The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It


Perhaps I’m wrong, but the first time I recall hearing the phrase, “Get a life” was back in the ‘70’s.  At that time it meant that an individual was not “living up to potential” (a phrase from the ‘50’s).  In 2013 it has taken on a totally different meaning.

On Friday, August 16, 2013 a twenty-two year old Australian man, Christopher Lane lost his life in Oklahoma as he was out jogging while on a visit to his girl friend and her family. Three teenagers shot him in the back and killed him.

When the oldest of the three assailants who were arrested was asked why they had done this, the 17 year old said, “We were bored and decided to kill somebody – for the fun of it.”

It’s hard to make sense of an accident that results in the loss of life.  It’s simply impossible for me to make sense of something like this.  It’s beyond my understanding to comprehend the kind of a mind that considers another life so trivial that it can be snuffed out to remediate boredom.  This taxes my feelings about civility and charity toward others and giving a person a second chance.  I know that is a failing on my part.

There is no need to foment the issue of racism which has already been brought to the boiling point by the media.  And I know that in this case Al Sharpton and other racists will be totally silent.  Nor is there any need to bring up the “stand your ground” laws and whether those deter or encourage crime.  Chris Lane was white, unarmed and the victim and, like Trayvon Martin, nothing will bring him back to life.

But it is time to ask some serious questions. “Why have the news media barely paid attention to this murder?  Does it not meet their profile of the violent racist agenda that whites have for our black brothers?  Is that the same reason that the incidences of black on black violence are so frequently glossed over by them?”

Until those in the media fulfill their responsibilities of providing news that is even, balanced and complete, we will have more Trayvon Martins and more Chris Lanes.  Perhaps, in some of those cases, the only ones who will mourn them will be their friends and family.  There will be no organized marches to avenge the deaths of those slaughtered.

But if the editors of our papers and those who produce our news programs don’t themselves, “get a life,” we will continue to live in a society where three bored teenagers, just for fun, will continue to take them.


Comments on: "GET A LIFE" (11)

  1. Loved this and shared it. You have a wonderful way of getting right to the heart of the matter, ma’am. There’s a reason your blog is part of my daily reading! Peace be with you – Kelly

  2. I think there is a lot of precedent here, although most of it is biblical, and perhaps a bit harsh. I end up taking his word for the value of human life-especially his.

    In almost any case which results in accidental death, once, I can justify mercy, sort of everyone has bad days. But mercy is still the opposite of justice and anybody who values human life this low, has no place on the street, or perhaps outside of Hell itself.

    • Situations like this cause me (if only for a brief moment) to wonder if there isn’t something to Sharia law.

      • I hear you. Sharia? no. But the old common law, that gave swift and sure justice, Yep.

      • A dromedary by any other name is still a camel.

      • Yes, but a dromedary is not a horse.

        I’m not necessarily saying we need to go back to the really harsh punishments. I do think somewhat harsher is often in order but that’s a different article.

        What I am saying is that punishment needs to be swift and sure, not 10 years later. It should never be more than about 6 months from arrest to verdict. We harm both the guilty and the innocent, not to mention the victim by stringing it out for years.

        It takes so long now that by the time a verdict is reached, the crime is forgotten, it often has the same relevance as Lizzie Borden.

      • One of my liberal friends can’t understand how I justify being opposed to abortion and (reluctively) supportive of capital punishment. The difference between the two seems obvious in that in the first we are sacrificing the innocent and in the second dispatching the guilty.

        If we could compute the amount that we spend on housing a suspect, legal fees and all the other stuff that is involved in preparing for a trial -and the amount that we spend on the same during the appeals process versus the cost of executing a prisoner – and if we were to take the savings and give it to the survivors of the victim instead, I believe we would be doing a greater good for society.

      • Not a bad idea, and in truth it should be a fairly simple algorithm.

        Yes, there is a major difference between killing the guilty and the innocent, unless you’re an unusually heartless relativist.

  3. You made a good point. It doesn’t matter what color the shooters are it’s wrong to take boredom to the point where human life is so trivial. I wonder if the real blame should be to us all as a society who allow most of our entertainment movies and games to be violent and targeted to the youth whose minds are in a state of development. I know there’s always the tendency to blame parents for supposedly creating an environment where violence could be accepted as a norm, but we as the larger society are equally to blame.

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