Over the weekend, Nationals MP George Christensen posted an image of himself cheerfully firing a gun on his public Facebook page—a very sensitive thing to do, I think we can all agree, in the aftermath of 17 teenagers dying during a mass school shooting in Florida. The caption?
“You gotta ask yourself, do you feel lucky, greenie punks?”
After facing some initial backlash, Christensen amended the post to instead read “You gotta ask yourself, do you have a sense of humour, greenie punks? Obviously not.” He then posted one of those ancient Game of Thrones “BRACE YOURSELVES” memes in expectation of “keyboard warriors” who might, for some reason, find the handgun image offensive or troubling.
Christensen has faced criticism from not only Greens MPs but also Malcolm Turnbull for what the Prime Minister referred to as a “very inappropriate” post. Both the Queensland and Australian Federal Police have been called to investigate the post for inciting violence. Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young posted this tweet on Sunday night:
As of time of writing, Christensen has not only refused to apologise but actually doubled down. In a press conference this morning, he dismissed public concern over the post, which he said was just a "joke", and also took the opportunity to back beleaguered Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce. He did not seem concerned about a possible police investigation.
The original photograph of him aiming the handgun has now been deleted from Facebook.