Three Thugs and a Gun

Three Thugs and a Gun

Star Jones appeared on Piers Morgan last night to talk about last week’s horrific shooting death of Christopher Lane.  Star JonesLane was a 22-year old Aussie going to college in Oklahoma on a baseball scholarship. He was jogging when three teens drove up behind him, shot him in the back, and left him for dead. The three ranged in ages from 15 to 17, two were black, and one white.

While it’s still too early to know who the ring-leader was, or who pulled the trigger, there is little doubt these three thugs were responsible. In fact they told the police they did it “because they were bored.” There’s also evidence they wanted to be “gangstas,” and at least one of them had a criminal past.

I can hear Bill O-Reilly congratulating himself already. And he should.

Last night Piers Morgan, who labeled George Zimmerman a racist and a murderer just weeks after the shooting, and sticks to that unfounded position even today, never even brought up the issue of race. Neither did Ms. Jones. Not once.

Instead they talked about gun control. And while I agree with Morgan on many gun control issues, like background checks and limited magazines, he is way off when it comes to racial issues. He would rather pander to black America than actually help them.

In fact, it seems he would rather talk about anything but personal responsibility or parental influence, or the lack of male role models, or the pervasive “gangsta culture” in young, black America, and that these thugs were apparently a part of.  These in fact are topics to be carefully avoided on CNN.

At one point, Piers introduces James Alan Fox, a professor of criminology, to discuss the case. And even this learned professor starts with a very bad assumption. He says that “Mr. Lane was picked out at random.” We don’t know that. We do know they drove to the other side of town to do the deed, in the mostly white, affluent neighborhood. And the man they shot was white. Maybe they wanted to kill a white person. Or just an affluent person. We just don’t know.

But it’s surely premature to classify it as random. Again, this is an instance of a learned white man sacrificing his intellectual integrity — and his usefulness — in a desperate attempt avoid offending black people.  After what happened to George Zimmerman, I can’t say I blame him.

Then he goes on to say that the group dynamic is a big part of it, and that sometimes kids kill for “no reason at all.” Well, professor, that’s not exactly true either. It depends on what you mean by “reason.”

Yeah, the teen may have given no reason the act, but that doesn’t mean there is no reason. It seems to me that a young man without a positive father figure or role model, for example, is much more likely to join a gang. And a kid in a gang is much more likely to commit a crime, do drugs, and drop out of school. And, of course, a kid without an education, with no self-esteem, with no hope for the future, and a criminal record, is more likely to commit a horrific crime like shooting someone and killing them. In other words, there is always a reason, professor.

Fox also said that “minority kids…oftentimes they see the American dream as a nightmare.” But he doesn’t say why that is. I would speculate it has more to do with the kids’ parents and upbringing than anything else.  This is just more pandering.

Indeed, the statistics are overwhelming: kids raised in a healthy environment with parents that are engaged in their lives, who care about them and encourage them, don’t end up in gangs. But this professor of criminology doesn’t mention that. He does, however, mention the “job market.”

Now we get to Star Jones.

Within her first two sentences, she is trying to make the point that this murder victim, because it was of a handsome, talented, man with hopes and aspirations, “distinguishes him from other murder victims in our country,” implying that this is only being talked about because the victim was white and affluent. But don’t take my word for it, decide for yourself. Here’s the transcript.

STAR JONES: You know, it breaks my heart that a young man lost his life in such a senseless manner. But the fact that you even had to identify him as young, handsome, talented, with all these dreams and hopes and aspirations, distinguishes him from other murder victims in our country and brings his story to light.

But let me tell you something. This happens on the streets and cities across our country from St. Louis to Miami, Florida, to New York City to Chicago, Illinois, to Detroit, Michigan. And as senseless as this homicide is, those other homicides are just as senseless, and those people were somebody’s kid, also.

So we see she that she is trying very hard to deflect the discussion to the bigger, societal issues instead of talking about these three thugs or their parent’s. Maybe it’s because she knows that at least one of the kids has ties to a gang, and there are pictures of one holding a rifle and texting about “dropping” people, and a Twitter message stating “I hate white people.”

We also know that one of their mothers is incarcerated, and that two of them did not have a “positive role model” as a father.  These issues didn’t come up during the whole segment. They seem like relevant facts to me, but to this TV lawyer and to Piers Morgan, they are not worthy of discussion.

