Over the past forty years, Australia has seen a great amount of social development. It has what has led to us being ranked the second on the Human Development Index. After the Port Arthur massacre in 1996, there was a nationwide ban on all firearms unless carrying a government issued gun license. It’s legislation like this that has led us to being called the lucky country. If anything, the Orlando shooting last week, while a tragedy, should remind us of the standard of living that we take for granted. Despite this, we still are fairly retrograde in many other aspects.
Speaking out on the attack earlier this week, prime minister Malcolm Turnbull offered his thoughts on what transpired, at one point stating that,
“I know that I speak for all Australians when I say that we stand in solidarity with the people of the United States as they stand up to this terrorist, violent, hate-filled attack. And as we stand up too, whether it is in the skies above Syria and Iraq, in Afghanistan or on our borders.”
Sure, terrorism is an ongoing issue, with numerous assaults happening this year alone, but Turnbull is dodging the true issue entirely. This was a directed attack on members of the LGBTQIA+ community. It was driven by a stance of intense homophobia by the attacker. For Turnbull to not only openly assume that this was an attack driven by terrorism, but to use it to breed even more islamophobia in the media is unacceptable. It goes to show the obvious agenda the Coalition government hold. This is the same government that have repeatedly refuted same-sex marriage, something that the United States overturned almost a year ago.
This was a man who attended the Sydney Mardi Gras earlier this year. Was this also for mere publicity’s sake? To completely disregard the minority of the victims in this act is gross negligence and continues the Liberal Party’s vindication of a group of people they still see as second rate citizens. This should have been seen as a call for tolerance, a stance against the people responsible for these actions. Instead, it has been used as a political tool for a government that continues to slip further and further down in the polls. Let’s hope that when Turnbull states he speaks for all Australians, he heavily miscounted.