Chapel Hill Murder (What the ????)

The media is reporting that Eve Carson, the UNC Chapel Hill student body president, was identified Thursday as the woman who was fatally shot in a neighborhood near campus early Tuesday morning.

Issues: 

Total votes: 158

Comments

"I am so sorry to tell you that Chapel Hill Police have identified the victim of this week's shooting as Eve Carson, our student body president, trustee, wonderful person and great friend. We are deeply saddened and numb with grief. I would like for us all to gather this afternoon on Polk Place at 3 p.m. to remember Eve and to grieve together. We will plan a full memorial service at a later time. For now, it is important that we pause, contemplate our loss and give each other support."

http://universityrelations.unc.edu/alert/carson/

wow

This is really sad. My respects and thoughts goto Eve Carson's family and friends.
We've had more than our share of shootings lately, but they all involved people/places I wouldn't be involved with. If this really is a random carjacking, it hits so much closer to home.
This is terribly sad news. In many, many ways, I hope this was a random event. Eve was an incredibly nice and caring person, and I can't imagine anyone ever intentionally targeting her.

The mood on campus is palpable. Several of my students have already told me they knew her; she was apparently very friendly and outgoing. My thoughts are with those who knew and loved her.

http://media.www.dailytarheel.com/media/storage/paper885/news/2008/03/06/University/Vigil.Scheduled.For.Carson.At.7.P.m-3256496.shtml

What a terrible tragedy.  My heart goes out to her family.

it is very disturbing to think that a person was just hanging out, with a gun, at 5 am, in a quiet neighborhood in a quiet town,  looking for trouble. 

That's a real tragedy, and like everyone else, my sympathies and condolences go out to friends and family.

Anita, your comments remind me of a very specific day in the summer 1993 when Kristen Lodge-Miller was gunned down in broad daylight on Estes Dr. with numerous morning commuters looking on. Back then, those of us that showed up at the series of subsequent CH town meetings argued that CH was no longer a sleepy little college village, but was a medium sized city with medium city crime issues. It still is. And it's still an unspeakable outrage when innocents become targets.

I don't necessarily believe in the death penalty, (or at least the way it's administered and carried out), but I never did understand why the guy that gunned down Kristen Lodge-Miller and why Wendell Williamson (the Franklin St shooter), didn't get the death penalty but were treated as if they were the victims, instead.

I hope that whomever purpetrated this most recent heinous crime is swiftly brought to justice, and that justice is fairly administered. (Whatever that means. How does one pay for taking a life and all the misery that creates for all the friends and family?)

I don't know what to say. How terrible!

:(

.

It is terribly sad that this has happened.

I don't know if I draw comfort or fear from the fact this appears to be a random act.

I do know this is every parent's nightmare and my thoughts are with the family. This is the greatest loss that I can ever imagine and I feel sad for her parents, family and friends, as well as the UNC community.

 

My condolences to her family.
Chapel Hill / Carrboro is a nice place overall but I would be very surprised if the murder rate here isn't a great deal higher than similar sized college towns.  It just doesn't seem nearly rare enough, and I don't mean just from a decency standpoint but also from a "how rare should it be given our population" standpoint.  Wasn't it just a few weeks ago that someone killed someone at Food Lion in Carrboro?  And there were some other shootings before.  I don't even keep track whether they're fatal anymore because it's not even a novelty.

I talked with her a few times and found her to be as bright and personable as one might expect, but also very down to earth. It's hard to think about how she might have died.

I'm not going to jump right in and say this was a crime driven by drugs or even random because the investigation is still going on and, well, we don't know.

I am going to say that as a longtime local I feel a sense of shame that we've let the town disintegrate to the point where it is a dangerous place in the late evening and early morning.

For years, many people -- myself included -- have tried to tell local officials that they need to understand better what it's like to walk through downtown at 3 a.m. or even 11 p.m. Carson's predecessor, James Allred, grew up here and got that and one of his last acts in office was to push for call boxes and better lighting because many students did not feel safe. Carson was an advocate for downtown safety as well.

