Monday, February 25, 2008

Lawrence King, Age 15, Rest in Peace

I wept when I read this story in Saturday's New York Times this weekend.

I am not sure how I had missed the news that last Tuesday at 14 year old boy walked into a middle school classroom in Oxnard, California, near Los Angeles, and used a gun to kill Lawrence King, age 15, presumably because he was gay and gender-non-conforming.

I felt both rage and sorrow, a call to action as well as impotence. HOW is it that in 2008 such hatred and fear about other people's sexuality continue to exist? What would make the 14 year old that scared, that angry to act this out? Why aren't schools safe for young men like Lawrence or educating the young man who is his attacker?

And WHEN are handguns going to be outlawed in this country?

My heart breaks for both sets of parents and family and friends. Lawrence is dead; the other young man's life is changed forever. I understand that there are vigils planned across the country; reach out, find one.

But, more, ask yourself as a person of faith -- what can you do today, this week, this month -- at your local school, your faith community, your town, your country -- to make it safe for all of God's children.

1 comment:

C4bl3Fl4m3 said...

Really, I don't think the handgun was the problem here. That kid woulda stabbed the other one with a knife if he couldn't have gotten his hands on a handgun. (Shame on the irresponsible gun owners! They make responsible gun owners look bad.)

The issue is one that you brought up... WHY such hatred and intolerance? Differences can be scary (and I think that's a human reaction we tend to sweep under the rug when we talk about tolerance and diversity) but how do we get to the point that it's threatening enough to make someone want to kill someone else over it? Is it a combination of programming from society and the not knowing of how to deal with feelings?