Alcohol Fuelled Violence

April 17, 2018 Law

Although there have been attempts to prevent this behavior, such as he Newcastle mandatory lock out that saw a 37% decrease in violence, this has not proven to be enough for clubs and bars all over Australia to embrace the same method. Since the devastating death of Daniel Christie in 201 3, more and more articles have come forth in regards to this issue. The article “Sentencing a side issue that won’t end street violence,” written by Pat Gaston, presents an argument that is no different to others who seek to end this violence.

The second article titled “Don’t blame the booze, it’s a zero tolerance on violence that’s needed,” written by Mike Kane, is similar in contention to he first article though offers an alternative possible solution of addressing individual responsibility. Finally, in the confrontational letter to the editor, Ian Stevenson brings forward yet another possible solution, at the fault of the parents.

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In the 2014 opinion piece “Sentencing a side issue that won’t end street violence,” written by Pat Gaston, uses a controlled and informative, yet concerned tone, to present a strong argument that is aimed at the general public, in the hope that they will see the reality that the focus should be fewer victims, less crime and safer communities, not just more punishment. Opening with a strong headline, Gaston clearly highlights his main contention, followed by a dark, isolated image with a dominating silhouette to represent the anonymity of the attackers.

This image clearly links into his opening anecdote, demonstrating how, at the age of just 18, he was also a victim of alcohol fuelled violence, a victim to a man who was ‘well-built and agitated… In his mid ass’s. ‘ This description is used to give the reader an image of how during a state of alcohol fuelled violence, anyone can be attacked just for simply ‘staring at someone. After being punched in the back of the head, and kicked in the back, Gaston describes that he has been ‘counting his lucky stars’ after the string of alcohol fuelled violence resulting in death, particularly after the death of Daniel Christie.

By using short, rhetorical questions, such as “How did this happen? ” “Who would do such a thing? ” and “More importantly, how could this have been prevented? ‘, Gaston is appealing to the readers sense of emotion, and to their sense of logic and reason, provoking them to think about why this has occurred. Following this, by using emotive words such as ‘grieving and ‘distraught,’ Gaston only further highlights the way in which this tragedy has struck the community, reiterating this fact by again using the emotive words ‘tragic loss. Contrasting this, Gaston appeals to the readers sense of justice, stating how the defense lawyer will insist that the attacker deserves a fair trial, only to have it take place in a all too forceful media coverage of the attackers life. To introduce his contention more abruptly, Gaston begins with a series of rhetorical questions – ‘But, what really deserves our energies and attention? The punishment to be meted out to thugs? ‘ – followed by his simple solution, to simply end the violence.

To support his argument, Gaston demonstrates through facts the way in which we can continue to act in stopping the violence – ‘ restricted licensing hours, lockouts, limits on shot, ID scanners and inter-venue communications have all played a role in remarkable reductions in violence. ‘ – This range of ideas prompts the reader to consider the ways in which we can proceed to restrict this violence. By using a pun/play on words “you will not find in this cocktail,”

Gaston begins his argument that in no part of his article will the reader be subject to knew ideas in regards to sentencing or new forms of punishment. Instead, the reader will be be receiving a extensive response in reference to preventing violence. Using a direct quote from the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, ‘we don’t need knee-jerk reactions and stunts that give the illusion of action but don’t make any real, lasting difference,’ arousing the possibility of a new solution, ending violence, Gaston is once more highlighting his contention that the violence is what needs to be stopped.

By presenting yet another solution through the objectives of Melbourne street violence prevention initiative ‘Step back. Think. ‘ prompts the reader to understand that there is other ways of ending the violence on the street, not just by punishing the offenders, but to step back, and think. By the use of inclusive language, Want we need now is for us, as a community’ clearly shows the reader that it isn’t just a select few that are affected by this, it is everyone in the community, and therefore everyone in the community must act to end the violence.