Piers Morgan - CNNPiers always brings it back to gun control. He conflates this brutal case with the case of the mentally unstable man who brought an AK-47 to an elementary school yesterday.

Improper conflation is another tactic used by disingenuous people who know they are wrong. It is powerful, though, because it fools people into thinking that one is equally outrageous as the other. In other words, no rational person would give an AK-47 to a mentally ill person, but a teenager with a .22 is at least within the realm of reason.

I mean, I hate guns.  But even I had a .22 when I was a kid, and so did my two brothers. Somehow we managed, even when we were really bored, to refrain from murdering anyone with it.

Of course, Jones assists Piers in the transference of responsibility – away from these thugs and their parents and the gangsta culture, for example – to the broader issues of gun control and society at large.

MORGAN: I mean, you know, you look at the school shooting incident today where luckily nobody was hurt, but there you got a kid of 20. He apparently said he was off his meds, just clearly having some kind of treatment for some kind of mental health issue. Five months ago apparently he’d been detained by authorities after making offensive terrorist-style threats. So you’ve got a known attachment there to law enforcement people. You’ve got a known attachment to mental health issues and he’s got an AK-47.

JONES: And you have no — and you have gun laws that say that we can’t do a true background check on people with those specific qualifications. If we had some sensible gun control laws in place, each and everything that you have alluded to as it relates to this particular suspect would have been caught before he would have had access to some sort of semiautomatic rifle. I mean, it makes no sense whatsoever.

The truth is, I agree with them on background checks. That seems like a no-brainer. But that is for another discussion.

Briefly, though, blaming guns for crimes like this is like blaming cars for car accidents. Or, I guess more appropriately, like blaming cars for vehicular homicide. Either way, it is a ridiculous argument. Besides, there are already laws prohibiting minors from having guns in Oklahoma.

Ms. Jones’ next comment is an attempt to use the “victimhood” excuse in order to deflect attention away from any individual, like the mother or father, or the thug himselfIt’s always society’s fault.

“And this young man being killed in such a horrific way just so people can have some fun showed a lack of core values that should trouble us as Americans that we have now reduced our young people to basically sit around and say, you know, I have no hope, no dream for where I sit in society, that I would take the life of someone.”

Aside from the meandering, run-on sentence, note how she attempts to mitigate the actions of these thugs by blaming society at large. She uses the word “we” as if all of us bear some responsibility for this horrible crime. The clear implication is that the “black man” is at such a disadvantage in our society that these kinds of things are inevitable, and to be expected.

So let’s get this straight. This is on us?  You and me? We have “reduced our young people to basically sit around and say, you know, I have no hope, no dream” and that somehow we’re responsible for this vicious murder?

While I may agree that these kids have no core values, no hope, no dream, it’s not my fault. If anyone is to blame for that, it’s their parents. I’ve already pointed out that these kids, shall we say, had less than stellar home lives. And even though the statistics show a huge correlation between kids raised in dysfunctional, broken homes and crime, this was never brought up.  Now that’s great journalism!

Jones then sums up with a question and a call to action, yet another debate about responsibility.

JONES: Why — where is the responsibility to your fellow man? We have stopped instilling that in our young people and that’s the debate that we should be having.

MORGAN: I completely and utterly agree with you, Star Jones.

Did you get that straight folks? We are to blame for not instilling core values in these kids. We failed to create the sense of “responsibility to our fellow man.” Not their parents. Not their school. Not their community. Not the gangsta culture so rampant in young black America. It is us! We are to blame, you and me. Don’t you see that these kids are really just victims of our negligence and discriminatory policies?

Of course, Piers “completely and utterly” agrees with Ms. Jones. But then again, he is a complete and utter idiot, so what can you expect?

It will be very interesting if these thugs say that they killed this white guy to get revenge for Trayvon Martin. And even if they don’t consciously admit it, it’s quite likely a contributing factor to their sense of indignation and their general animosity to white people.

If not this case, though, eventually we will see someone die as an act of revenge for Trayvon Martin.  It may have already happened.

Then what will these two morons say? Will they accept their responsibility? Will they hold themselves accountable for their role in creating a false narrative — along with the likes of Sunny Hostin, Al Sharpton, and Nancy Grace — that so outraged black people in this country, that revenge crimes like this were inevitable? Will they finally see the blood on their hands?

Maybe Ms. Jones is right.  Let’s talk about responsibility.

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