First, I want to assert that it is a terrible shame and tragedy that Jonathan Styres lost his life - so young, and with young children to raise. I am guessing that friends and family knew that he was a car thief, but never ever imagined that his lifestyle choice would end in his demise. Truly a shock for the Community to lose yet another young person - a very very sad situation.
That being said, I have very closely followed the developments in the case of Peter Khill, a resident of rural Ontario, with a pregnant wife, who in the wee small hours of the morning heard sounds coming from outside that suggested someone was on his property and up to no good. Believe me, I have been in that very same situation, and with a pregnant wife, fear sets in and one's instincts of family preservation are kicked into high gear. Mr. Khill did what any one of us would have done and that is to arm himself in case the threat is deadly, and determine what is the cause of the noise. When we got 911 service to our area, we all knew that we were far too distant to expect rapid help via that source. Not much has changed. The solution, deal with the matter in any way necessary to protect yourself and your family. The fact that Mr. Khill was a Military Reservist is significant here since anyone with military service training potentially reacts to threats in a manner different from that of civilians. Even without military service in the picture, the scenario was staged to end in a Florida "Stand Your Ground" outcome. The situation was primed such that the possibility of deadly force was quietly entering the picture.
Although it may seem trivial to those who are city folk, a truck in a rural area has a special significance and woe betide anyone who dares to mess with it. As someone in this category I can assert that in addition to fear at 3 a.m. the other emotion which surfaces is anger, raw unabashed fury that someone is in my truck and (likely) gouging at the steering column in order to start the truck. If it was the target of a thief, then back then and to this day, assuming there were no cops around, I would stop him from taking my property and source of living in any way needed. There was a time when, if my wife was pregnant with any of our children, then I would take zero chances, and if the perpetrator did not have his hands up in the air where I could see them, then my Browning Auto 5, 12 gauge would be pressed into service - I would not take chances with our lives - it is the bu##er who is on my property, trying to take my vehicle bought with my hard earned cash that would learn that there are consequences to life choices. He chose to be a car thief thug, I chose to get a legitimate job and work hard to earn money to purchase what I acquired in life.
What some consider the lowest of the low, a person who boosts cars for a "living", is made to seem the victim here. He chose a risky line of "work", one that may result in him paying the ultimate price - his call. And with two small children - absolutely disgusting, fine role model. He is responsible for not being there for his children, and being a miserable example for them. "What does your daddy do for a living?" I had kin from the old days who stole horses or cattle and were hanged - does the punishment fit the crime - that is another matter.
The point, Mr. Khill did what anyone who was in his situation might do - fear and the instinct to protect one's family explains all one needs to know, along with the situation - 3 a.m. and pitch black and someone in the process of stealing his and his family's means of transportation. What in blazes does it matter if the #ick is White, Black, "Aboriginal", or Smurf blue. It is the act, not the person. Mr. Khill had zero way of knowing what "race" the perpetrator was - it was 3 a.m. and to be perfectly frank, if Mr. Styres were to have bumped into me in Hagersville, I would only be guessing as to whether he was "Aboriginal" or not. His phenotype (visual appearance) was that of plenty of White people in the County and at 3 a.m. we are going to accuse Mr. Khill of pulling the trigger because the person stealing his car was "Aboriginal" - as if. Styres would have to show his "Status Card" for me to know in broad daylight. So lets just dump that accusation of "racism" into the Grand Canyon because it has absolutely no bearing on this matter. What is so very troubling is that every time, every time, someone who is deemed to be "Aboriginal" is involved in an incident with a "non - Aboriginal" person then the immediate assumption on Six Nations is that this must be a blatant case of racism. Lets turn the perpetrator into a victim. However entering the world of reality, he was stealing a truck and so could expect consequences for the crime - then or later. Turning perpetrators into victims is a classic way of garnering sympathy among the weak Government officials who more or less have to agree with these whiners or themselves be accused of racism.
The reported evidence, with nothing to do with "race" - just the FACTS - made the outcome of the trial of Mr. Khill inevitable. He was in fear for his life and that of his pregnant wife, and he took steps to protect his family and property from someone engaging in a criminal act - a felony to be precise. There is no jury on this planet which would convict Mr. Khill of murder - that would send a message that a citizen on their own property has to miraculously predict that no harm will come to his family - how could he know that? Someone brazen enough to steal a man's truck could well have no social conscience and take steps to eliminate the owner. In chaotic moments as have been described why would Mr. Khill take the risk (hoping for the best if he just backs away). I have yet to meet anyone, a rural resident on their own property, who would "back away" when someone is in the process of stealing their truck. As with Mr. Khill, if I could not see the perpetrators hands and did not know if they were armed - I would assume they were - and the 3 a.m. zero light conditions conspired to ensure that someone was not going to walk away unless there were some visual cues and a verbal line of communication. I am assuming, but do not know, that Mr. Styres did not say that he was unarmed and his hands were in the air.
