Unless you’ve been living underneath a rock lately then you would have heard the great debate over Australian alcohol and drug fuelled violence. NSW have recently imposed some tough legal changes, with any assault or greater perpetrated by drunken/drugged offenders getting a minimum 8 year sentence: it’s a start. Queensland are in the process of talking about what can be done.
However, most politicians and other interest groups still just don’t get it. Most people think the alcohol and drugs are to blame and the accessibility of said items is also to blame, it’s only part of the problem. It’s like saying car manufacturers are responsible for drink driving…
The real solution is a hard line stance on punishing anyone who thinks it’s okay to cowardly “king hit” someone else after a few drinks. Taxing alcohol isn’t going to solve the problem whatsoever, look what raising the price of cigarettes has done, nothing.
Raising the price of cigarettes and alcohol actually creates a bigger problem than the occasional bout of drunken violence. It disadvantages children of parents who have drinking problems and smoke, raising the prices just means the amount of money left over for food and bills is reduced.
The questions we should be asking are;
- Why are these young men so angry?
- Why is it they feel the need to hit someone else, via a king hit or even known hit?
- Will raising the price of alcohol actually fix the problem? If people want to drink, they’ll pay, no matter the cost.
It’s a cultural problem more-so than it is a problem with alcohol. Alcohol just brings out the worse in some people, and most of the violence is a result of pre-drinks where people often drink before they go out because it’s cheaper. Other than penalising responsible adults by raising prices which only benefits the government in the long-haul, we need something more concrete.
The law is the first and last place where these problems are stamped out. New South Wales are on the right path and other states should adopt a similar approach, don’t raise the price of alcohol but change the laws so these scum bags do the time if they do the crime. If someone knows they could go away for 15 years for drunken violence, they might think twice.