Nationals MP George Christensen has been reported to police over a handgun post he made on Facebook.George Christensen has given Malcolm Turnbull more Nationals headaches as the Queensland MP was ordered to take down a “bloody stupid” Facebook post of him wielding a gun.
Even though he has removed it, Mr Christensen refused to accept there was anything wrong with the photo of himself pointing a pistol with the caption: “You gotta ask yourself, do you feel lucky, greenie punks?”
His apparent attempt at a Dirty Harry-inspired joke came roughly 24 hours after a mentally troubled young gunman murdered 17 people at a Florida high school, and has sparked a complaint to federal police by the n Greens.
Mr Christensen says it was a flippant comment that had left the Greens “wringing their hands and crying”.
Mr Turnbull, still dealing with the fallout from a stoush with Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce, faced more questions on Monday about the messages being sent out by the coalition’s junior partner.
“It was very inappropriate and he took it down after he was spoken to about it,” he told 3AW radio.
Liberal MP Warren Entsch was far more blunt.
“I think it was bloody stupid,” he told reporters.
Greens leader Richard Di Natale has referred the post to federal police while the minor party’s Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has lodged her own complaint over a death threat she received from someone she believes is a supporter of Mr Christensen.
Senator Di Natale said Mr Turnbull should force Mr Christensen to resign.
“This gives licence to people who are unhinged, to people who have violent attitudes, to act,” he told reporters in Melbourne.
Senator Hanson-Young said she was threatened on Sunday night.
The message carried the subject line “Bullets” and the sender expressed a hope “that George has one left in the chamber” to shoot her with.
He denied it was offensive so soon after the US shooting but took it down at the urging of acting Nationals leader Nigel Scullion, who’s taken over while Barnaby Joyce is on enforced leave over his affair with an ex-staffer.
“Putting a joke up on social media, if that’s doing something wrong, then there’s a lot of people that are going to be in trouble because it happens every day, every hour in this country,” Mr Christensen said.
Opposition leader Bill Shorten said the colourful north Queensland MP might not have broken the law but it was not his job to stoop to the lowest common denominator with cheap gags.
“He’s a member of parliament, not some galah down in the front bar carrying on with a few jokes,” Mr Shorten told reporters in Townsville.
“Maybe it’s funny to get a few laughs and put something up on Facebook but I actually think that when you’re proposing – an MP says he is going to shoot someone he disagrees with – that is so stupid it’s breathtaking.”