The SSAA-LA has become accustomed to challenging biased and sensationalised media stories from particular publications. Therefore, it was refreshing to see a rare display of balance and evidence-based writing feature on popular women’s website, Mamamia, this week. The article, penned by freelance writer Nina Funnell, exposed the incorrect claim made recently by Professor Simon Chapman that Australia has had no mass shootings since the Port Arthur murders.
Ms Funnell rightly reminded readers about the tragic Hunt family murders and discussed skewing statistics based on cherry-picking the definition of ‘mass murders’. She also raised real concerns surrounding rising domestic violence deaths, including 79 women – “double the figure of people who were murdered at Port Arthur” – who were predominately killed by a male family member in 2015.
The SSAA-LA continues to remind the media and politicians that there have been many mass murders carried out by other means since Port Arthur, including the stabbing murders of eight children in Cairns and the Childers backpackers fire that saw 15 people killed by a single lit match.