Wednesday, August 21, 2013
After Oklahoma Shooting Death, NRA Expresses Outrage and Disgust at Problem of Bored Youth
SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- A mass shooting spree was averted Wednesday when a bookkeeper at a Georgia elementary school notified police of an armed gunman on campus and eventually talked him into surrendering. The one-on-one conversation, in which the employee sympathized with the would-be killer's psychological troubles and offered assurances of help, was captured on 911 tapes. This incident followed the tragic and unconscionable shooting death of Christopher Lane, 22, in Oklahoma on Friday. The Australian baseball player, in the United States on a sport's scholarship, was gunned down in cold blood by three teens who told authorities their only motive for the murder was boredom. Representatives from the National Rifle Association (NRA) expressed "absolute disgust" and outrage over Lane's death, calling for the U.S. government to "stop ignoring the serious and deadly problem of bored youth in the nation."
These events, part of a seemingly endless pattern of gun-related violence in America, triggered heightened calls for weapons reform. But Thorn Havershabe, head of the San Narciso County chapter of the NRA, cautioned lawmakers on Wednesday to consider a more serious threat to security, which was exposed during Friday's investigation.
"We have failed our children," Havershabe told reporters during his emotional reaction to Lane's death. "We have allowed them to become fat, lazy, unchallenged slackers with nothing to do. Obama's socialist administration makes doing anything seem like a punishable offense. So our kids languish. And in their boredom, a kind of psychosis takes root. Suddenly, murder starts to sound like a rational pastime because it's something to do."
Police said the suspects may have killed an animal prior to shooting Lane, and that they had planned on killing more people throughout the day.
"They saw Christopher go by, and one of them said: 'There's our target,'" Police Chief Dan Ford said before the press. "The boy who has talked to us said, 'We were bored and didn't have anything to do, so we decided to kill somebody.'"
Havershabe attacked the Obama administration and parents across the country for replacing healthy hobbies with mind-numbing video games and technology enabled gossip such as Facebook and Twitter.
"Back in the day, children were outdoors, experiencing life," he said. "They had chores, they played in parks, they went hunting with their dads or shot cans from fence posts."
Havershabe believes restrictions on gun ownership actually contributed to the problem.
"If kids were out shooting, they'd have something interesting and productive to do," he explained. "It takes concentration, skill and coordination to hit the bull's eye. It's a social activity, where people bond and share common interests in person. It's exciting. And there's rarely any hurt feelings or conflict in a room full of like-minded, heavily armed individuals. But one misinterpreted Facebook post and somebody hangs themselves."
Havershabe also pointed out that the teenagers had no real expertise in firearms.
"Otherwise, they would've had a better grasp on proper safety and handling techniques, and they would've been on the range practicing, not shooting at joggers from their car," he added.
Havershabe offered no kind words for the killers, whose ages range from 15 to 17, but was surprised at the decisive and, according to the NRA, premature actions of officials. All three teens will be tried as adults, and the two primary suspects could face life sentences without the possibility of parole, if convicted.
"Just as with the George Zimmerman case, we see liberal politicians and activist courts rushing to judgment without all the facts," Havershabe said. "Look, I don't have all the facts either, so I don't want to add to the presumptions, but there could be a clear Stand Your Ground play here."
Havershabe believes an athletic Aussie running through a sleepy Oklahoma neighborhood could have frightened the three boys, who perceived a threat: "Lane was a foreigner. He appeared as though he were on the warpath, running and thrashing his arms. This is place keen on immigration reform, with a history of immigrant-related problems. Australians are also a pretty scary lot. Look at the popular images of them in the media. There's Crocodile Dundee, a cocky but morally apathetic rube from the Outback who wanders the streets of America threatening citizens with an oversized Bowie knife. There was the Crocodile Hunter, an insane and self-destructive man who constantly tried to put children in the path of dangerous animals. And of course, there's Olympic medalist Oscar Pistorius, who killed his girlfriend while she was on the toilet because he'd had a bad day."
Oscar Pistorius is actually from South Africa.
Adhering to the NRA's unwavering stance and conviction, Havershabe sees lobbying for mandatory weapons ownership as the only solution to truly ending unnecessary murders.
"All over our country, we are helplessly standing by while pointless killings occur. Why? The lack of guns," he said. "We witnessed this at the Boston Marathon, Sandy Hook and Aurora, Colorado. Had Christopher Lane been jogging with a pair of six-shooters, a biathlon rifle and a bandolier full ammo, those three teens would be whining about an eternity of boredom in Hell. He would also have gotten a much better workout."
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