-racial attacks in America the media minimizes, suppresses, tries to conceal the race of the perps...has become slowly revealed..
Academic studies on "The Color of Crime" are now well past the media gatekeepers and in common knowledge. The public now responds to polls that anytime the authorities or media refuse to give suspect descriptions...surely black thugs are again being shielded..

madAsHell said...

The original story linked by Drudge showed three black faces. The same picture is still being used as the teaser for their suggested video that shows up after the original video autoplays. In the actual video, there are two black faces, and one white.

I was also wrong about the neighborhood. It is described as an upper class neighborhood.

The weapon is described as a .22 revolver, but one of the pictures shows evidence tags in the street.

You can never trust first reports.

mtrobertsattorney said...

Allen West asks an interesting question: "Who will President Obama identify with this time?"

Illuninati said...

madAsHell said:

"The original story linked by Drudge showed three black faces. The same picture is still being used as the teaser for their suggested video that shows up after the original video autoplays. In the actual video, there are two black faces, and one white"

I'm not sure why you are apologizing. What did you get wrong? There were two blacks and one dark Hispanic. The Hispanic is either a bastard racist or an innocent Hispanic victim depending on the Marxist narrative of the day. In this case he is an Hispanic victim class who could not possible be guilty of a hate crime. According to the left, those responsible are the members of the gun culture which we all know is mostly White.
In other words, the remedy for Black on White crime is to disarm law abiding Whites. http://dailycaller.com/2013/08/20/black-teens-murder-white-australian-jogger-for-sport/

This ties in directly to the Trayvon Martin case. Here is a tweet from one of the perpetrators:
"On July 15, days after the George Zimmerman verdict, Edwards tweeted “Ayeee I knocced out 5 woods since Zimmerman court!:) lol shit ima keep sleepin shit! #ayeeee.”
http://dailycaller.com/2013/08/21/black-teen-who-murdered-australian-jogger-posted-racist-tweets/#ixzz2cd3b2e2C"



Clyde said...

Does anyone think that the three teenagers came into possession of those guns by honest means? Anyone? Bueller?

The problem is not 'gun control,' it's a generation of young men who were born out of wedlock and raised without the benefit of a father's influence and discipline. Our nation has been running a sociological experiment for the past half century about the effects of children growing up without a father in the home, one that no ethical researcher would have condoned. This sort of crime is the result.

Sam L. said...

Most anything will be used to promote gun control.

Paul said...

Ann,

It easier for them to blame the gun than blame the three BLACK youths (bored, hate crime, who knows!!) Funny they didn't pick another black but instead a white collage age man.

Gun control? In Dallas just 2 days ago a black man was stabbed to death by another one when he tried to break up a fight at midnight.

And yes, people do use cars to kill, just as they use baseball bats, golf clubs, knives, rocks, broken bottles, etc...

Conserve Liberty said...

I am in favor of bored multi-racial anti-social teeanger control.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Ann,

One could reject my inference and say that there are interesting details: the man was from Australia, the idea of "boredom" as a motive, the fact that he was healthy and running and then suddenly dead.

I still say it's the second of these. [Paraphrasing:] "Hey, I'm bored, there's nothing to do. Let's say we kill someone. Hey, look, a jogger! Perfect!" If you aren't chilled by three teenagers thinking along those lines, shouldn't you be?

As I said in the previous thread, the Leopold/Loeb case was massive news, because the killers had tortured and murdered a kid, on their own admission, just to know what it felt like. Now, apparently, we greet essentially the same motive with a shrug.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Clyde,

The problem is not 'gun control,' it's a generation of young men who were born out of wedlock and raised without the benefit of a father's influence and discipline.

We know nothing whatsoever about the family situations of the accused here. I think it would be best not to speculate.

ddh said...

Gun control advocates often sound like the Temperance Union, ascribing moral agency to an inanimate object. "I tried to follow the straight and narrow, but demon rum and a gun led me astray."

Hyphenated American said...

"We know nothing whatsoever about the family situations of the accused here. I think it would be best not to speculate."

Who is "we"?....
According to Pam, the mother of one of "obama's children" is a serial law breaker.
http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2013/08/21/meet-brenda-edwards-mother-of-accused-bored-teen-killer-james-edwards/

"She has three known aliases. As things stand now, her relationship with Oklahoma’s criminal justice system won’t end for several decades. Her multiple convictions include distribution of cocaine. She was in court in Duncan, OK, as recently as May 2010, when she was found to have violated her parole by obtaining prescription drugs by fraud. Her probation was revoked."

Firehand said...

I was beaten to it: you can't expect people to actually blame the people who committed the crime, on no! That's judgemental and stuff; and if the dirtbag isn't white, why, then you're being a racist! Etc. ad Bullshit.

Britain is an island; handguns are banned, shotguns and rifles- and the amount of ammo- highly restricted, and they can't keep the bad guys from getting guns. Yet "We just need one more law, and then the magic will happen!" keeps popping up; these people are idiots.

Kirk Parker said...

MDT,

True that we might not know the specifics of the murderers' situations--but the overall cultural milieu they come from is relevant, and what Clyde says regarding it is spot on.

MCD said...

An Italian woman run down and killed by a car on a California sidewalk. An Australian shot dead as he jogs down a street. A British woman run over by a car loses her leg in Manhattan.

I don't know what to do about this, but I won't be surprised if, soon, first-world nations start cautioning their citizens not to travel to the US because our country is full of dangerous, crazy people.

ethanvanderbuilt said...

We have tried almost unlimited guns in the United States and now it is time for gun control.

http://ethanvanderbuilt.com/2013/05/24/gun-control-needed-now/