Saturday, March 01, 2008

Lawrence King

You may not have heard of the story of Lawrence King, the 15 year old openly gay junior high student who was shot and killed by another student.

By all accounts Lawrence was a flamboyant young man who sometimes wore makeup and jewelery to school, which prompted much in the way of taunts from some of the other students at E.O. Green Junior High in Oxnard California. However, this was apparently not enough to dissuade Lawrence from being true to himself.

On the morning of February 12th, King and about 20 other students were in the school's computer lab when 14 year old Brandon McInerney entered the lab and shot King once in the head and then ran from the school. He was captured by police a few blocks from the school later.

In as much as I have had other things on my mind these past few weeks, I figured that this tragic tale just flew under my radar. I vaguely recall hearing something about another school shooting (sad that school shootings are so common place these days, we almost expect them). But I do read the paper on a daily basis, and I'll be damned if I recall any mention of this.

The Fog City Journal checks in on why the main stream media all but ignored this story when it first occurred HERE

I guess Lawrence's story was not as important as Paris Hilton's latest escapade.

Regardless of how the press treated this story, once more I find myself shaking my head. Let's put the gay angle aside for a second; remember what I once wrote about guns? I still stand behind it. No one, BUT NO ONE, is going to make me believe that stricter gun control laws are not needed in this country.

Of course in this case, there is much more. As long as homophobia is allowed to fester across this land thanks to hate-filled preachers and right wing politicians, events like this one will occur.

And how about holding the parents of the killer responsible for some of this? How about the parents of all of the kids who get their hands on guns? Why don't we prosecute these people to the fullest extent?

And how about a school system that seems to turn a blind eye to so many things? How could no one in a position of responsibility at King's school not be aware that things were going to come to a head?

And how about teaching kids at an early age, that not all of us are cut from the same cloth? Get them while they are young. Teach that they will meet gay people and black people, and white people, and yellow people, and tall people, and short people, and straight people, and boys who act like girls and girls who act like boys ... and that's cool, that's what makes the world such an interesting place.

And how about mental health services for children?

And how about sensitive teachers and guidance counselors to work with children with gender identity issues?

And how about taking away all of the fucking guns?!?!?

New York Times Article about King's Killing

Senator Clinton and Obama's remarks on King's Killing

Ellen DeGeneres Talks about King's Killing

If you bother to click on the link for Ellen, you will also learn of Simmie Williams Jr. and Adolphus Simmons, two more teens who walked the more flamboyant walk and were both killed. There stories are equally as tragic, and pretty much both have been ignored by the media.

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