- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 25, 2013

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin said Sunday it would be a “nice gesture” if President Obama weighed in on the senseless killing of an Australian college student on Aug. 16 in her state.

After President Obama waded into the Trayvon Martin shooting death and subsequent acquittal of George Zimmerman in Florida, critics of the president wonder whether he’ll also address the shooting death of Christopher Lane of Melbourne, Australia, in Duncan, Okla.

“I think it would be a nice gesture for him to do that, and especially since the country of Australia has expressed their sentiments as to the murder itself,” Ms. Fallin, a Republican, told “Fox News Sunday.”

Three teenage boys have been charged with Lane’s killing and face life in prison if convicted. Prosecutors say the boys admitted they were “bored” and killed Lane “for the fun of it.”

Former Rep. Allen B. West, Florida Republican, hinted that there may be a racial double standard at play, given the lack of outrage from Mr. Obama and civil rights leaders over three teens accused of shooting a white victim.

Despite the overtones of race, the Martin case focused on whether Mr. Zimmerman had the right to claim self-defense in the shooting, whereas the Oklahoma case has been described as a “thrill kill” by teens who had little parental supervision in their daily lives.

Australians, drawing contrast with their own laws, have weighed in on the case by expressing doubts about the United States’ relatively lax approach to gun control.

“Well, I don’t think this issue is about gun control,” Ms. Fallin said. “It’s an issue about murder. It’s an issue about three young men who did something very terrible to a very innocent bystander that was jogging through his community, and it’s very unfortunate what has happened.”

“And I certainly understand that Australia is very upset,” she added. “People in Oklahoma are very upset, too; people in the United States are very upset with what’s happened, because it’s just such a shock that anyone would do what they had done to Chris Lane. And it’s unfortunate that Australia feels that way, you know; the United States has been a great friend to Australia.”

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