Ned Kelly the Brutal Bushranger

Ned Kelly was a vicious criminal. Throughout history people have tried to turn Kelly from a lowly criminal that committed assaults, theft and murder into a national folk hero. Perhaps it could be said that Kelly tried to stand up for the rights of the common Irish man of the day, but he used the worst possible means - violence and murder.

Ned Kelly is not the 'all Australian' folk hero he is made out to be. Ask yourself, what kind of hero holds up banks, ambushes people at random and shoots every police officer that dares cross his path? Some historians say that he did all of this in self- defence. I say, killing innocent people and agents of the law for no good reason is not self-defence, just barbarism. He could have just negotiated with the government and sorted out his personal grievances in a civilised fashion, through open dialogue. It is clear that he only really attacked people for his own selfish needs and personal gain. You can't protest for your civil rights by denying others their civil rights! Kelly ruined the lives of many people in Australia in the pursuit of his own personal freedoms.

The only act of kindness attributed to Kelly shows up in his early school records. It is noted that he saved his boyhood friend, Richard Shelton, from drowning in the nearby river. He was given a green sash by Richards family in honour of his bravery, which he was still wearing many years latter, when he was caught and imprisoned, in the infamous Glenrowan shoot out.

Aside from this one act of kindness and daring, Kelly was a practiced serial criminal from the very beginning. At the tender age of 14, he stole over 150 cattle and then moved on to vicious assault and bank robbery, Not just he, but his whole family had a long history with the police. His mother assaulted people and his father stole pigs. Generations of Australian children have been brought up on the myth that Kelly was a hero, but far from it, he is in fact an anti-hero - a person that is appreciated for his criminal activities, rather than the good they do for society.

Glenrowan shootout

On the 27th of June 1880 the Kelly gang held up the Glenrowan Inn in Glenrowan, Victoria. Unfortunately, the Kelly gangs criminal activities were thwarted when the police showed up on an unscheduled train. When the police showed up, Ned went and fetched some extra weapons while the rest of the Kelly gang provided cover by firing on the police from inside the inn. When Ned came back he tried to hold off the police outside the inn. While Ned was off his guard, one of the policemen snuck around him and shot him from behind. The rest of the Kelly gang retaliated, but to smoke them out, the police set the building on fire. The gang perished in the flames. Kelly was later treated his gunshot wounds and then was hanged.

Journal entry's

On the 27th of June 1880 the Kelly gang held up the Glenrowan inn at Glenrowan, Victoria. Unfortunately for the Kelly gang the police showed up from a special train. Ned went and fetched some extra weapons while the rest of the Kelly gang kept on firing at the police from the inn. When Ned came back he tried to hold off the police outside the inn. While Ned was off his guard one of the policemen snuck around him and shot him from behind. The rest of the Kelly gang retaliated but to finish off the job the police set the building on fire leaving all of them inside and all of them dead. Kelly was later treated his wounds and then was hanged.

Superintendent Hare's Perspective

31st June 1880

We've finally caught the malicious criminal that is Ned Kelly. He was found outside a local hotel in full armour trying to flee, but he just couldn't resist having one last stand off with the police. To our advantage he was heavily wounded and was incapacitated further by the 40 kg of metal armour on his person. Next week I will attend his execution and will receive my reward payment of £8000. He ruthlessly murdered three police officers at Stringy Bark Creek, has committed two major bank robberies, stole horse and cattle and has committed many assaults. I could be here all year telling you the wrong doings that Ned Kelly has done. The death of the vicious criminal will commence at 8.00 am Wednesday, and you will all agree it is a just and lawful execution.

Ned Kelly's Perspective

7th July 1880

Last week they decided the fate of my two friends and brother and my final fate will come soon. My execution will commence in one hour. It is unfair that me and my gang have to suffer for something we haven't done. My gang was burnt alive in that small inn, I saw them fry in the open flames, and now I'm going to be hanged by the neck, for standing up for our civil rights. The people voted that I should not hang, but even winning the vote wasn't enough for the wretched law. I've been through so much and I'm not ready to die. If I can't help myself, then I plead for this one last request. I beg you to release my mother Ellen Kelly's from prison.

Ned Kelly has killed, assaulted and has hurt many innocent people. He is a bad influence and definitely should not be considered a national hero. Despite his personal belief that he was fighting for the rights of others, protest through violence never results in change for the better, it just perpetuates violence. This article has hopefully proved to you that Ned Kelly was a vicious criminal and not a hero deserving off our affection.

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