We have to question ourselves, particularly in how we look at downtown. It is not a nine-to-five or a nine-to-nine space. No matter what the vision is for it, the reality is that downtown can be a dangerous place. We are waiting for leadership on this issue.

Kirk Ross

Kirk,

I certainly think call boxes, better lighting, etc. are a good start but neither of those would have prevented the murders that occurred at VT and NIU. All violent crime doesn't occur under the cover of darkness or involve drugs. But from my perspective there is one common denominator to a majority of the violent crimes that occur in this nation but unfortunately several well-funded and well-organized groups have managed to keep handguns readily available to essentially anyone who wants one. While I'm deeply saddened by Ms. Carson's death I'm equally saddened by the fact that a minority of people in this country can block any earnest attempts at eliminating one of the components of such crimes.

I cannot imagine what Eve Carson's parents are going through, but that doesn't stop my heart and mind from going there and trying to imagine it. Condolences and sympathy don't begin to cover it, but with everyone else, I extend them to her family and friends.

It strikes me, too, that Eve's life and Eve's death are an exceptional demonstration of how the University and the town intertwine -- how each affects, depends on, and relates to the other. She herself was exceptional, but the ways in which she touched both communities remind us that we are, forever, "in this together."

We can only try to imagine how this tragedy has affected Eve's family and close friends. Having talked to her on one occasion last year after her election, it was clear that she was a very special person.  Heartfelt condolences just don't seem to be enough at times like these.

But in the midst of all of this, I think we should also acknowledge the tremendous actions and statements by Chancellor Moeser and his staff, Mayor Foy, and Chief Brian Curran and his department.  In all respects, it appears that this crisis situation has been handled with skill, sensitivity, and professionalism.

In January 1995 when our daughter was beginning the second semester of freshman year, we had the tragedy of the Williamson shooting.  The information flow to parents was not the same, and I suspect our technology and communications capabilities have influenced how the current case is being handled.  I can only believe that current parents appreciated hearing almost immediately from the Chancellor. 

With the dearth of available facts in this case, the national media attention, and the concerns of students and residents, good staff planning and understanding the best practices to employ in a crisis management situation is paying off. I appreciate all of their efforts.

Please look at the site's Calendar of Events. There will be a ceremony honoring Eve Carson Tuesday 3/11 @ 6pm at the Won-Buddhism Meditation Temple of Chapel Hill. It will be held every Tuesday at 6pm for the next 7 weeks. Thank you.

 

“Until the great mass of the people shall be filled with the sense of responsibility for each other's welfare, social justice can never be attained.” Helen Keller

Words can not express my anger and sorrow for this tragic event. No one should ever have to go through this. I commend the authorities in their dilligent work in finding the person or persons who commit this brutal act and bring justice to them. I have always believed that any one should defend themselves the way they see fit. We must refuse to become victims.
She was not just a pretty coed. She was a genius, student body President and a Morehead Scholar. She volunteered her summers to help people in foreign countries. She was by all accounts a very loving and giving person.

When UNC played Duke the other night, the players all had her name on their uniforms. She was good friends with Tyler Hansbrough and others on the team. She had recieved several offers of scholorships at Ivy league schools, but came here because she LOVED Chapel Hill.

The other day, I had filled my gas tank and was waiting in line to pay when a story came on the radio about her life. The pretty little cashier was weeping when I paid. That made it even worse somehow.

Not that any life really holds any more value then another, but this was a person who could have made a big impact on the world and I can't look at it anyway other way then a TERRIBLE loss and a tragedy.

I heard UNC is busy setting up a Scholarship in her name and I hope Chapel Hill honors her by naming a street or a Park after her.

