Fifteen year-old Larry King (no relation to the CNN interviewer) was shot twice in the back of the head by his classmate Brandon McInerney while sitting in school in Oxnard, California. Now that McInerney is on trial, the boy's legal team and the school administration are using the tried and true "he was asking for it" defense. This is totally disgusting.
According to a story in the L.A. Times today, "McInerney's defense attorneys... acknowledge that the boy pulled the trigger but say that he was pushed to the breaking point by King's taunts." Yes, it's the tried and true "gay panic defense" that preys on juries' homophobia to get confessed killers cleared for murdering gay people. It was even used against Matthew Shepard, when one of his killers said he was driven to kill the gay college student because he hit on him.
In the case of King, apparently he was wearing makeup and high heels to school and would follow around a group of boys taunting them by saying, "You know you want me." That enraged McInerney so much that he was compelled to kill King. At least, that's what the defense is resting on.
Even worse, school officials and teachers are teaming up to vilify Joy Epstein, the one administrator that seems to have showed King some compassion and understanding. A teacher told King that he wasn't supposed to wear makeup to school, but Epstein, citing that male students are allowed to wear makeup or female articles of clothing as long as they didn't break the school's dress code, said it was allowed. Teachers claim they complained to Epstein about King's behavior many times but she was "more intent on protecting King's civil rights than in acknowledging that his dress and behavior were causing problems."
This entire argument is awful. Apparently gay people—and, in this, case transgender people—practicing their "civil rights" drives everyone so incredibly insane that they commit murder. And why shouldn't they grab a gun? The gay people made them do it with their disgusting unnatural acts! If it was a girl harassing McInerney with her come ons and and he shot her in the head, what would his defense be then? This isn't about harassment at all, it's about hating gay people.
Should King have been taunting his fellow students? No. Should someone have sat down with him and discussed what is and isn't appropriate behavior in regard to other students? Yes. Did he deserve to die? No! No amount of "parading around" in high heels and makeup and making kissy faces at boys should be enough to make a teenage boy show up at school with a gun and shoot a classmate in the head. It's just this kind of defense that demonizes people who are different or otherwise queer, that excuses and perpetuates behavior like McInerney's.
So, who gets blamed for the murder? The tranny menace and his accomplice for daring to be different and forcing everyone to live by their rules. Why couldn't King just dress like a normal boy? Why couldn't he just wear his makeup at home? What rules can we pass to make sure gender norms are enforced? These aren't the questions we should be asking. We should be asking just what kind of school this is—what kind of country this is—where a student will walk into class and shoot another student, any student, in the head twice. I know the answer, but I don't think any of the people blaming King for his own murder are going to want to hear it.