My letter sent to the Mayor/Premier/MLAs/MPs/Alderman (September 28,2008)

Re: escalating violence-gangs / KNIFE vs GUN

I am in full support with Calgary`s Mayor and Police Chief for finally recognizing our need for more Police officers in our growing city. This has been a serious NEED for several years with the continuing increase in the violence and murder rate. (Calgary homicides have tripled since 2003). Unfortunately this alone will not solve our gang-violence problem. We must also focus on changing out Justice system and stop the revolving-door policy at the courts and stop the hug-a-thug attitude. It is high time to stop allowing anyone to carry guns and knives in public. I have been fighting for almost five years to raise awareness about knives, to NO avail. Knives are the "weapon of choice" in our city/province/country. Most homicides in Canada are committed by "knife" yet to this day the focus remains on "guns".

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.

"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 the right to protect itself against such behavior." -Andy Kirkpatrick, Foothills Hospital-Calgary (Aaron Shoulders surgeon)

We need to have a city by-law and enforce it, that forbids the carrying of knives and guns in public.

My only son Aaron Shoulders was swarmed and brutally beaten and stabbed by 12 Asian gang-members in 2003... he was tortured to death, it took my son 15 days to die. Aaron also was an innocent bystander. My son was promoting peace and saved another's young mans life. Over 200 witnesses stood by and watched, yet refuse to help police to this day.

Aaron's killers remain FREE after more than 5 years. According to our police chief, (article in the Sun July 23rd "we are all in danger") the very gang that brutally murdered my son, is also responsible for much of the violence and blood-shed in our city since 2003.

It is time we stop saying the victim was in the wrong place at the wrong time, when someone is murdered or violently attacked; when in fact the violent criminals/gangs are in the wrong place doing the wrong thing.. it always seems to be the victim that is in the wrong... and the violent criminals/gangs get away with their horrific evil inhumane acts.

The time has come to stop making uninformed, uneducated and hasty decisions that are merely band-aids and do not offer any long term solutions. We need to take a close look at other countries who have taken initiatives and successfully lowered their gang violence/murder rate.

An excellent book "Gangsta in the House" written by Mike Knox, a 15-year veteran of the Houston Police Department... w w Robert Eckels, Harris County Judge says "This is a must read for every parent, educator and government official in our country" Mayor Bob Lanier Houston, Texas says "An honest, hard-hitting look at gangs--causes and cures--by an honest, hard hitting ex-cop."I would appreciate your feedback and plans tackling this serious problem to start saving the lives of our youth.

Looking forward to your timely response.

Thank you.

Steffi Stehwien


Replies to my letter:


"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13

Aaron's Story