Societies view on Aramoana massacre and mentally ill offenders in New Zealand.
"The trouble is with this mental health view on the world is that there is no physical test that you can do on anyone to see if they have a mental disorder. If you have a sore throat you might be given a swab or perhaps a blood test to check for neither infection or virus. You cant do this with mental health disorders, which has led to some (including myself) who questions their validity"(Frost,A. 2015)
The fact that mental illness' cannot be physically tested causes many people in the new Zealand society to question whether or not mental illness' are real, this causes people to have no sympathy or compassion for offenders that have mental illness'.
Societies view on the masscare was that David Malcolm Gray was a monster and shot victims in cold blood, not because he was suffering with mental illness, this was shown when Aramoana residents were laughing and mocking when David Malcolm Grays home was burnt down 3 days after the tragedy.
In the film 'Out of the Blue' directed by Robert Sarkies in 2006 showed how Aramoana and the rest of New Zealand view David Malcolm Gray. In the film it is a reenactment of the day the Aramoana Massacre happened. All of the victims in the film were shown to be inncoent and vulnerable, while David Malcolm Gray was shown to be a scary,deluded psycho that hated everybody. The film only showed a small amount of scenes of how David Malcolm Grays life is and the rest of the film was about the children, police officers and victims perspective, which made Gray out to be a psycho with no remource. The film is about creating sympathy for the victims, not about David Malcolm Grays illness.
Not only was the media apart of dehumanizing David Malcolm Gray but the Aramoana society and Police force was as well. 1990's Aramoana society did not have mercy or sympathy towards David Gray. When news reached locals at the Crescent Hotel in nearby Carey's Bay that mass murderer David Gray had been shot by police, one comment summed up the collective feeling:"I hope it hurt like hell", showing that there was no sympathy or kindness towards David Gray even when he had been shot dead. The Police man who was the last to shoot and kill David Malcolm Gray is Tim Ashton. On the 14th of November after a long overnight police chase Tim Ashton shot and killed David Gray after he came running out from a little crib screaming from the top of his lungs "Kill Me just fucking kill me". On Wednesday November 10th, 2010 on the show Sunday, Tim Ashton speaks about helping bring down gunman David Gray and how he felt towards the tragedy. Tim Ashton (Police Officer) was terrified of David Gray after Ashton came across Sergent Gutherie after David Gray shot and murdered him. Tim Ashton had no sympathy towards David Gray as he shot and killed innocent children,woman,men and elderly. Tim Ashton believes that David Gray did not have remource for his victims and believed that all he wanted to do was kill as many people as he was able too. Ashton remembers the sound of Gray screaming "kill me,fucking kill me" and thinking to himself that he shouldn't shoot Gray because he does not want to drop too "Grays level" and become a murderer. Tim Ashton "feels nothing" and no sympathy towards David Malcolm Gray because "Grays just a killer". The police had no sympathy towards David Malcolm Gray and knew that Gray ¨had nothing to lose¨ as they knew he was not living for something and he had nothing to lose as he would of been arrested and charged for multiple murders of Aramoana residents and arson.
Prisons and Governments do know that most offenders including David Malcolm Gray suffer with mental disorders that could cause them to commit terrible crimes as "60% of prisoners have a personality disorder"(Mental Health Treatment,2013). Unfortunately David Gray was shot and killed on the last day of the massacre on the 14th November 1990 at 6:20 pm, so nobody was able to find out his motives or learn about any past traumatic experiences in his life that could of helped people understand why the Aramoana tragedy occurred. John Pratt Professor at Victoria University of Criminology and Director of the Institute of Criminology agrees that most offenders suffer with mental illness' including David Gray as he said "many offenders have some form of mental disorder but which is not strong enough to allow them to be classified as mentally ill in law and thereby unable to stand trial¨
Tim Ashton, the last police officer to shoot and kill David Malcolm Gray.
Aramoana, Twenty Years later.
Aramoana, New Zealand.