Oklahoma Shooting: Charges in Christopher Lane Murder; Australia Boycott?

Image: Oklahoma Shooting: Charges in Christopher Lane Murder; Australia Boycott? From left: James Francis Edwards Jr., Chancey Allen Luna and Michael Dewayne Jones.

Wednesday, 21 Aug 2013 10:35 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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The three Oklahoma teens who reportedly shot and killed an Australian collegiate baseball player for the "fun of it" last week were charged Tuesday, as Aussie officials criticized the National Rifle Association and called for a boycott of U.S. tourism.

Prosecutors said the Oklahoma shooting teens charged were Chancey Allen Luna, 16, James Francis Edwards Jr., 15, and Michael Dewayne Jones, 17. Prosecutors said they gunned down 22-year-old Christopher Lane in Duncan on Friday because they were "bored and just wanted to see somebody die."

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Lane, of Melbourne, Australia, had been in the U.S. studying at East Central University.

Luna and Edwards were charged with first-degree murder and will be tried as adults. Jones, who reportedly drove the getaway car, was charged with using a vehicle in the discharge of a weapon and with accessory to first-degree murder after the fact. He, too, will be tried as an adult, according to ABC News.

Luna and Edwards were held without bail, while Jones' was set at $1 million.

Tim Fischer, former Australia deputy prime minister, discouraged Australians this week from traveling to the U.S. and blamed the NRA for promoting gun use.

"Tourists thinking of going to the USA should think twice," he told the Herald Sun. "I am deeply angry about this because of the callous attitude of the three teenagers, (but) it's a sign of the proliferation of guns on the ground in the USA. There is a gun for almost every American."

One pundit pointed out that the Oklahoma shooting raises new race issues in the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin case in Florida.

"What if the victim here had a chance to, from a distance, see these future attackers? And what if he crossed the street or went down a different block to get away from them?" conservative talk show host Steve Malzberg asked on "The Steve Malzberg Show" Tuesday.

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"You know what you could accuse him of? You could accuse him of profiling… Might he have had the chance to feel something was wrong? Might he have had the chance to profile the situation… run the other way, do something that would have saved his life?

"Oh, but that would've been racist… that would have been terrible, and racial profiling's against the law and that makes him a bigot and he would be making an assumption that these kids were trouble."

Related stories:

Shooting Death of Black Teen Puts Florida Law Back Under Spotlight

Black Friend Defends Shooter of Florida Teen  

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