Paula Simons: “Trespassers will be shot” can’t be our rule of law

Colten Boushie’s death, and the aftermath of his trial, symbolize just how far we are from true reconciliation on the prairies.

But Gerald Stanley’s acquittal is also a symptom of another malaise — a deep-seated belief that rural Canadians have a right to shoot to defend their property. Stanley’s lawyer didn’t make a self-defence argument. He argued the shooting was accidental. But the idea that a man could use a gun to defend his own property was implicit — if unspoken. Stanley’s lawyer didn’t need to say it. The jury already understood.

In this case, racism coloured everything. But Boushie wasn’t the first young trespasser to be shot and killed on a prairie farm. And sadly, he likely won’t be the last.

Doug Cuthand: Stanley verdict worsens relations in a flawed society

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Source:: Edmonton Journal

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