Again, slighting his contention, this time with a clear appeal to logic and reason, stating that the focus should be fewer victims, less crime and safer communities, not just more punishment. This use of a repetitive contention ensures that the reader will definitely leave considering Stetson’s point of view. Following this, ending his article with a rhyme ‘it is high time we get smart on crime,’ will also be left in the readers mind. The reader is also left feeling confident in Gaston as he is a final year law student at Melbourne Law school, and he is a victim of alcohol fuelled violence.

Another article came forward on January 8, 2014 in The Australian, written by Mike Kane. With a colloquial and alliterated title “Don’t blame the booze, its a zero tolerance on violence that’s needed,” we see that it is similar in contention to the first article, although it does offer a second possible solution, one in which the individual will take responsibility. In this article, through the various tonal shifts ranging from sarcastic, to concerned, and then to angry, we are subject to a formally written opinion piece aimed at the targeted audience of the general public.

Beginning with the emphasis on how only recently the community has been shocked by the death of Thomas Kelly, Kane demonstrates the complete anathema in which Daniel Christie is in a critical condition after being struck in Sydney Kings Cross. Why stating that there is a ‘culture of violence’ in Australia, Kane puts forward an underlying question to the reader – does that make this string of violence okay? Following this, by appealing to the readers sense of family values and using inclusive language, states that for the safety of our children,’ the public needs to address the issue of street violence.

With a sarcastic tone, Kane, using colloquial language yet again, states that ‘rather than the misleading term “alcohol fuelled violence” a more sophisticated term is needed such as: thugs on grog. ‘ This again highlights his main contention, that it is these thugs that need to be stopped and that need to take responsibility for their actions. By bluntly stating that ‘many of us have been drunk and that ‘alcohol doesn’t cause violence,’ prompts the reader to understand that really, it is these violent thugs taking actions into their own hands and endangering the lives of others.

Kane uses strong motive words such as ‘demising’ to describe the way that drinking alcohol, a time enjoyed by many, is portrayed in today’s media. Kane then appeals to the readers sense of reason, by expressing the fact that the idea given to society, is that it is society fault for allowing the temptation of alcohol, which Kane believes, simply is not true. Using the Newcastle case study, Kane shows the reader that in restricting opening hours of bars and clubs, there was a significant decrease in alcohol fueled violence.

By using terms such as ‘the SWAT team can raid grandmas house’ and ‘we can arrest dad for child buses,’ Kane is mocking the system, allowing the reader to question the end in which justifies the mean. In the tonal shift towards a more serious side, Kane reiterates his contention in which the offenders need to take personal responsibility and ownership by stating ‘if we continually stress alcohol as the problem, rather than the need for individual responsibility, we may end up adding to the problem. Snake’s use of the rhetorical question’ what will happen if our children no longer have any role models of adults… Who enjoy alcohol and even get drunk, without bashing someone? ‘ prompts the reader o think about how people are able to act in a responsible and suitable manner, even whilst intoxicated, and that simply banning alcohol is not a solution. By comparing this to the issue of sexual assault, and using simplistic solutions such as a curfew on women, and restrictions on skirt length, it highlights to the reader the unsophisticated and ineffective answer to this problem.

Referring to the punishment of these offenders as just a ‘slap on the wrist’ draws attention to the ‘nothing punishment’ that it is. Kane then continues, appearing disturbed by the way that these acts of violence become almost a ‘badge of honor’ and that violence is seen as ‘cool and trendy’ as it is a main component of the ‘wannabe-gangs culture,’ particularly when the ‘knockout game’ becomes racially motivated.

By using a comparison between Rudy Giuliani, a tough leader under which crime rates dropped, as he was not afraid of ‘ruthlessly taking violent thugs out of circulation,’ as previously mentioned in the article, to Manville Chamberlain, a conservative leader who was afraid to make controversial changes, it emphasizes the ideal leader that we need to tackle this problem of violence. In a confrontational letter to the editor, Ian Stevenson brings forward yet another possible solution to this violence, at the fault of the parents.


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