Giving a damn still matters

21 Jan



Yesterday, in the Melbourne CBD, James “Jimmy” Gargasoulas, 26, used a car to mow down dozens of pedestrians. He killed four people, left a baby fighting for life, and seriously injured more than twenty others.  He was on bail from offences allegedly committed last weekend, including family violence, of which he has a long history. He is well-known to police.

Independent Senator David Leyonhjelm, gun lobbyist who threatened “difficult relationships” with the government if the ban on the rapid-fire Adler shotgun wasn’t lifted and whose favoured slogan is “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people” tweeted the following in response to the Melbourne news:


One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts responded in a tweet he later deleted:

There were the predictable efforts by One Nation Leader Pauline Hanson to immediately frame the unfolding tragedy as the work of Muslim terrorists. Victoria Police acted quickly to douse such inflammatory assumptions by confirming that the events bore no resemblance to political terrorism.

The New York Times initially reported the situation couched in the narrative of terrorism, until tweeted protests from many Australians led to a rewrite.

Things worth thinking about

  1. Mass murderers are highly likely to have a history of domestic violence, terrorising their families before taking it to the streets. Therefore, it would make very good sense for us to make urgent and ongoing investment in addressing the crime of intimate terrorism as a first step towards protecting communities. As nothing else has thus far persuaded governments to consistently invest in curtailing the endemic plague of intimate terrorism in this country, perhaps recognition of the wider implications might.
  2. David Leyonhjelm and Malcolm Roberts ought not to be in public office. However, they are,and we have to deal with that reality, just as we have to deal with the reality of President Donald Trump, who also should not be in public office. There’s a view that people such as this ought not to be given oxygen. I disagree, not least because this is completely unrealistic: of course they will be given oxygen, and in view of that, to remain silent is to enable. It’s my intention to continue to call attention to Leyonhjelm and Roberts. Swamp them with your contempt. This is no time for silence.
  3. It’s time to reclaim the word “terrorism.”  It has been appropriated by the likes of Hanson, other politicians and media to the degree that it is now a thinly veiled substitute for “Muslim.” There is political terrorism, state-sponsored terrorism, non state actor terrorism, domestic terrorism, intimate terrorism: these are all valid descriptors of the act of terrorism, depending on its context. “Muslim” terrorism is not. Domestic violence is an act of terrorism in the private sphere. If we use this term it might be easier to see the connection between the intimate terrorist, and the public terrorist who is not acting from political, ideological or religious motives.

Leyonhjelm, Roberts, Hanson and their supporters  have no interest in the suffering of those affected by Gargasoulas’s murderous acts. There really is something deeply awry in their psychology. There will be thousands of people, beyond those immediately affected, who will struggle to deal with the aftermath of this intimate terrorist’s crimes. The witnesses. The police who gave CPR when they could, and drove a critically injured child to hospital, not daring to wait for an ambulance. The paramedics, nurses, and doctors who treat the injured. The relatives, friends, and workmates of the dead and injured. Whole communities will have to deal with shock and grief but none of this is of the least interest to Hanson, Leyonhjelm and Roberts, who see only an opportunity in all this grief and this death and this injury and all this gut-wrenching sorrow, to further their own vile interests.

They are despicable individuals. Tell them this. Don’t be silent. Let them and their followers know that in this country, giving a damn still matters.




32 Responses to “Giving a damn still matters”

  1. Elisabeth January 21, 2017 at 9:10 am #

    I couldn’t agree more, Jennifer. Let’s call ‘intimate terrorism’ for what it is, and recognise the need to silence those who hide behind atrocities like yesterday’s to create more atrocities. I plan to march in Melbourne today with women who are concerned at the rise in brutality against the vulnerable, and noticed a number of women who’d planned to march too apologising that they now can’t bear to go into the city, or their children can’t, not so close to this event. The irony, a protest march directed against domestic terrorism for one thing is stopped in part by domestic terrorism. It’s heart breaking but also infuriating and like you I reckon the best way to tackle it is to continue to give a damn, to continue to care, and not to be silenced.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Jennifer Wilson January 21, 2017 at 9:14 am #

      Thanks, Elisabeth. I’m nowhere near a march, otherwise I’d be participating. Please consider me as travelling on your shoulder.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. kristapet January 21, 2017 at 9:19 am #

    Yes, absolutely, we need to let destructive, self interested politicians, in particular, know what we think, often, and persistently; and also, above all, by the way we vote – informed voting is a must. Politicians need constant feedback and critical (in all meanings of this word) assessment – they are tying to silence dissent and they are trying to pull the wool over our eyes.The more we let them know what we think about what they do, the more power we have – we can’t let these bastards get away with what they are doing

    Liked by 4 people

    • Jennifer Wilson January 21, 2017 at 1:25 pm #

      None of them is equipped to maturely deal with the power they’re given, imo.

