In a move which will perplex many Americans (but probably not anyone else), two Australian Olympic swimmers are in trouble for posing with guns.
The picture taken in a Californian gun shop of Nick D’Arcy and Kenrick Monk has been ordered removed from Facebook by the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC).
It shows Monk holding two pump-action shotguns across his chest and D’Arcy holding two pistols.
The AOC called the photo “foolish and clearly inappropriate.” Sydney’s Daily Telegraph newspaper called the two ‘idiots.’ Gun Control Australia spokesman John Crook said it was “a photo of two kids playing macho boys.”
Retired Australian Olympic swimmer, television sports commentator and radio presenter Nicole Livingstone called for the pair to be sent home straight after competing in the London Olympics.
Monk was holding the same type of pump-action shot guns used by Martin Bryant who murdered 35 people in Port Arthur, Tasmania in 1996. It was one of the deadliest shootings worldwide committed by a single person.
That massacre led to a sea change in Australian opinion on guns and on gun control.
The then conservative government overcame strong opposition to introduce new restrictions. This included the attempted intervention of the American National Rifle Association (NRA). The Federal and state governments banned and heavily restricted the legal ownership and use of self-loading rifles, self-loading and pump-action shotguns, and heavily tightened controls on their legal use.
For better or for worse, kids idolise swimmers in this country. And parents don’t want to see their kids’ idols brandishing rifles and pistols on the front page of every newspaper in Australia.
Image source: Facebook