Recently parole walker, Dimitrious Gargasoulas brutally ended the lives of six people during his infamous Bourke Street rampage. This tragedy has sparked widespread debate on Victoria’s bail system and the individuals who implement these laws. This is because, the sense of safety on the streets of Melbourne has been “ripped” apart due to this “horrific” incidence, causing Melbournians to feel “failed” by the judiciary system.
Senator of Victoria and founder of the Justice Party, Derryn Hinch’s editorial ‘Bourke Street massacre: Victoria’s justice system fails again’ (Herald Sun 24/1/2017) plays on the fears of Melbournians to argue that the “power” should be “give[n] to the experts”, the police. Adopting a pessimistic yet passionate tone, the author seeks to evoke frustration and disappointment, instilling a need for change in the minds of Melbournians. The opinion piece opens in an appalled tone, highlighting how dangerous the streets of Melbourne have become and the enormous impact that the “Bourke Street Massacre” has had on the world.
Structurally, the author beings in this way to evoke the emotions of disgust and disappointment before pointing the finger at the unjust bail system and the politicians. By descripting Gargasoulas as a “killer on wheels”, the writer is able to create these emotions using strong imagery of a ruthless murderer destroying everything in his path. Shifting to a disapproving tone, the opinion piece then states that “hell will and should, break lose”; however the author does point the finger at Gargasoulas rather it targets the true criminal, the bail system.
By juxtaposing these two, the author is able to present to his audience, that both, the image of the ruthless killer and the bail system are both to blame. The writer chooses to present his argument by tweeting his opinion, rather than simply writing it in his article. The author aims to portray to his readers that his opinion of the bail system has been favorited 590 times, showing that his opinion is well received in the community. Therefore, the audience should also trust his opinion as he has a popular view on this issue.
The opinion piece than focuses on how the issue does not just affects the city of Melbourne yet it affects the whole wide world. By stating he was “overseas” “in New Zealand” at the time of the incident, the author is able to highlight that even 2,581 kilometre away the issue still affected him greatly. This shows that no matter the distance or the country one may be in, this massacre affected the whole world. The opinion piece then focuses on the bail system and the continuing failures it has brought to Melbourne; positioning readers to understand that their safety has been compromised by it all.
In an aggressive tone, the author attacks the “justice system” as he claims it is “deadly” “rotten [and] crumbling”, allowing readers to feel “failed” by the judiciary system, creating a desire for change. The feeling of betrayal is developed further through the use of Adrian Bayley, a parole walker who was also, set “free” by the judiciary system to “prowl the streets to rape and murder” “innocent” people. Through this the author is able to convey a strong hatred for the bail system, as readers are positioned to realise that the so called “justice system” has continuously failed to keep Melbournians safe.
Moreover, adding a photograph of “injured pedestrians in Bourke Street” it is able to play on the reader minds of the harsh reality that the city of Melbourne is no longer a safe place and the bail system is to blame. The next section of the author’s opinion piece, is dedicated to the “political leaders” of Victoria and their impulsive attitude towards “repair[ing]” the issue. The author explains that political leaders constantly state that “things will be different” and that Melbournians “anguished voice will [be] heard. By using a sarcastic tone, the author is able to emphasize that these claim will not be heard and that nothing will be done to fix this continuous issue. Furthermore, the author is able to create a sense of concern and disappointment towards government. The writer is able to create this via, implying that the government’s job is to keep Victoria safe and that they are clearly not doing so; thus, enabling the readers to desire change in the issue.
Than by adding a photograph of citizens paying “respects at Bourke St Mall” the writer is able to illustrate the seriousness of the impact of this tragedy of this incident that the government and bail system has caused. As the photograph contains an enormous swarm of people gathering to pay there tributes, it enables the audience to understand how this issue has brought people together, how it has enabled all of Victoria to feel unsafe and disgusted that this massacre even occurred.
The writer ends this argument in a rhetorical question asking his audience “why is this so? ” implying the answer of, our government and bail system is unjust and corrupted and Victoria needs a solution to this disastrous issue. After creating a hatred on both the government and the judiciary system the writer than focuses on a solution to the issue, giving the power to the police. The opinion piece sates that police “oppose” criminals in bail “for a reason” yet they cannot “remand them in custody” as “volunteers” do so instead.
By stating this logic explanation towards solving the issue, the readers are positioned to understand that police are experts in criminal behaviours; thus its common sense to put them in charge of the bail system. Overall, the writer has been seeking emotional appeal from the audience to persuade them on the issue, and with this logic, the author further proves his argument. His argument of, that the government and the judiciary has continuously failed the people of Melbourne and the only solution is to give the power to the “experts, the police.
The opinion piece concludes via shifting tones from a passionate tone to urge readers that giving the power to the police is the only solution, to a pessimistic tone to address how the city of Melbourne is going through “its worst time ever” and it is the government and judiciary systems fault. Ultimately, via shifting tones in his concluding argument that author is able to leave his readers wanting to take action towards the issue, so that this horrific incident will never occur again.