      Liked by 2 people

      • kristapet January 21, 2017 at 3:10 pm #

        I suspect that you are entirely correct in your opinion – I have to say I agree with that too

        Liked by 1 person

  3. paul walter. January 21, 2017 at 11:00 am #

    It’s difficult to conjure with the sheer banality of Leyonjhelm’s comment (and Roberts reply).

    I wonder if it is possible to see Gargasoulas as a victim of a form of cultural terrorism, if cultural terrorism is defined through societal indifference. Which is not to say we applaud or apologise for the lad, so much as understand where he “comes in” the cognitive sense, Must be done to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

    It IS hard not feel much but hatred of Jimmy, yet Leyonhjelm’s lazily uncaring and unthinking response must indeed reveal him as unfit for office by reason of likely underlying mental problem. I fight a similar battle sometimes myself, but the Pawnbroker Option (after the movie) is death alive.

    He does a real disservice in leading the public away from a bit of constructive meditation
    upon what drove this piece of enraged madness.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jennifer Wilson January 21, 2017 at 1:24 pm #

      I don’t feel hatred for the perp, PW, and your point about how he got to that point is at the core of preventing these attacks, imo.
      My ill feeling flows towards Leyonjhelm, Roberts, Hanson et all, who seem to me to be profiting from exactly the same circumstances that no doubt figure in James’s life experience. I don’t excuse whim for a minute. I do see his actions in a much larger context, one the politicians exploit murderously.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. allthumbs January 21, 2017 at 12:16 pm #

    Copy of my email sent this morning to Roberts, cc’d to Pauline Hanson.

    Dear Senator Roberts,

    I could not help but notice your mindless grinning face that heads all of your twitter messages, one of which sent to Senator Leyonhjelm in regards to his response to the recent murder spree in Melbourne’s CBD, not only highlighted the slowness of your wit but the depravity of your mind and your unsuitability for public office.

    Be sure to pass on a copy of your twitter message to Leyonhjelm to the survivors as well as the families of those that lost loved ones in the massacre, I am sure they will appreciate the depth of your feeling and the acumen of your political instincts especially if you accompany the original tweet with a note of condolence and a bunch of flowers.

    Your despicable behaviour focuses once again the lack of judgement of your leader Senator Hanson in her role as leader of surrounding herself with halfwits such as your good self.

    Very Sincerely

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Marilyn January 21, 2017 at 12:54 pm #

    Even more despicable is the double standards and pile on by bloody other politicians and the irony of the billions wasted for supposedly thwarted ”terror” attacks by profiling, hounding and tormenting muslims.

    This man is Greek, he is alive to face a trial and probably the rest of his miserable life in prison. If he was muslim 40 bullets would be in his body in the morgue today.

    His whole family will not be subjected to harassment, house raids, arrest and abuse because he is their family member mass murderer, if he was muslim 40 other family and friends would have been raided today.

    Sorry if this is too hard for many to swallow today, but those are the vicious facts of Australia now.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Jennifer Wilson January 21, 2017 at 1:19 pm #

      Yes, I agree with all that Marilyn. And these facts have to be faced and ingested or we’ll end up with someone as fascist as Trump as our overlord.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Phil January 21, 2017 at 6:45 pm #

      Hi Marilyn, thanks for your view. Can you substantiate your suggestion that as a Muslim he would have been shot? I see no evidence that the Victoria Police are desperate to shoot/kill any perpetrators. I don’t live in Victoria but I’m pretty sure it would make the news here. The biggest deaths I have seen has been in the “gangland killings” which are not followers of Islam either, and the killers were hitmen and not police.

      Happy for you to give more information as I seek to understand issues.



    • FA January 23, 2017 at 11:17 am #

      Herald Sun reporter Andrea Hamblin, had an eye witness account posted on Twitter claiming Gargasoulas was shouting “Allah Akbar”:

      Someone archived part of the interview here:

      While he seems to be a nutter with a history of violence and drug use, to say that the police action at the time would have been different if he were Muslim seems to me like a long bow to draw.