Whereas Eve Carson, UNC Student Body President was an incredible asset to our entire community, working hard in leadership and service roles including her membership on the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees; co-president of the Honors Program Student Executive Board; as a member of the Committee on Scholarships, Awards and Student Aid; the Academic Advising Program; the Chancellor’s committee for University Teaching Awards; teaching and working at Frank Porter Graham Elementary School in Chapel Hill as part of UNC’s INSPIRE program; tutoring at Githens Middle School in Durham; coaching in the Girls on the Run of the Triangle, a character development program for girls ages 8-12 that uses running to teach values and a sense of self; and as a friend and ally to both those on campus and beyond, and

Whereas the life of this young woman was tragically stolen on March 5, 2008, leaving us now devoid of the incredible potential she held and more importantly, of a beautiful and loving human being, and

Therefore be it resolved that the Orange County Democratic Party wishes to recognize the service that Eve Carson provided to our community and to honor her life by continuing to serve the progressive causes she cared so deeply about, and to work with local authorities to do everything within our power to extinguish violent crime from our community.

News 14  (@3:30 pm) says that there has been an arrest - news conference to come,  time unknown.
4:30
The outpouring of support from the community as we mourn Eve has been overwhelming in its warmth and caring. As students return from spring break, we will gather on campus to celebrate Eve's life. I know some of you will want to join us for that. The gathering will be at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, March 18 in the Dean Smith Center. You can find information about the celebration at http://universityrelations.unc.edu/alert/carson/. Click on "Memorial Service" on the right-hand column.
Parking will be very limited so please note directions for getting to campus.
The grief on campus and in the community is palpable. This gathering will bring us together to reflect on how Eve touched our lives, enriched our community and how we can keep her spirit and enthusiasm with us as we work together.
Carolina blue will be appropriate attire.
Please share this email with friends and neighbors, especially if you are the contact person for a community or neighborhood group.
Best,
Linda

I did not know Eve Carson but from everything I have read about her during this past week it is clear that she reached out to help many people on all levels. It now appears that the police have arrested at least two young men they believe committed this crime and that those young men might be from Durham. I'm afraid that the reaction of some (many) may be that this is another instance of Durham's criminal element coming to Chapel Hill to prey upon wealthier, more advantaged victims. I'm afraid that there will be a cry to "build a wall" around Chapel Hill to insulate ourselves from these elements.

I hope not. Eve reached out to many disadvantaged individuals to help them. I hope this heinous crime will inspire many to ask "How have we gotten here? Why are some members of our society becoming so disenfranchised that crime and assault and murder are even contemplated? " From what I've read about Eve, retaliation or recrimination would not ever enter into her mind. I believe she would be asking herself and others what could be done to solve the problems that beget such behavior. I hope that we as a community, not just in Chapel Hill but the Triangle and beyond, will begin to ask those questions in memory of Eve.

What great questions, George.  I was at a meeting last evening in Durham where some were talking about these very questions.  A comment by a Durham lawyer who practices criminal law put a lot of this in focus for me: we are not positioned to keep criminals off the street because we don't have the capacity in our jails and prisons, hence deals are made.  As recent news stories have indicated, a lot of our capacity these days is devoted to those who have received drug (esp. crack) convictions.

Media reports indicate that the two suspects are no stranges to the judicial system, as both Atwater and Lovette have criminal records:

  • Atwater was convicted in February 2005 of misdemeanor breaking and entering in Wake County and was given a suspended sentence and placed on probation for 24 months, according to N.C. Dept. of Correction records.
  • In Granville County in June 2007, Atwater was convicted of possession of a firearm by a felon. He was given a suspended sentence and placed on probation for 24 months, according to N.C. Department of Correction records.
  • A charge of common law robbery in 2004 in Durham County was reduced to misdemeanor larceny, and Atwater was released on time served, according to court records.
  • Lovette was convicted of misdemeanor breaking and entering and larceny in and trying to break in to a vehicle Durham County on Jan. 16, 2008, according to state records.  He was given a suspended sentence and placed on probation for 24 months.
  •  A Lawrence Lovette, also with the same birth date, was convicted in April in Granville County of misdemeanor marijuana possession.

