REMEMBER LAWRENCE KING: Fifteen-year-old Lawrence "Larry" King was shot in the head last week in Oxnard, California for being gay. This story is only now starting to get media coverage, although some of the reporting is such bullshit that it falls into the yellow journalism category. Case in point, the slanted, distorted article in Time magazine that, if you read between the lines, puts the blame on Lawrence for wearing jewelry and nail polish to class. The "sweet-faced" 14-year-old who pilled the trigger, Brandon McInerney, had been taunting Lawrence about being gay for weeks. 

McInerney "allegedly" walked into the junior high classroom, put the gun to Lawrence's head, pulled the trigger in front of dozens of other students and, like the coward he is, ran. This begs so many questions: where does a 14-year-old get a gun? Have we learned nothing from Columbine, Virginia Tech, et al? Who taught this kid how to hate? Why didn't school officials step in to stop the harassment that had been allegedly escalating between Lawrence and McInerney for weeks? Where is the serious debate on gun control? When is the Matthew Shepard Act (to make violence against the glbtq community a hate crime) going to be taken off the back burner in congress? According to a report in the LA Times, text messages were passed between students that McInerney was planning the murder and he's now sitting in juvie hall refusing to cooperate with police. I say lock the little monster and his parents up for life. 

If you believe the Time magazine article -- and you shouldn't -- all gay teens are happy, healthy and embraced by their peers. The claims of harassment and bullying are just hysteria drummed up by the gay rights groups with an agenda. Did I mention the writer of the Time article, John Cloud,  claims to be gay, but doesn't believe there should be federal legislation against hate crimes? He says we'll probably never know what motivated McInerney to kill Lawrence, but we should be mourning instead of passing useless legislation. John, you should have your gay card pulled immediately. The straights can have you -- we don't need your kind of internalized homophobia, especially not in the media. 

Sarah Whitman's editorial in The Huffington Post hits the nail right on the head. We've lived under nearly eight years of a government that preaches hate is okay and is under the sway of the gun lobby. We've yet to see any of the candidates -- including Obama and Hillary -- step up and even mention this tragedy and what they will do to prevent others. 

This blog post is part of an effort to memorialize Lawrence and to spur blog action and make sure this story is not swept aside, as it's been done by the national media for the most part. Visit the website Remembering Lawrence to find out more information and to find out about memorial services being planned around the country.

Thanks to Kate Evans and C. Dale Young for bringing this story to my attention in the first place.


Anonymous said…
I lived in Oxnard for about 20 years. It's a city full of gangs and graffiti. It has a reputation for being drug and crime-infested compared to the surrounding cities. It's on the ocean so there are multi-million dollar houses on the beach and very poor neighborhoods a few miles away. You might want to read the coverage in the local paper at:

My husband and I decided to move to Virginia in 2004, before our older son started kindergarten.

Mary G
Dustin said…

First of all, I didn't expect to read this and cry at my desk at work. I'm glad drug reps leave lots of tissues.

We can definitely bring this up at the LIMP WRIST event; however, I think we should plan something ASAP.

Lisa Allender said…
Thank You, Collin, for putting this out there. We should definitely plan a memorial for this young man. My God, just when I think we are advancing towards Light, I get disappointed with human beings. Again.
Peter said…
Hi Collin:
It is such a disturbing news item.
Did you see Christopher Hennessey's poem about this the other day on his blog?
Sarah Whitman makes a great point about the candidates keeping mum about such a horrific incident. If such a brutally cold slaying of a straight white kid had happened in a suburban classroom, you can bet every candidate and major news outlet would be going on and on and on about the problems with violence in schools.
Collin said…
Peter, thanks for pointing us toward Christopher's blog and that haunting poem. We're working on a vigil for Atlanta. I'll post more as soon as we have details.
Karen J. Weyant said…
Thanks for this posting. It does make you think so much about how far we have not come.
Anonymous said…
Here is a link to a site set up by Larry's family.

Mary G
Thanks for the comment, Collin. And glad to see such a meaty post on this important subject.
bookfraud said…
collin, i echo the applause at your posting. this is something that gets nearly no play in the media; it may be homophobia (imagine if the shooter had killed a child because he was black).

if this had happened 10 years ago, we probably wouldn't have heard about it at all.
jenni said…
so very sad and infuriating.
brian salchert said…
Given my views on human-to-human
relations, I don't quite know what
to write; but Silliman had a
picture of Lawrence King along with
3 links at the top of one of his
links posts. I ignored it until
yesterday when I choose the link I
felt most comfortable with. Found
out through it that this city I'm
in would be having a vigil tonight
at 8pm. That information included
an e-mail address. Knowing it
would not be wise for me to attend
the vigil, even if I were given a
ride, I sent an e-mail wishing the
best to all at the vigil. Back in
the 1970's I was a Gay activist in
Wisconsin and also briefly in NYC.
Safety and strength.
Lee Herrick said…
This is sickening on many levels, as you note. Sickening.

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