Sky News presenter Paul Murray.
Sky News presenter Paul Murray. Adam Ward

Paul Murray: Shooting victims in the US deserve our tears too

SEVENTEEN school children were murdered by a crazed former student in the US this week in yet another example of horrific gun crime.

We all know that country has an awful problem with guns and no real plans to keep them out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them. We all know about the power of the gun-lobby and the right to bear arms forever enshrined in their constitution.

But yet again, how the world reacts to these events exposes a double standard about what constitutes a tragedy.

For a couple of years now, we have lit up local landmarks in Australia to express sympathy for the victims of mass murder, usually in a terror attacks. But we don't do it for shootings in the US. We light things up when the shooting was in a gay nightclub, but did nothing when it was in Las Vegas. Again we did nothing this week when innocent school kids were murdered.

I fear that we don't show the same very public sympathy because we look down on the US's failure to deal with guns. But how does that make the victims any less human or innocent? We must react with the same compassion for the victims of these sorts of crime as if they were victims of terror attacks.

If we are going to continue the symbolism of using our landmarks to show defiance and love, kids like these in the states deserve it too.

Sex police are coming to Canberra.

We are all tired of talking about Barnaby Joyce, but the Prime Minister made sure that would still happen way into this weekend with his new ban of ministers sleeping with their staff.

In typical Turnbull style in trying to rule a line under a problem, he's started a whole new one. I don't think it's ok for people to sleep around and of course it shouldn't be happening in Canberra.

But he's now given PM approval to report all affairs as new from now on. It means we will be flooded with photos of MP's drinking with people in bars with the endless suggestion that something must be going on.

We will start reading about 'guess who, don't sue' claims of people leaving restaurants together, or god forbid, getting in the same cab.

Of course none of this means someone is having an affair, but the rumours will be impossible to stop and Turnbull has weaponised one of the nastiest things people can say about men and women who work together and become very close friends; they must be sleeping together.

Also, no-one will admit to this in Canberra, but this will also make men less likely to hire women in their office and vice versa. Not because they can't be trusted, but because they don't want to deal with the innuendo.

Turnbull will be a hero in the usual sections of the media for this, but in real Australia, we are just shaking our heads that it's all come to this.

Meanwhile, your power bills go up, your wages are flat and we're more than half a trillion dollars in debt.

Paul Murray is a broadcaster on Sky News who can be seen 9-11pm weeknights on Paul Murray LIVE.