An Ohio judge has sentenced T.J. Lane, the Ohio teen charged with shooting three students to death and wounding three others last February, to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Lane showed up to his sentencing wearing a white T-shirt with the word “KILLER” in capital letters scrawled on it — the same word police say he had emblazoned on his shirt the day of the shootings at Chardon High School. Lane, 18, pleaded guilty last month to all charges against him in the Feb. 27, 2012, shootings, in which he opened fire on a cafeteria table full of students in the rural community of Chard.

Lane flipped his middle finger at people in the courtroom, which included family members of his victims. He revealed his “KILLER” T-shirt to the court once he was inside, taking off a blue button-down shirt that he had worn on the way in. Three students — Demetrius Hewlin, 16; Russell King Jr., 17; and Daniel Parmertor, 16 — were killed last February. Nate Mueller and Joy Rickers were wounded, as was Nick Walczak, who is paralyzed from the waist down, according to Reuters. Lane has not given a motive for the shootings, which rocked the tiny town 30 miles outside Cleveland.

Geauga County Judge David Fuhry sentenced Lane to three life sentences without eligibility for parole for three counts of murder, plus 8 years for a fourth count of attempted aggravated murder, 6 years for a fifth count of attempted aggravated murder, and 6 years for a sixth count of felonious assault. Fuhry said Lane lacked remorse for the killings, which he planned on his own. Fuhry called the shootings a “merciless rampage.”

The families of the boys who died in the shooting have attended every one of Lane’s court hearings. Other victims’ family members also attended Tuesday’s sentencing, and read statements to the court ahead of Lane’s sentencing. “Because of you, our quiet little town will never be the same. Why? Why did you do it? Why?” Holly Walczak, mother of paralyzed victim Nick Walczak, said in court on Tuesday. Lane smiled as she read her statement.

Lane lived with his grandparents and attended an alternative school for students who haven’t succeeded in traditional schools. He was waiting for the bus to his school from Chardon High when he began shooting from a .22-caliber semiautomatic Ruger handgun last February, according to police reports.

After you read this…how is stricter registration laws going to prevent a tragedy like this happening again, it’s not! This kid may have been screwed up for a long time and may have even had a violent past; but access to a weapon, a woeful disregard for the safety of others, and a smart-ass attitude toward society were all parts of this senseless act. It’s too bad that this type of violence is so visibly apparent in recent history, and you need to ask yourself why now? What is different in today’s society? Maybe the following has something to do with it: a lack of parental involvement, a generation of no discipline and no punishment, no accountability for your actions, a lack of respect toward other people, extremely violent video games (that are one person killing arenas), and many kids who come from dysfunctional family dynamics.

Until we deal with the root of this problem…no amount of laws or requirements are going to make one iota of a difference. We need to strengthen the family unit and start connecting with our children. We need to teach our children to be respectful of others and to cherish the gift of life. They need to realize that you do not settle disagreements with violence. The court of public opinion and not the court of law is going to stop this from reoccurring again and again

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