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Outrage about Australian's death in Oklahoma quickly went worldwide

by Don Gammill Modified: August 28, 2013 at 2:10 pm •  Published: August 28, 2013

Reaction to Christopher Lane’s slaying in Duncan came swiftly, and it came in volumes.

As details of his shooting, which occurred as he was jogging on a Duncan street, spread through various news accounts, so did the comments, from around the world. http://tinyurl.com/lqwws6n

This photo provided by East Central University shows Christopher Lane, an Australian who was on a baseball scholarship at East Central University in Ada, Okla. Lane was in Duncan, Okla., visiting his girlfriend, when he was shot and killed Friday, Aug. 16, 2013. (AP Photo/East Central University Communications & Marketing, Gina Smith) ORG XMIT: OKSO201
This photo provided by East Central University shows Christopher Lane, an Australian who was on a baseball scholarship at East Central University in Ada, Okla. Lane was in Duncan, Okla., visiting his girlfriend, when he was shot and killed Friday, Aug. 16, 2013. (AP Photo/East Central University Communications & Marketing, Gina Smith) ORG XMIT: OKSO201

Many were in support of the family and friends of the East Central University baseball player from Australia. Others, however, were laced with anger directed toward those responsible.

It grew worse when authorities said one of the three teens arrested in the killing claimed the thrill killing occurred because they were bored.

There were also numerous comments expressing disbelief about such a “senseless” act.

From newspaper reports to network accounts, through all social media, the killing was among the main topics throughout the day for several days.

Expect much more as the young athlete is remembered and as the legal process moves forward for those charged with his slaying.

 Driving concerns, or not

Apparently, there was much less concern here and elsewhere about risky driving. http://tinyurl.com/n85wq64

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reported that “Americans today are less likely to perceive a serious threat from dangerous driving behaviors such as impaired or distracted driving than in the past … ”

TEXT / DRIVE: Texting while driving      ORG XMIT: 1207161816571442
TEXT / DRIVE: Texting while driving ORG XMIT: 1207161816571442

“Motorists may be growing more complacent about potential safety risks behind the wheel,” said Peter Kissinger, President and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “A ‘do as I say, not as I do’ attitude remains common with many motorists consistently admitting to engaging in the same dangerous behaviors for which they would condemn other drivers.”

Quoting AAA, results from surveys during the previous four years found:

  • The number of people who believe driving after drinking is a serious threat declined from a near universal 90 percent in 2009 to 69 percent in 2012.
  • The number of people who consider drowsy driving a very serious threat declined from 71 percent in 2009 to 46 percent in 2012.
  • The number of people who believe that texting or emailing while driving is a very serious threat declined from 87 percent in 2009 to 81 percent in 2012. The number of people who admit to texting while driving increased from 21 percent to 26 percent during the same period.
  • The number of people who consider red-light running to be completely unacceptable declined from 77 percent in 2009 to 70 percent in 2012. More than one-third (38 percent) admitted to running a red light within the previous month.

Not exactly positive results. Especially when the numbers show a 6 percent rise in traffic fatalities from 2010 to 2012 in Oklahoma. It also was noted that the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office numbers show fewer fatalities than at the same time last  year.

Nationwide, fatalities increased an estimated 5.3 percent from 2011 to 2012, the first annual rise in seven years, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration numbers.

It would seem that more attention to safer driving is needed.

Brad wants to be Chelsea

And then, there was (the former) Pfc. Bradley Manning, who now wants to change. http://tinyurl.com/m9lhcg7

FILE - In this Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013 file photo, Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is escorted to a security vehicle outside a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md., after a hearing in his court martial. Manning plans to live as a woman named Chelsea and wants to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible, the soldier said Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, a day after he was sentenced to 35 years in prison for sending classified material to WikiLeaks. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File) ORG XMIT: NY112
FILE - In this Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013 file photo, Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is escorted to a security vehicle outside a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md., after a hearing in his court martial. Manning plans to live as a woman named Chelsea and wants to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible, the soldier said Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, a day after he was sentenced to 35 years in prison for sending classified material to WikiLeaks. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File) ORG XMIT: NY112

Manning, who was found guilty of  leaking government secrets to the news media, was sentenced to up to 35 years in prison, a reduction in rank, loss of benefits and a dishonorable discharge. Experts in the legal area said he could be out of prison in seven years.

But Manning says more change is needed. He says he wants to begin a sex change as soon as he goes to prison so he can live as a woman and wants to go by Chelsea.

That drew some attention.

 

 

 


by Don Gammill
General Assignment Editor and Columnist
Don Gammill is general assignment editor and columnist. A native of Ponca City, he graduated from Central State University (now the University of Central Oklahoma). While in college, he was a sports stringer for The Oklahoma City Times....
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