      • Marilyn January 24, 2017 at 3:30 pm #

        Not a long bow at all, the cops kept an eye on this man for hours, they could have arrested him in the middle of a traffic jam because he was wanted for stabbing his own brother. If he was muslim he would simply have been killed and the cops would have claimed they prevented a terror attack and the lazy media would not have bothered to ask for trifles like facts.
        They never do.


  6. Barry Waters January 21, 2017 at 1:04 pm #

    Thank you for reminding us all of the stupidity that passes for intelligence in some of our politicians.(Should that be cupidity passing for benevolence?) Roberts is more of a joke than Leyonhjelm who is prepared to give his vote to anyone that will support his idiosyncrasies. In today’s Herald Adrian Piccoli, Minister for Education in NSW is reported saying “the biggest issue in regional NSW is not that there’s not enough brands of shotguns to be able to buy….it’s that our children are under-performing at school”. Adrian Piccoli has worked some real priorities people like Leyonhjelm have never thought about.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Jennifer Wilson January 21, 2017 at 1:18 pm #

      Yes, Barry I agree with you. These populists have no idea of or interest in the acute troubles we’re facing. They are disastrous distractions and they are getting more and more powerful. Trump is their king.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. silkworm January 21, 2017 at 3:12 pm #

    You left out “robo-terrorism,” you know, what this government and Centrelink have been doing to our most vulnerable in the last few months.

    Liked by 3 people

    • g2-5bba245eb6db01d36e28de6648a6336a January 21, 2017 at 4:05 pm #

      So many Australians are living in fear and terror of their own government

      Liked by 2 people

  8. g2-5bba245eb6db01d36e28de6648a6336a January 21, 2017 at 4:04 pm #

    True terrorism, political terrorism, religious terrorism, our society has become terrorised, the media and political groups are feeding and growing strong on terrorism.

    I feel for the men women and children who will suffer from this for many many decades.

    Decades from now they will wake and wonder what they could have done differently.

    far more than 4 lives were taken by this attack and yet our governments steadfastly refuse to look at what causes this form of terrorism.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. doug quixote January 22, 2017 at 9:25 am #

    Liontamer and Robo are self-opinionated fools who were silly enough to seek election and found a few voters silly enough to elect them. Call them out if you will, but there is no such thing as bad publicity for fools of that ilk.

    It is rather silly for them to point out that people can be killed by things other than the guns they cherish. And for everyone to jump to any conclusions about a killer’s motives or motivations.

    But so it goes . . . march in the streets or shout from the windows if it makes you feel better, but don’t expect it to change anything.

    DQ sighs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson January 22, 2017 at 10:00 am #

      DQ….I disagree with you completely about the value of & necessity for protest and resistance.


      • paul walter. January 22, 2017 at 1:00 pm #

        But you sympathise a bit with the frustrations. The Centrelink issue shows where it is all heading, yet there seems no leverage for use against it.

        In the USA, they are up against the same thing.

        Liked by 2 people

      • doug quixote January 23, 2017 at 2:38 pm #

        You need to choose your battles, Guinevere. Objecting to everything they do compromises one’s own credibility – Marilyn is a case in point.

        One million or more demonstrated against Trump; his eventual sensible reply (and thus one created by an adviser) was “didn’t those people vote?” with some justification – 90 million American voters didn’t even bother to vote.

        My advice would be to keep your powder dry – ie be ready for a better opportunity.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Marilyn January 24, 2017 at 3:32 pm #

          Oh dear, poor old Doug wants to censor Jennifer and uses me as an excuse – you pathetic fuck.


  10. myzania January 23, 2017 at 12:14 pm #

    Thanks for your insights Jennifer.


  11. Jennifer Wilson January 21, 2017 at 1:21 pm #

    Thank you, Red Window.



  1. In Times of Crisis, who are our True Leaders? | The Red Window - January 21, 2017

    […] I would like to end this article by directing readers to another very good article on this topic by Jennifer Wilson: Giving a Damn Still Matters. […]

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Why I Marched | myzania - January 23, 2017

    […] of “denying them oxygen”. As Jennifer Wilson said in a different article, speaking of another matter, “I disagree, not least because this is completely unrealistic: of course they will be given […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: