Chris Lane, 22, a baseball player on scholarship with East Central University, was reportedly shot in the back Friday while jogging in the small town of Duncan in southern Oklahoma. Lane, a catcher, was from Melbourne, Australia.
Three teens, ages 15, 16 and 17, saw him running by and followed him in a car before shooting him, Duncan police Chief Danny Ford told the Associated Press.
“They saw Christopher go by, and one of them said: ‘There’s our target,’ ” Ford told the AP. “The boy who has talked to us said, ‘We were bored and didn’t have anything to do, so we decided to kill somebody.'”
Most days, the stories of gun violence that result in dead Americans feature the usual nightmare scenarios: fights, drunkenness, the yearning for power, gangs, vengeance, madness, jealousy, police brutality, fear of the unknown, bravado, racism, vigilantism, accidents, copycatting, drugs, or desperation. These are the factors we have come to recognize as the daily stories of murder in America.
Today we get to add the boredom of the American teenager to the list of characteristics adding to our body count.
As we have been taught, however, no individual action ever indicates anything of meaning to any greater problem or national conversation, especially when it comes to American gun violence. It’s just an isolated event, like so many other isolated events that end the same way. The important thing is that we are all horrified and then forget about the murder of Chris Lane.
Every life lost to gun violence is an individual wrong, horrible beyond compare. Every human life is worthy of remembering, and each murder can and must contribute further to a solution to the terrors of gun violence in America.