Daniel Christie is still on the critical list in hospital and no doubt, his family are maintaining a bedside vigil beside their son and brother.
How does one reconcile a young, laughing, happy family member looking forward to a night out celebrating an annual event, against the broken, still, hurt and maimed, shell of a loved one lying amidst tubes and monitors in ICU, just a few hours later?
When he was getting ready for the evening, Daniel probably dressed with care and imagined a night out of fun, laughter and camaraderie with his friends. Instead, a total stranger who had been drinking to excess knocks him out with what is termed as a, ‘king-hit.’
The dictionary explains a king-hit as: A term widely used in Australia. A very hard punch, usually delivered to the head that is completely unexpected. Most often results in knock outs or knock downs. Similar in meaning to a, ‘sucker-punch!’ Viewed by most as ‘an act of cowardice!’
Take a second look at the last sentence: ‘an act of cowardice!’ Daniel’s father, Michael Christie, actually spoke about the term this very morning, saying, ‘we have heard it referred to as a coward punch, which seems to be more appropriate.’
Let us make no bones about it! It is a cowardly action! To hit someone who is unprepared or caught unawares, that is, defenceless to a vicious, unprovoked attack, IS, a gutless, underhanded act that must be condemned.
In any legitimate arena, both opponents face each other and are then given time and consideration to size each other up, before a match ensues. Leaving aside the legitimate matches, the code-of-honour nevertheless still requires, first and foremost, that opponents on the street ‘face each other,’ and are given the opportunity to defend themselves. Daniel allegedly was caught unawares and knocked out cold with a cowardly blow to his forehead.
Another family grieving the loss of their young son Tom Kelly, a victim of a fatal blow in 2012 and in similar circumstances as Daniel, were horrified that his attacker only received four years in jail. There is no need to spell out the questions being asked of the legal system!
Let us return to the term, ‘king-hit.’ The word ‘king,’ conjures up images of royalty, ruler, sovereign, regal, leadership among others, and is generally considered a positive synonym. An assailant who viciously hits someone who is unprepared and defenceless is anything but a leader or ruler among men.
Let us no longer glorify the act and instead, treat it with the disdain and abhorrence it deserves. With that in mind, Australians across the board should henceforth, refer to the deed as mentioned by Daniel’s parent, as a ‘coward-punch!’
Likewise, the legal system needs to recognise and reform the laws pertaining to these cases.
The parents of Tom, Ralph and Kathy Kelly are launching a petition on change.org/thomaskelly, calling for maximum sentencing in such manslaughter cases and requesting the pertinent issue of alcohol-fuelled violence be addressed.
© Wendy Robinson 2014
There are two conditions in life: accept things as they exist, or accept responsibility for changing them. ~ Dr Denis Waitley