A lesson in the laws of this country:
It is, apparently, okay to fly into a rage when someone comes onto our property… perfectly okay to shout obscenities and smash the trespasser’s windshield with a hammer, kick in their tail lights while they are IN their vehicle and would very much like to be on their way at this point…
It is, apparently, okay to grab a gun, fire ‘warning’ shots (warnings of what? why warnings? whatever happened to that old chestnut: get off my lawn! )…
It is, apparently, okay to try to turn off the ignition of the trespasser’s car as they (once again) attempt to leave your property… and it is very okay, apparently, if the gun, still in your hand and now pointed at the trespasser’s head, goes off and kills them.
It’s okay because this is an accident. Because you said it was an accident.
Oops, you might say. You didn’t mean to kill them.
That, apparently, is enough for the courts in this land, enough to appease a jury of your peers (and by peers we obviously mean people as rage-filled and incompetent with a firearm as you are).
You didn’t mean to kill them.
What else is there to say? How to argue that point?
The laws of this country, apparently, condone hysteria, anger and violence toward trespassers. And errors where killing is concerned. Where pointing a loaded gun at someone’s head is concerned.
But the laws of this country aren’t the people of this country and I hope the people of this country will stand up and make this travesty a catalyst for change.
Because none of this makes sense. That you, a man of 63, “didn’t mean to kill” but did kill a 22 year old boy who, like every other boy, every other child that grows up in a place where there’s diddly squat to do sometimes gets up to bad business. Like you yourself might have done once upon a time. Because I’m guessing this isn’t the first time a young person went joy-riding on the prairies and made some dumb decisions. (Those decisions by the way, dumb as they may have been, were not in any way life-threatening… well, not to you anyway.) And, oh, by the way, we have dumb-ass decision makers in cities and towns too, young people who for whatever reason are bored and get into trouble… Do I understand the laws of this land to be that we have a new way of handling these situations? Because this sure as hell feels like a precedent.
(By the way… may I infer that the next time someone, oh, let’s say an Indigenous man, accidentally kills a white boy, by shooting him in the head, the court will appoint a jury of twelve members of the Indigenous community and try him in a fair trial with a jury of his peers? )
Because that would at least be something.
What also would be something is if the man who killed the boy was required to go to anger management counselling.
And some kind of night school program where he could learn how to use a gun properly, maybe get a copy of Side Arm Ownership for Dummies.
And if this country changed its rules about jury selection… as was suggested in a report dated 2013, by Judge Frank Iacobucci. who at that time said there was a “crisis in the justice system”.
Or wouldn’t it be something if the court had deemed it worthwhile that the man who killed the boy make a statement to the Boushie family, to ask for forgiveness, and to spend a weekend hearing about who Colten Boushie was, what his life was… to, oh I don’t know, develop a smidgen of compassion for another human being.
That still wouldn’t be justice, but it would be something.