Not hard to see a pattern!  And to come full circle, the latest news is that "Durham police investigators have charged Lawrence Lovette Jr., 17, with murder in the January 18 slaying of Duke University graduate student Abhijit Mahato."

No stranger to the judicial system is not the same as being no stranger to cold-blooded murder. The question we should be asking is how did Lawrence Lovette go from marijuana possession to first degree murder? Please do not forget that these killers are boys.  Somehow, someway they were failed by life. Fred, I have not seen anywhere that Lovette was charged with another murder. Would you mind providing a source? Of course I am speculating, but with everything I have read, it seems like it was a spooked robbery. It's extremely sad. I did not know Eve Carson, but if she was the type of person who would not seek revenge, perhaps we can really look into the lives of these boys (IMO, they were not men--real men do not commit robbery and murder) to find out why their lives took the turn it has. Eve's life was sadly taken before it really had the chance to start, but instead of just throwing these boys in jail and tossing the key., maybe try something different. As a community, let's not make this a "Durham crime leaked into Chapel Hill case." Crime is everywhere. Young people are committing hardcore crimes more now than ever.  Perhaps they are young enough to rehabilitate, so that when they turn 30, they are not in the same mindset that they are now. It's really sad. I know every barrell has its bad apples, but I just think about stupid stuff I did at 17 & 21 (NO WHERE close to murder or robbery), and I can definitely tell you that my sense of responsibilty and reprecussion was not nearly developed as it is now. I am by no means justifying Eve Carson's murder, so please do not misunderstand me. I think we already lost one young person, perhaps even as angry as we are, we could show some compassion to these boys, so that we do not lose a total of three young people to senseless crime.

 

 

“Until the great mass of the people shall be filled with the sense of responsibility for each other's welfare, social justice can never be attained.” Helen Keller

"Fred, I have not seen anywhere that Lovette was charged with another murder. Would you mind providing a source?"

http://www.newsobserver.com/2811/story/998319.html

"Durham police early today arrested Lawrence Alvin Lovette, the second suspect in the slaying of UNC-Chapel Hill student Eve Carson, and charged him also with the death in January of a Duke graduate student."

(I'm only providng the source material. I agree with several points you made.)

This is exactly what I was afraid of:

WHY Lovette became a murderer from the N&O cited above:

"The boy just had problems after [his father] died. He was very close to him," Barbee said. "I cannot say that that was a boy that was just bad. He just really fell apart after his adopted father died. [Melissa Lovette] was doing everything she could to just help make a difference, but he just fell apart. His adopted father had just done so much with him and for him that he just couldn't handle it.

"He was a good boy."

This is so sad. Listen everybody, the absolute worst thing you can do to someone, besides take their life,freedom,dignity, is to give up on the person.  Please, I know it is so hard, but anger begets anger, please let's all try to show some compassion to these boys. They are just kids who somehow lost their way.

I do not believe in retaliation, but I do believe in accountability.  The root causes of crime are complex,  some of them rooted in societal and cultural inequities, but at the end of the day, no matter what I do, what society does,  what anyone does,  I cannot make you choose to do the right thing, nor can you make me.        

 No one made Eve Carson's killer pull the trigger.   That person has to be accountable  for that choice.   I want the legal system to do its job, and if someone is found guilty, I want that person to receive  the consequences that we have agreed on as a society are appropriate for that crime. 

 My job will be to continue to work in my sphere of influence to do the next right thing and be of service to others, and I believe that is the spirit of our community.    Walls don't help anything.   The City of Durham did not commit this crime,  a person did.

 

 

Pardon my cynicism, but I beieve there is such a thing as Too Late. These boys were never taught to distinguish right from wrong. Now they're in jail without bond. They probably regret having committed murder, but only because they got caught. Their public defenders have plenty of pitiful fodder to explain ignorant behavior. It's too late. They don't know right from wrong, and life in jail won't change that.

