FixedIt: One man killed, one woman stalked, one man’s choice

Channel 9 News reported on the man who stalked a woman, fired a gun into her home and killed a man, before killing himself. Oddly, not one of the main facts of the case made it into the lead on their Facebook post. 

“Two men are tonight dead”? Apart from clumsy wording, how do you write a headline about a murderer, and group the killer with the victim as if they were in the same terrible accident? One man chose to kill. The other man did not choose to die. These two men were not the same. 

Getting in the car with a loaded gun was a choice. Driving 80 kilometres with a loaded gun is a choice. Every minute with his foot on the accelerator instead of the brake was a choice. Getting out of the car, aiming the gun, shooting the gun, shooting it again, these were all choices. Stalking the woman in the first place was a choice. 

We may not always get to choose how we feel but we always get to choose the actions we take. This man chose violence. 

9 News knew enough about the circumstances to label it a “bitter end of a love affair” (AKA “stalking”) but didn’t include any information about the stalking, so the focus remains on the sad rejected man, not the innocent man he killed or the innocent woman he terrorised. Then they amplified this with a video montage of photos of the killer posing with guns, showing off his tattoos and tough guy persona. 

The report ended by offering the Lifeline website and phone number but did not include any information for victims of stalking or domestic abuse, such as 1800 RESPECT. Because the suffering of the man who’s crimes they did not mention is, once again, more important than the lives of the man he killed and the woman he terrorised. 

Channel 9 News weren’t the only ones of course. I don’t usually bother with the Daily Mail because it’s like giving lots of attention to a mis-behaving toddler, but here’s a side-note on the phrase “jilted lover”: any time you see those words replace them with “violent man” and see if the sentence has the same meaning. Just saying.

FixedIt is an ongoing project to push back against the media’s constant erasure of violent men and blaming of innocent victims. If you would like to help fund it – even $5 a month makes a big difference – please consider becoming a Patron

1800 RESPECT
Sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling and support.24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Ph: 1800 737 732www.1800respect.org.au 

Suicide Call Back Service
24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Ph: 1300 659 467
www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au

Kids Helpline
24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Phone: 1800 55 1800
www.kidshelp.com.au

MensLine Australia
24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Phone: 1300 78 99 78
www.mensline.org.au