NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

September 23, 2013

Morality of a lost child

As I See It
Tim Fowler

---- — As I scan the news media from day to day in search of enlightening bits of information or that one article that “makes my day,” I am constantly haunted by many of the daily horrors that come across in print that expose those cynical questions in the background of my thoughts.

Questions such as, how can it be that people can disregard the precious sanctity of life with such arrogance and lack of responsibility that they would entertain thoughts of randomly snatching life from another for no logical reason whatsoever?

I’m referring to the very disturbing report from Duncan, Okla., regarding the random killing of a 22- year-old Australian student named Christopher Lane.

Christopher was a promising athlete and baseball catcher who was attending a nearby college when he was innocently and senselessly gunned down while jogging down the street where three local youths lived.

James Francis Edwards, age 15, Chancey Allen Luna, age 16, and Michael Dewayne Jones, age 17, are the alleged youths charged with first-degree murder and accessory to murder.

They were eventually turned in by their next potential victim, according to James Johnson, 52, who called police to tell them where the three were hiding. As if they hadn’t caused enough misery at this point, Johnson’s son had called his dad in a panic and said, “They say they’re coming to kill me!” This all stemmed from an altercation the boys had on Facebook with Johnson’s son.

After being arrested, one of the officials reported that one of the perpetrators had confessed to him the reasoning behind their attack … “We were bored. We had nothing to do. We decided to kill somebody!”

I am quite sure that I am not alone with feelings of outrage, not only by their actions, but by their total lack of understanding of the depths of pain and suffering they have bestowed upon people they’ve never met with their decision to “find something to do.”

This act of aggression has also spurned International recognition, as the Australian Deputy Prime Minister, Tim Fischer, urged vacationers to boycott any travel to the United States. He was quoted on CNN as saying, “You’re 15 times more likely to be shot dead in America than Australia, per capita, per million people. It’s another example of murder mayhem on Main Street,” he concluded.

I’ve always had a resounding faith that there can be good that comes from such evils. However, my faith dwindles as years go by and I see more and more of these senseless occurrences and the lessons to be learned by them seem to fall on the deaf ears of those who would benefit most by their teachings.

The questions in the end are always:

Where are the parents of these children?

Were they ever taught the difference between right and wrong growing up?

How could you ever raise a child and not teach them that killing, for ANY reason, is wrong?

Could justice ever be served in the end?

Although I am a devout believer in the Ten Commandments, even an atheist could agree to live true to the words “thou shall not kill,” because government dictates you, society impels you, and the courts demand you abide by this law of the land and promises that all who are ignorant of its jurisprudence will naively feel its long arm and take all your freedoms and possibly life itself away, just as simply as you have taken life from another.

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Tim Fowler lives in Newbury.