NO JUSTICE for my Son Aaron
Monday, January 30, 2006
NO JUSTICE for my Son Aaron. After 895 days His killer(s) are still free and living among us.... the violence continues! Aaron's case has virtually gone cold with no hope of any arrests. I continue to read stories of violence where knives are the weapon of choice and this has to change. During the Election Campaign I did not hear anyone address 'knife violence', only Guns violence! A knife is a lethal deadly weapon, silent, swift and easily concealed. The damage is even more brutal and invasive than a that of a gun and yet this weapon is legal. Regardless of the weapon, the end result is murder, and yet our legal system has minimized this to the full extent. To add insult to injury this particular nightclub violated all rules pertaining to the safety of all patrons. Police were not called and my son was unarmed and suffered at the hands of these strangers, without any way of defending himself. This murder could have been prevented and I am outraged!
(Aaron Shoulders Surgeon quotes)
"Personally I have very strong feelings that there is absolutely no reason to carry a knife in the city. A knife can be every bit as deadly as a gun or a bomb, and I have seen too much evidence to prove that. The only reason I see for carrying a knife in the city is to kill, and I believe society has right to protect itself against such behavior."
-Andy Kirkpatrick, Foothills Hospital-Calgary
Steve Sullivan, president of the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime said... "more people die as a result of knife violence", Sullivan suggested minimum sentences ought to be considered in cases involving all weapons, not just guns.
The issues that need to be addressed are:
1) Strict laws against Knives as well as harsh sentences for those who kill with Knives. MURDER is MURDER no matter what weapon is used! We need JUSTICE in Canada and this type of violence needs serious consequences. MP Gord Brown, introduced a bill in the House of Commons to strengthen penalties for knife violence. With knife violence increasing, this needs to be addressed and taken seriously. Bill C393 has been rejected over and over again and I am completely outraged!
This act proposes to create mandatory minimum sentences for carrying a concealed weapon and for manslaughter on an unarmed person inflicted with a knife that was previously concealed.
The act mandates a reduction in parole eligibility for both offences and creates a second or subsequent offence for carrying a concealed weapon, as well as including carrying a concealed weapon as an offence within the absolute jurisdiction of a provincial court judge.
The act would also provide direction to sentencing courts with respect to consideration and calculation of pre-trial custody.
The act provides direction to the National Parole Board with respect to supplying relevant information to crime victims, asserts the obligation of the board to not adjourn conditional release hearings without justification and creates a future conditional release eligibility consequence for offenders that waive scheduled hearings.
2) Our legal system has become a revolving door. Sentencing is not long enough and re-offence continues. For some reason a person robbing a bank gets more time than a person who has killed another human being. Ironically, you also happen to see more of an outrage when an animal has been brutally beaten, neglected or killed, than when a person is innocently killed. That is what baffles me and unfortunately unless we as humans start standing up to what is wrong and stop glossing over and tapping the hands of those who are found guilty, this will continue and this makes me furious!
3) Gangs in Canada have gotten away with Murder for far too many years, therefore they have gained strength and continue to kill. Even if Police catch them, there are politicians and Judges who are saying we have no gangs! How can we address a problem if we are in denial. When these gang members are immigrants who come from war torn countries and who have no regard for human life, it puts us all at risk. Immigrants committing crimes in Canada need to be deported instead of hiding behind our pitiful laws. We are so adamant that we don't offend anyone, to the point of eliminating our religious holidays and re-shaping our laws etc, but ignore how badly we as Canadians are offended by allowing them to virtually get away from murder.
4) Our government has tied the hands of proper policing. We have a shortage of homicide and cold case detectives in Calgary. In the USA, homicide is called out to every assault investigation where a weapon is used. In doing this, evidence is not lost and a proper investigation can occur. Varying degree's of assault can turn to homicide at any moment. In Aaron' case no homicide detectives were called to the scene. At this point it was only viewed as an assault, which makes me wonder if evidence was lost.
5) Accountability for club owners. If there are rules in place to ensure patron safety...who is enforcing it? When a fight occurs within a club, the police are to be called. Those involved are not to be thrown out into the street for the violence to escalate, which many times end tragically, as it did in my Son's case. Laws are only effective if they are enforced!
6) Racism still exists! My Son is bi-racial and unfortunately many have questioned that my son must have been in some sort of trouble. My son was respected by all his teachers, the principle and all his peers. He was a model student with a bright future ahead of him. He was looked up to by many and was a young man who promoted peace and loved to dance. His only mistake was that he wanted to dance and once he turned 18 he went to a nightclub to do so, unfortunately this was his first and last experience. The police reported a situation of 15-30 Asians with weapons, against 4 black unarmed youth. I heard comments that because my Son was black that he must have been at fault, that he was dealing drugs and that he must have been in a gang... My son was none of these things! It seems that my Son's case has become invisible, and I wonder how race plays an issue here. The most recent case in Toronto on Boxing Day, where a 15 year old Caucasian girl was shot to death while shopping, received an outrage by Canadians all over and politicians all of a sudden took note. Aaron's murder received minimal coverage and NO outrage!!!!!!!
I will end this by saying that murder happens in this country because of the lawlessness and the minimum consequences that criminals receive. Even though my Son is dead, I still have young Grandson's and I truly fear for their future. In the meantime...WHO WILL HEAR THE SILENT CRIES OF OUR MURDERED CHILDREN... WHO WILL FIGHT FOR OUR GRAND-AND GREAT-GRAND CHILDREN... WHAT KIND OF FUTURE DO THEY HAVE???????
Sincerely wanting JUSTICE AND CHANGE...
...in response to my email (above) the Calgary Sun wrote:
Wed, January 18, 2006
Grieving mom calls for ban on knives
By MICHELLE MARK, CALGARY SUN
A grieving Calgary mom is calling on the incoming federal government to put an all-out ban on carrying knives and put an end to violence on city streets.
Steffi Stehwien said while candidates rally against gun violence, the issue of knives is falling by the wayside.
Stehwien's son Aaron Shoulders died two weeks after being stabbed outside a bar on 1 St. S.W. in August 2003.
City police say it is legal to carry any kind of knife as long as it's in plain view.
The Liberals are the only party that is promoting a handgun ban.
But without legislation in place also cracking down on knives, offenders will continue to get away with their crimes, said Stehwien.
...in response to this article I was intervied by CHQR 770 AM Radio at 5:15 "Calgary Today with Mike Blanchard", which aired live on Janurary 18, 2006. To listen go to their site and click on 'AUDIO VAULT'.