Like other correspondents, I hear much relief on the Chapel Hill side that the arrests were made in Durham. This convoluted thinking does our neighboring communities no good.

17 and 21 is a far cry from being too late.

Catherine, while I agree that it MIGHT be too late for these boys, I certainly hope that it isn't too late for many like them. When I read that in 2006 3.2% (1 in 32)of the US adult population was either in jail, out on probabation, or out on bail there is something very, very wrong here in this country. When we have a single company making $40 billion a year in profit but we can't begin to address some of the social ills facing our society we need to reassess our priorities - and soon.

LMT and George, I apologize for my heavy-handed lament. Let's face it: it is too late for these two young men to escape from society's ills. By the time they get out of jail, assuming they're found guilty of murder, society won't welcome them back. I fervently hope that neither has children.

We could list here forever the symptoms of society's ills. Poverty. Drugs. Illiteracy. Materialism. Leniency. The place to put the money is in discipline starting early in school. The best schools discipline parents also -- and I'm not talking about high school juniors with babies. Or maybe I am.

Do not feel you have to apologize. It is your point of view, even if I disagree with you. I appreciate you not attacking or making assumptions about my comments and views. Thanks!

When news of this tragic event first came out, I wondered how long it would take the "usual suspects" to begin warping this to fit their own craven, narrow minded agendas. I wondered how soon it would be before people were blaming the gun, ignoring or trivializing the victim and making excuses for the killer(s). This  is a very consistant pattern amongst some knee-jerk "politically correct" excuse makers who seem to treat each such incident as purely a mechanism to try to thrust their failed policies and views upon the majority. George C and LMT shame on you! The facts and verdicts aren't even in yet, and you're using this purely to drum up support for your own extremely insensitive politically divisive issues.

Mike Swain, do not shame on me. I have absolutely made no attempts to "drum up support" for no cause whatsoever. You have no idea what I feel about criminial justice, and I have not made my political views known on this board (except that I feel we all should conserve water.) I am trying to show compassion, and QUITE FRANKLY, I am scared that there will be mob scene out for these boys. Already the racial tension is high. People (not necessarily on this board) were throwing around race-related opinions that didn't sit well with me. At the end of the day, they are boys, and I just wanted to make that clear. Yes, they are incrediably F*cked Up. What they did was absolutely wrong. But not everything in this world is black & white, adn I am really trying to learn that for my own perspective.  I think your comments do not really correlate with what i said. My comments were far from pusing any political agenda. Perhaps read again what I WROTE, not anyone else on this board, and take another look at your comment to me:

 When news of this tragic event first came out, I wondered how long it would take the "usual suspects" to begin warping this to fit their own craven, narrow minded agendas. I wondered how soon it would be before people were blaming the gun, ignoring or trivializing the victim and making excuses for the killer(s). This  is a very consistant pattern amongst some knee-jerk "politically correct" excuse makers who seem to treat each such incident as purely a mechanism to try to thrust their failed policies and views upon the majority. George C and LMT shame on you!

Hi,

In what universe is a 21 year old "just a boy"?

I might agree with you a tiny bit on the 17 year old but it would depend on the circumstances. This case definitely does NOT fit those circumstances. If there was evidence that the 17 year old was confused, acted out of fear or terror, or did something that resulted in the indirect death of someone because he did not understand the consequences, then yeah, we should keep in mind that he's just 17. That's not what happened here. This 17 year old was already involved in one murder in January! And now here's another one! Those are not the actions of "a boy" who deserves pity or compassion. Of course I reserve the right to change my opinion if facts come to light that support your assertion.

You are absolutely right! I should just settle on feeling hate and contempt to them. Thanks for showing me the light. Kudos!

