I have spoken briefly before about the work environment I currently find myself in. To recap, it’s a trading floor in a very large bank. I am surrounded by 30 opinionated men and two tolerant women, about 120 computer screens and 15 (within my eye line) large windows looking out onto Sydney harbour. The upside and downside of this is that every event that occurs within the reported world is dissected, discussed and argued back and forth comprehensively. If you don’t have an opinion you can keep your head down and trade your screens but woe betide anyone who chips in with an opinion or argument you do not have the fortitude to back up.
The reason I give this short exposition is because this behaviour has been on display over the last two weeks due to two similar but also notably different outrages that have taken place recently. The first was the fatal assault on Thomas Kelly as he walked through Kings Cross late at night with his girlfriend and one other person. He was king hit from in front and fell unconscious to the ground where it appears he struck his head and never regained consciousness before his parents turned off his life support. A man is in custody, one of life’s losers off the streets. This first outrage has dominated the news here in Sydney until the occurrence of the second outrage detailed below.
The second incident occurred in Aurora, Colorado and the details are probably well-known to you by know. Another of life’s losers entered a packed movie theatre and threw tear gas canisters into the crowd before opening fire with an AR-15, shotgun and two hand guns, killing 12 people (at this point in time). He is also in custody. The victims are Jonathan Blunk, Alex Boik, Jesse Childress, Gordon Cowden, Jessica Ghawi, John Larimer, Matt McQuinn, Micayla Medek, Veronica Moser-Sullivan (6 yrs), Alex Sullivan, Alex Teves and Rebecca Wingo. Of course the people listed above and Thomas Kelly are only those victims who have lost their lives. Their loss impacts on their family and friends as well as all of us in the respective communities.
Here in Australia, the death of one young man at the fists of another was bounced around the room last week.
Of course he will find himself on the wrong end of trouble in KC at night on a Saturday!
You mean he was with two girls and no other guys?
197 licensed premises lie within a 4 square kilometre area, why do we allow this?
There were many more comments like these, all expressing sadness at his death while in the same breath imbuing it with a sense of acceptance and resignation. WTF? We are resigned to this situation and accept it? Like fuck we do!! Why do we allow the government to hoodwink us with a four day “security audit” as if that will fix things? Why do we allow former ministers to leave office and get positions with the Australian Hoteliers Association where they can lobby for hotel friendly policies that are not community friendly? Why do we allow a spokesman for the AHA to say that “no one gets into our premises if they are drunk” without him being tarred and feathered?
The reaction here regarding the Aurora killings could not have been more different. Instead of the vocal outrage at the loss of life, it was more a case of expectation. For instance:-
Mate, that’s America. Are you actually surprised?
This is a country whose congress fought for the right of those of terrorist watch lists to have access to weapons. Don’t try to find logic in that place.
It’s their right to bear arms, not the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that is most cherished. That’s why I emigrated here mate.
Money talks mate and people can convince themselves of anything if they want to stay in power.
I have little hope that America will look into itself and change the direction it’s heading anytime soon. I think their gun culture is so ingrained that there is no chance of reversing it. The same can be said for the violence among young, drunk Australian men. In this sense, both communities have lost and the blame lies not only with the politicians but also squarely in our own laps.