Don’t run with scissors

Theia has been ‘developing fine motor skills’ at daycare recently, and as such, now loves randomly cutting things up with scissors. One of those things where when you actually need scissors, they are nowhere to be found. But when you haven’t used them for a while, you can bet Theia has found not one but all three pairs and is gleefully shredding the power bill, unintentionally giving herself a haircut and threatening to stab her sister.

“You mustn’t wave those around!” I say, repeatedly. “You might hurt someone!! No! Get it out of her face!!”

Theia is two and a half. I’m hoping she learns this lesson soon.

Apparently, there are some fully grown adults that still don’t understand it.

I am very reluctant to write my opinions on the Gerald Stanley trial because it is such a toxic issue right now. But I feel compelled to, because after the verdict I felt emotionally hungover – like I did after Trump “won” the US election. Shocked, appalled, incredulous, nauseated and scared.

Saskatchewan, I am disappointed in you.

I am finally beginning to accept the irony that we, as godless liberals fed up with Tory bullshit back in the UK, ended up emigrating to the most conservative, backward part of Canada. I would still argue for the most part, that things are much, much better over here. However, Canada is far from the liberal utopia we all believed it was from overseas. Furthermore, Canada’s own version of institutionalized racism is possibly more dangerous, precisely because it is not as overt as it is south of the border. Too many people (myself included) can naively ignore it, until cases like this one bring it sharply in to focus.

So. Colten Boushie and friends from the Red Pheasant First Nations, drunkenly drove over the Gerald Stanley’s farm, caused a load of havoc, tried to steal his ATV and apparently Stanley feared for the safety of his wife and family. As such, Stanley got a gun, fired warning shots into the air, and then *somehow* Coulten Boushie ended up being shot in the back of the head.

The defence claimed the gun misfired, (a claim that police firearms experts stated was extremely unlikely) and that Stanley did not intend to kill anyone. Apparently, because the (all-white) jury couldn’t decide beyond all doubt that Stanley had actually intended to murder anyone, they acquitted him.

This is where it gets divisive and racially charged. Few people are denying that Boushie and his friends were misbehaving, and similarly, it’s believable that Stanley feared for his family’s safety. BUT, what would have happened had the roles been reversed? If Stanley had driven on to the reserve and caused havoc, and someone there had ‘accidently’ shot him? They’d have been locked up for life, accident or no.

Not so long ago, the Saskatchewan Party Minister for Highways and former deputy-Premier, Don McMorris, (an old, white man) was charged with drink driving, several times over the legal limit, at 11am. He got a small fine, lost his license for a year, and resigned (not fired) from cabinet. Seven months later, he was reinstated back into the government.

When Trayvon Martin’s killer was acquitted in the US, there was a great deal of Canadian smugness – ‘Murika, for shame. Good thing nothing like that would ever happen here….’ Well, it just did.

I do not get this. I don’t understand the acquittal in the first place, and I don’t understand the mindset that allowed it.

I am not defending Boushie’s drunk driving, nor trespassing, nor theft. But NONE of those things are punishable by death.

It is very, very unclear that Stanley actually fear for his personal safety. Of course he has the right to defend his property from intruders, but you CANNOT kill a person to save a thing. His ATV could never be more valuable that a human life.

Stanley fired two ‘warning’ shots into the air.  What exactly is he ‘warning’ if not “I will shoot you if you come any closer”? If the gun really did misfire and it was all a tragic accident, surely Stanley’s first reaction should have been remorse, and an attempt to help the kid and get him to hospital. There is no evidence he did anything of the sort.

To my mind, firing the warning shots alone shows intent, and with that clear intent, the charge of second degree murder should have held up, regardless of whether the shot that actually killed Boushie was an accident.

 

Theia doesn’t mean to hurt anyone when she wildly waves scissors in Miranda’s face. But occasionally, the scissor-waving is accompanied by “Noooo!! It’s MY paper, miiiine GO AWAY”.   And this is when I intervene. You don’t wave scissors in people’s faces, even if you want them to leave you alone. In the same way, you don’t fire guns at people, even just as a ‘warning’. If a two year old can understand this, Gerald Stanley had no excuse whatsoever.

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