The Oklahoma shooting in which three “bored” American teens allegedly randomly targeted and killed an Australian collegiate baseball player has led to calls for a tourism boycott of the U.S. and has Australia debating its own gun laws, the Christian Science Monitor reported on Aug. 21.
Meanwhile, two of the three teens in the Oklahoma shooting have been charged with first-degree murder and will be tried as adults: Chancey Allen Luna, 16, and James Francis Edwards Jr., 15.
The third teen in the Oklahoma shooting, Michael Dewayne Jones, 17, was charged with using a vehicle in the discharge of a weapon and with accessory to first-degree murder after the fact. He is considered a youthful offender but also will be tried in adult court.
The chilling Oklahoma shooting has generated international outrage. The three teens in the shooting allegedly grew bored as summer vacation was drawing to a close and decided to randomly kill someone.
The victim in the Oklahoma shooting was Christopher Lane, 22, of Melbourne, Australia, who was on a baseball scholarship at East Central University in Oklahoma. Lane was jogging in an affluent area of Duncan, Oklahoma, about 3 p.m. last Friday when a car carrying the three teens pulled up behind him, CNN reported. The teens allegedly fatally shot Lane in the back and then sped away in a random act of violence.
Jones allegedly told police that the teens were bored and killed Lane “for the fun of it.”
The Oklahoma shooting prompted Tim Fischer, a former Australia deputy prime minister, to criticize the U.S. National Rifle Association and to urge Australians to boycott tourism in the U.S. as a way to pressure Congress to act on gun control.
“It's a sign of the proliferation of guns on the ground in the USA,” Fisher said. “There is a gun for almost every American."
But the Oklahoma shooting also has Australians taking a new look at their own gun laws, which were tightened in 1996 following the Port Arthur massacre, in which a lone gunman killed 35 people.
Despite the strict gun laws in Australia, the country has seen a spike in gun violence in recent years, the Christian Science Monitor reported. The gun laws in Australia ban semi-automatic rifles and semi-automatic and pump-action shotguns and have strict licensing and ownership of firearms.
The Australians had been proud of their tough gun laws and said they could serve as a model for U.S. gun laws. But now with the increase in gun violence there, gun laws have become a hot political issue in advance of September elections.