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Are parents to blame for gay teen murder?

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Parents Are to Blame for Gay Teen Murder

Posted by Jacqueline Burt
on Aug 15, 2011

It's sickening and outrageous how wildly misplaced the blame has been for the murder of 15-year-old Larry King. The openly gay teen was shot twice in the back of the head while sitting in class by his schoolmate, then 14-year-old Brandon McInerney (the most cowardly way to take somebody out ever, by the way), and apparently, it's his own fault. At least that's the twisted logic defense attorneys are relying on: They say McInerney was "pushed to the breaking point" by King's "taunts."

I say McInerney's parents screwed up big time, if their son's reaction to another boy making teasing remarks like "you know you want me" was to kill him. What kind of a childhood did this kid have? Oh, wait ... a really bad one.

McInerney's father, William McInerney, was sentenced for battery against his mother in 2000; he was also accused of shooting her in the elbow several months before Brandon was born (hmm, wonder what part of her body was his actual target?). William died at home in 2009 of "blunt force trauma to the head." The coroner ruled the death as accidental, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was more of an accidental, wink-wink. (Not that I blame the woman.)

When kids grow up in violence and chaos, it's not uncommon for them to gravitate towards strict ideologies that give them some sense of order, however distorted. White supremacist materials, including books and sketches of swastikas, were found in McInerney's bedroom. How tragic that the system of beliefs McInerney chose for himself, in the absence of any parental guidance, was such a violent and hateful one. But then, given his experiences, it's not surprising.

I'm reminded of that old expression: If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything. McInerney was raised completely without any sort of moral or ethical code, and this was the result. As parents, we can't take it for granted that our kids will instinctively know right from wrong. My kids are only 10 and 5 years old, and already we've had the "don't ever use the word 'gay' as an insult" conversation. Because before I told them, guess what? They didn't know any better. Somewhere, one of them heard somebody call somebody else "gay" in a derogatory way and mistook the word to be an all-purpose slam like "dumb" or "stupid." As soon as I explained the difference, they understood.

To think how simply the tragic loss of these two young lives could have been prevented.

Do you think McInerney's upbringing is to blame for his crime?

by on Aug. 15, 2011 at 1:47 PM
Replies (11-12):
by on Aug. 18, 2011 at 4:09 PM

OMG! I don't even know what to say...

by on Aug. 19, 2011 at 1:05 AM

The shooter is to blame for the shooting. 

That having been said, the other child was sexually harrassing the boy, and that is also not okay. The school should have intervened before it escalated this far.  All of it was wrong.

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