Only days ago, Australian Christopher Lane was gunned down and killed by three teenage boys. In Oklahoma visiting his girlfriend, he had just gone out for a jog when he was shot in the back.

As is to be expected, this story has raised concerns about violence and America’s gun laws. What really gets me however is the reasoning behind the teens’ act of murder – the fact that they were bored.

News reports describe how the boys decided on Chris as their target when they saw him go by. Which makes me ask – what kind of day and age are we living in, that kids, aged 15, 16 and 17, can feel like it’s okay for murder to become sport? There could be many factors, but three aspects of our society immediately come to mind:

Relativism: When kids are brought up to believe that their truth is different from the next person’s, then there is bound to be at least one who convinces themselves that murder is acceptable. Whatever belief system or lack of belief system guides your life, there is definitely right and wrong, and killing will never be in the “right” category.

All about feelings: Our society is overwhelmingly sentiment-centred. If it feels good, do it (eat all you want, drink all you like, and act as you please). If it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it (if it involves some work or struggle, it’s more fun to give up). In this case, the boys wanted to get rid of their boredom. No profound or thought-out reason is available: the fact is that they changed the course of so many lives for the sake of one moment’s diversion.

Way too much entertainment: Entertainment in itself isn’t bad. But an excess of anything isn’t good, and we definitely have an excess of entertainment in modern culture.  There was a time I’m sure, where we didn’t have to be entertained 24-7; where some minutes of silence or reflection were understood to be a good thing. If that was still the case, maybe these kids wouldn’t have committed murder that day. Perhaps if the entertainment in their life was less, they wouldn’t have become desensitised to violence and the truth of right and wrong.

When it comes down to it, what’s done is done. But I feel that we owe it to the loss of an innocent life to try and learn from what happened: by making sure that the young people in our life have a sense of right and wrong, that they are not obsessed with entertainment or feeling good, and that they have a respect for the rights of others. Is that so much to ask?

Tamara El-Rahi is an associate editor of MercatorNet. A Journalism graduate from the University of Technology Sydney, she lives in Australia with her husband and two daughters.