Oh the confected outrage!
With the Australian media in full melt down over Donald Trump’s suggestion to arm teachers and end gun free zones, another story line has emerged:
“Students who survived the mass shooting in Florida last week have pleaded with President Donald Trump to help stop the killings, with one teenager citing Australia as an example of how gun control can work.
With quivering voices, pupils from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School spoke with the president in the White House after hundreds of students had marched in protest along the streets of Florida and Washington.
Listening to the parents of victims and students who lived through the horror, Mr Trump can be seen holding cue cards with various prepared responses to questions. In plain sight in front of a number of TV cameras and photographers, the card in his hand is inscribed with questions like “what would you most want me to know about your experience?”, “what can we do to help you”, and “I hear you”.
When he actually spoke to the group, Mr Trump floated the idea of putting guns in the hands of teachers which he recognised would be controversial. A student named Sam Zief, 18, said he was on the second floor of the school building in Parkland when the shooting started.
“I was texting my mum and dad, texting three of my brothers what I was never going to see them again,” he said. “Then it occurred to me, that my 14-year-old brother was directly above me, where Scott Beigel [a teacher] was murdered.
“Scott got my brother into class, the last kid to get back in there. No brother or sister or family member or anyone should have to share those texts with anyone. I lost a best friend, who’s practically a brother.”
After tearfully asking why shootings like the Parkland massacre continued to occur in America, Sam brought up Port Arthur, a tipping point for Australia.
There was a shooting at a school there in 1999,” he said, perhaps confused by the date and location of the massacre. After that they took a lot of ideas, put legislation together and they stopped it.
“Can anyone guess how many shooting there have been in a school since then in Australia? Zero. We need to do something, that’s why we’re here. So let’s be strong for the fallen who don’t have a voice to speak any more, and never let this happen again.”
While getting the year wrong, Sam was referencing the deadly massacre in Tasmania in 1996, when Martin Bryant went on a rampage, killing 35 people and injuring 23 others. Then prime minister John Howard enacted a range of sweeping gun control reforms including the highly successful “buy back” scheme.
After Port Arthur there was an incident at La Trobe University in 1999 where a student opened fire and killed one person, and another at Monash University in 2002 where a student shot up his class, killing two and injuring five. There was also incidents at high schools in Salamander Bay in 2003 and Adelaide in 2012.
Sam was one of many people who asked the president to put aside politics to end the scourge of gun violence. Sitting with arms crossed as he listened to the heart-wrenching tales from survivors, Mr Trump has since promised to be “very strong on background checks” for gun-buyers and that “we’re going to do plenty of other things”.
“If you had a teacher … who was adept at firearms, it could very well end the attack very quickly,” he said. They’d go for special training and they would be there and you would no longer have a gun-free zone.”
Now Channel Nine originally did not publish the highlighted paragraph initially. It was only after our polite tweet did they correct the article to include these incidents. They listened, good job.
Over at the ABC, the self-appointed muppets at the Drum were losing their minds in between deep inhalations of smug:
The Gun Free School Zone Act was the work of Joe Biden but the media like him so he doesn’t get grilled. And as for arming teachers, this is hardly a new suggestion. Several states in the USA already allow this, Texas introduced Campus Carry last year and the sky hasn’t caved in, teachers in Israel can carry and Jewish schools in Melbourne and Sydney have armed guards.
Yes, Australia has had school shootings:
Note that all bar one of them happened after John Howard’s infamous laws. The obvious retort is that they are far fewer and less frequent than the US which is true, however, it shows that school violence is not an exclusive phenomenon to the US. The one at Tomaree happened with a crossbow, but considering how over regulated they are in Australia it’s a valid inclusion. China also has had numerous school stabbings but we hear very little about those.
There are also a lot of kids bringing weapons to school in Queensland according to the latest Queensland Police report acquired under Freedom of Information.
Well, we had yet another shooting today in Hampton Park. Nothing to see here, tough gun laws and all. As for John Howard’s “success”, a cost of $319 million tax payer dollars to confiscate 643,000 firearms which later blew out to over $500 million has never been actually scrutinised by said media.
Don’t worry though Malcolm Turnbull is in Washington right now to sell a buyback, well at least Sky News want him to.
He’d have a better chance selling a monorail.