Friday, January 20, 2017

A day to remember

In the bigger picture, it was not massive loss of life, not a terrorist attack, but it was nasty day today in Melbourne when someone ran amok in a motorcar and deliberately mowed down people in a car free city mall. Three were killed and many injured, as the car driver did not steer down the centre of the road on the tram tracks where it would have been quite clear, but along the side of the mall where people walked. Many had time to dodge or run into shopfronts, but some did not.

I was in town yesterday, my day off, on my own as it was Mother Day for R. I brunched in Centre Place and wandered about town for a bit before setting off by tram and train to Malvern to see a friend in hospital. It was about 22 degrees, the sun was shining and the sky was blue, and a cool breeze was gently blowing. There were hoards of people setting off for the Australian Open tennis. There was a sense of joie de vivre in the air. Everyone seemed happy, including myself, who does at times moan on about what is wrong with our city, but I felt quite good about it yesterday.

I crossed Bourke Street Mall yesterday, where the awful crime occurred today. People being in the wrong place at the wrong time when a crime is committed always troubles me, but what happened today in one of the safest and cheeriest streets in the whole world does an awful lot more than just trouble me.

From what I have learnt about the alleged perpetrator, he has a long criminal history in spite of not being very old and I suspect the question will soon arise, well why wasn't he in gaol? Indeed, why wasn't he in gaol or at least detained?

My sympathy goes out to those who are bereaved and those injured. This just should not have happened in olde Melbourne Town.



27 comments:

  1. I hadn't heard about this, I haven't watched or listened to any news at all this week. I'm very sorry to hear such a d***head did this terrible thing. With a long record, it seems he's one of those who just get a slap on the wrist and sent back home. He should be made to visit the hospital daily to help care for those he injured. He should be sent to the homes of those to help the grieving families cope while their family member recovers. And he should do it in shackles before being taken back to jail. Maybe I sound too harsh, but I don't agree with people continually getting let off when they repeat and repeat and repeat offending.

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    1. River, you have reminded me of a recent case where the guilty person in court pleaded not to hear anymore statements read out in court by victims and relatives of his murderous crime.

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    2. Today's newspaper has this from page one to page four.

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  2. Even more shocking because it was so unexpected Andrew. When you're out enjoying a warm Aussie day it's the last thing you think will happen. Very happy yourself and R were not in the area, very sad for those who were.

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    1. Grace, yes, just such a chance thing, as many of these things are.

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  3. Unfortunately it seems to be a worldwide fashion to kill people without any special reason. Here a young man shot on two policemen on purpose, he wanted that they would shoot back and kill him. Another form or suicide! But they only shot the gun out of his hand !

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    1. Gattina, I hope his hand was mangled by the shot. Yes, suicide by cop is increasing.

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  4. Terrorism is everywhere no where is a safe place now

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    1. True Gosia, but at least this wasn't a terrorist, just a crazy man.

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  5. Drink. drugs, mentally unstable or copycat. You cannot excuse the inexcusable. I can't imagine what it must be like to say goodbye to a loved one in the morning and then never see them again.

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    1. Marie, it must be shattering, and I suspect life destroying for some people.

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  6. It was the children dying that got to me. The bastard deliberately ran over prams. Ask any mother, you can't run out of the way with a pram and you wouldn't leave your baby.

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    1. Jah Teh, it is always sadder when children are involved. Now I hear the death toll is four.

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  7. And our Pauline has claimed it as a terrorist act, getting political mileage out of other people's grief and pain. Hiss and spit.
    I hope that the police are able to charge the individual today and that they throw the book at him. Sadly it won't bring anyone back, or relieve any of the pain.

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    1. EC, but here is the thing. While there is nothing to indicate it was a terrorist act, there seems to be some censorship going on as I as I have not come across any mention of this in the media, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mo2P-7uNFWY .This kind of censorship by ommission leads people to become very suspicious. Agree, Hanson should offer sympathy and then keep her mouth shut, as other political leaders have done.

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    2. Our Advertiser paper says he has a history of violence, having been (or maybe still is) a drug dealer selling to kids and once took a bomb to school in Coober Pedy. People who knew him then say he was always weird, trying to start fights and so on. A quote: " as a kid it was like he was just permanently off his face"

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    3. River, your papers can say more because they are not published in the state where the crime was committed, in spite of the papers being online too. I didn't know about the dealing and the other matters, aside from his violent history.

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  8. This is just so sad. I'm at a loss for words.

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    1. CM, we had planned midweek to go into town for dinner tonight, but I couldn't face it. We went to a nearby pub instead. It has cast such a pall over the city when it was so joyous with the tennis underway.

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  9. Dreadful it was and is, who would believe that would have happened in the Mall.
    I was watching the tennis on TV and looked up at my desktop computer (have a TV on that) and saw headlines on another channel, so over I switched to the TV and watched it all unfold - so sad.

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    1. Margaret, I only heard radio news reports. I wished I had turned on the tv. I would not want to be the bail justice who against police advice, earlier in the week gave him bail.......and with such a terrible record of crime.

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  10. That's very sad, I'm sorry it happened in your city.

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    1. Thanks Strayer. We can't really talk about anything else without coming back to it. It is very raw and people are very emotionally raw. Yep, me too.

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  11. One ray of light in all this was the way bystanders rushed to support the injured until professional help arrived.

    On the other hand, Liberal Democrat Senator, David Leyonhjelm, an advocate for the gun lobby, posted a rather sick tweet in relation to this murderous driver referring to 'semi-automatic' vehicles. One Nation's Senator Malcolm Roberts cheered Leyonhjelm on with a supporting tweet of his own.

    Leyonhjelm remains unrepentant despite a death toll which has risen to five as I type this. Roberts has retreated with the cowardly excuse he didn't realise what Leyonhjelm was tweeting about.

    The good and the bad revealed by an awful event.

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    1. Appalling creatures. So far as I know that has not been reported here, and maybe just as well, although I haven't read the electric paper yet this morning.

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  12. So very sad. There's going to be a lot of fallout from this, and rightly so. So many 'systems' are broken in this country - that have lead to horrors like this happening. I fear it is only going to get worse.

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    1. Fen, at least there is now discussion about mental health and resources, which as you well know has been neglected.

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