Contempt is to despise. A society that does not despise those who do despicable acts will not long survive. Anger is not always a negative emotion. We humans evolved that trait as a survival skill. Unrestrained anger is certainly a negative in most situations. But some limited amounts of controlled anger is actually part of the glue that holds a society together and insures it's survival.

Compassion is great, but it alone won't keep the tiger out of the village. When faced with a man-eating tiger, if the whole village simply sat back and tried to feel compassion for the tiger's hunger, soon there'd be no more villagers. But, if the villagers get angry enough over the tiger eating one of them, then the others might hunt it down or put up a fence or do something else to attempt to insure their survival. (An analogy I'm using solely because it was recently used to me to drive the point home about some levels of anger actually being productive.)

Perhaps a better example is to say that if no one ever got angry about pollution, there'd be no environmentalism.

And perhaps an even better analogy is to say that many women in abusive relationships would not escape if they didn't get angry enough to leave. Right now our society has a problem in the form of being in an abusive relationship with ammoral predators who do not adhere or even acknowledge the most basic societal rules, such as don't murder.

But, as it relates to predators, holding them in contempt does not necessarily preclude any compassion for them. (For instance, the villagers might rationalize that the man-eating tiger must die, but doesn't have to die cruelly.) Rather, it just helps a society insure the relative value of the victim and can help mitigate the creation of future victims.

 

(Incidentally, I'm not arguing for or against the death penalty, but rather am just pointing out that a knee jerk reaction against any and all anger is perhaps not rational and it's often counter to how we're hard wired as social human beings.)

Mike S,

I don't know what politically divisive issues you think I'm trying to drum up support for. I think anyone my age (approaching 60) laments the fact that violence is much more prevalent today than when we were teens, young men (and sometimes women) resort to solving disputes with guns and knives (instead of words or, heaven forbid, fists) and dropping out of high school is too readily acceptable instead of doing everything possible to see that everyone gets an education or a vocational skill.

If you think my remarks trivalized Eve Carson's life then I suspect you have little or no concept of the values that drove her to spend so much time helping those less fortunate than herself.

LMT:  "They are just kids who somehow lost their way."

This might just be the most astonishing thing I have read on OP.  And I have been reading quite a while.

A kid who "loses his way," and whose adoptive father dies, does not pump lead into an innocent person to get money with her bank card.

It is one thing (and a right thing) to urge this community to avoid bloodthirstiness in the wake of this tragedy.  It is quite another (and a very wrong thing) to diminish the horror of the acts these young men appear to have knowingly chosen, or to compare what appears to be cold-blooded murder with some distraught teenager's "acting out."

Once the "revenge" emotion leaves me, I am left with the fact that these two are (if proven guilty) predators. In humans, being a predator is a choice and that choice carries consequences. Now is not the time to make more excuses for their behavior, excuses are what got us here in the first place.

So this kid was adopted. How about if we just call his father his father, instead of his "adoptive father"? The N&O quoted someone as calling him that, but that doesn't mean we have to follow suit.

Adoption is not always relevant in these cases, much as the media likes to make specious links between adoption and violence.  

 "A kid who "loses his way," and whose adoptive father dies, does not pump lead into an innocent person to get money with her bank card."

Really? Ask any teenager convicted of heinous crimes the reasons why they did it? It might just be the most astonishing thing you have ever heard!

Teenagers are not adults, even though they might look like one, and even though they might try to be a bad ass like one. They are emotionally and intellectually NOT adults. That was my point.

I think there are a lot of you on this board (especially those who directly responded to me by name) somehow thought I was trying to "save" these boys from some sort of punishment. Let me be clear before I get anymore hateful responses, NO, I am not. Clearly, there was enough evidence for the police to charge them, and so now let them have their day in court. But if we do not show some sort of compassion, I am afraid of what it will do, racially, to this town.

If me referring to these "predators" as boys disturbs you. Well, it most definitely should. It is quite disturbing. However, I personally would not  have a problem if they were tried as an adult, and do not assume anything about my personal views. Take the time to ask. Thank you, and see you at happy hour. I will be more than happy to discuss this with you further face to face.

 

I agree with Mike and Eric. At the end of the day, even a good excuse (which I don't think social ills qualify as) is still an excuse. And a member of our community is dead -- a member devoted to public service and who aimed to be a doctor to save lives.

I know Orange County is trying at least one other case hoping for the death penalty, so I can only hope that District Attorney Woodall will show he's not going to continue our county's history of letting killers and rapists off with lesser sentences (attack on Kristen Lodge-Miller, Wendell Williamson, Stephen Gates' death, etc).

There should be no sympathy for one murderer who should have been in jail on a probation violation or for one that apparantly has murdered before.

Kudos to your comment Mike, I totally agree with you. Using this tragedy for the means of drumming up support to a politically divisive issue (gun control and death penalty) is very insensitive. Someone in our community was brutally murdered, it could have been anyone and it doesn't make it any less tragic.

We can blame parenting, we can blame the school system, and I'm sure some people will even go as far as blaming George Bush. I say that we stop pointing fingers at the causes and point the fingers at the individuals. These domestic terrorists prompt fear and have no respect for human life.

I believe that as individuals, we need to stop being so dependent on authorities and a system that is filled with red tape. Police, while being the most helpful and important figures in a community, aren't always going to quickly respond to an emergency. I think it's time for neighbors to watch out for each other and stop our petty differences. Every person should be able to defend themselves how they see fit. Domestic terrorists only understand force, let's not become victims and send a message to them that this kind of brutality will not be tolerated in any community.

"Using this tragedy for the means of drumming up support to a politically divisive issue (gun control and death penalty) is very insensitive."

Using this tragedy to drum up support for the politically divisive issue of the death sentence is just as insensitive.

Society 'R Us. When one of us is beautiful, inside and out, like Eve, we should all be pleased with our collective success in nurturing that goodness. When someone has so much anger as to do what these two young men did, we should all reflect on our collective failure and vow to do better. Blaming the victims, in either situation, is senseless. It accomplishes nothing--and it certainly does not honor the memory of Eve.

Mike and Eric seem to conflate "excuse" with "explanation". I don't think trying to understand the larger social and economic mechanisms that produce the high criminal rate that we have in the U.S. in any way excuses it.

On the other hand, someone who "wondered how soon it would be before people were blaming the gun, ignoring or trivializing the victim and making excuses for the killer(s)" would be trivializing the kind of work that people are doing to reduce our social ills. It's more likely that someone advocate for gun control because of heinous acts such as this than someone "use" a heinous act to support an independent dislike for guns.

 

Blaming a person or that person's family for a horrific act may feel good, but it doesn't prevent crime.

I think you would get some interesting answers if you asked some teens why they do what they do.  I've raised four teens and I have heard some pretty  headscratching  answers myself.   

I think a more interesting question  in this case might be,  how did  killing somebody get to be on your list of options?      

First, there has to be accountability and consequences for the choices these individuals allegedly made with no excuses what so ever. It does not matter their background, story or brain development. Given the proof, in the end, it was their decision to do what they did and we as a society have right to hold them accountable.

Having said that, it is not about any given political agenda. There is a massive failure of all most all our institutions when it comes to segments of our society. The failure is in our governmental leaders, our legislatures, our educational systems, health care both physical and mental, drug policies, even the news and entertainment media, and ourselves. Our law enforcement agencies are not equipped to handle the systemic problems but are in the front lines. And our basic response is to try and wall off the problem areas and build more and more prisons. This is not at all unnatural because at a base level we all want security.

I do not have the answers, just frustration from years and years of no end in sight. Remember that there were also two NCCU young ladies murdered recently. The pain all those families are suffering are just too much to imagine.

Again in the end, with these any individual as with these 2 predators (and that is the right word), there is no excuse for their actions.

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