Now as to the consequences for Mr. Khill. He was required to attend multiple Court sessions and pay for Counsel - in one sense he was the victim, but he is the one who has to come up with the (substantial) legal fees. Ultimately the jury found him not guilty (as per the evidence) and so that should have been the end of it. However we are talking about the Six Nations here. The whole business becomes a political football when a member of their Community is involved, and the other party is White. They will rally to the defense of the Community member even if he was engaged in a felony. Doesn't matter, the other party was White so time to play the "race" and "victim" cards. If the guy whose car was being boosted was a Six Nations member you would hear nothing further - over and done with. No, even felons are victims and the White person and the system must be shown to be "racist".
The entire scenario bears striking resemblances to a case in Saskatchewan involving an "Aboriginal" Colton Boushie, who was also shot by a rural resident while trespassing on the latter's property. The Boushie case was also played up as a racially motivated incident and the owner of the property was found not guilty, so therefore the jury and the system is seen as "racist". So another example of a racially motivated act (being careful to avoid the whole criminal felony business in reporting). So the premise was that Mr. Khill was racist and this prompted his actions. The blatantly obvious fact that it was 3 a.m., and Mr. Styres (if the published pictures are accurate) appears to be just a young White guy (something no one has ever mentioned to date - perhaps I could stand corrected here) should really put this whole concept to rest, but not if it can be milked for "evidence of victimization". The target then became the jury, who were properly vetted - they must be racist. Good luck in finding qualified Six Nations people to serve on juries - and Styres lawyers signed off on each juror candidate. Doesn't matter, gotta find "racism" somewhere - and make sure to toss in "Colonialism" if there is any possible was to insert it into the mix.
Since Six Nations and other "Aboriginal" groups have to be seen as acting against "racism" and "colonialism", their choice was to ban Mr. Khilll from ever setting foot on Six Nations Territory. Well, perhaps that will create some sort of hardship if he typically used the Rez as a short cut or something like that, but in reality White folks go to the Rez to get cheap contraband smokes and cheap gas - if he ever did that anyway. Talk about symbolic punishment. And how pray tell would this "ban" be enforced? Anyway, that was the best they could come up with, and it is, it would appear, harmless - so fine.
So now there will be an appeal by the Crown. Despite everything, as far as I can see (I have worked in the legal system) being on the up and up and done with integrity and professionalism, somehow it is now maintained that the jury was "not properly instructed" but the judge. In my experience this is an act of sheer desperation. It will punish Mr. Khill (the victim) even further as he will now have to secure further legal council and pay goodness knows how much, and take even more time off from his employment. Meanwhile his wife is still pregnant and she will be put through unimaginable stress once again. It is grossly unfair, but in my experience "fair" does not always come into play when speaking of Six Nations actions. The appeal is a BLATANT POLITICALLY INSPIRED ACT to placate "Aboriginals". With two back to back instances of shootings - it is simply not politically feasible to ignore this one despite no evidence of errors on the part of the judge, gotta go the appeal route or be seen as not being sensitive to "Aboriginals". If this was some "White" thug who was shot it would have been the last we heard of it - the difference here is the "Aboriginal factor".
And, to make the matter even more stressful, the family of the perpetrator is going to sue Mr. Khill for 2 million dollars (which if it was ever enacted would doubtless send him into bankruptcy). In my opinion Mr. Khill, being found not guilty, should take those who would burden him further at this time to Court and sue them for the stress that the actions of the young felon have put he and his family through. He didn't chose to steal a truck, it was Styres, and yet he is being punished for a clear act of self - defense. When did self - defense become a crime?
There is a lot more that will unfold over the next months, and I will keep tabs on things - but all I will offer is an opinion - not the usual sourced analysis.
Bottom Line: It is infuriating to any tax paying Canadian to have parasitic umbrella "Aboriginal" groups (Assembly of First Nations) make invalid pronouncements on how the Canadian justice system is broken and skewed against "Aboriginal" peoples. Blame game once again.
Instead of taking responsibility, both the families and Communities in the Boushie and Styres cases can never accept that the root cause of the problems they face can be seen by looking in the mirror. Two thieving criminals were raised by someone, someone who did a lousy job in parenting. Children need to be taught to respect the rights of others, and that stealing is wrong, that getting a good education is the key to a job and worldly success and hence the lack of a need to steal other people's stuff because being a good citizen demands respect for the law and the rights of others. NEVER do you see the word "responsibility" in a mix such as this, only "rights". All of these supposed rights (that others do not have access to) that are supposedly being trampled on. But what about the responsibility to parent children in a way that makes them useful members of society, or at least not a detriment. If these individuals had experienced proper parenting (something NEVER mentioned by "Aboriginal" groups), these tragedies may never have happened. It is as plain and as simple as that. In the Khill case things are topsy turvy. It is he who should be suing those who parented Styres for their negligence and incompetence resulting in a tragedy which gets pinned on him, a man who happens to be "White", defending self, family and property.
Are we, if these "Aboriginal umbrella groups" get their way, supposed to tolerate giving special consideration to a person who happens to be "Aboriginal", in other words a pass in the criminal justice system due to their "race"? If so, WHY? Is it because "Aboriginals" are vastly over - represented in the penal system? I have news here - the reason is because they committed criminal acts and were found guilty in a Court of law. Equal treatment under the law is the ONLY fair and equitable manner than we can operate in Canada. What these groups are proposing would result in a two tiered system with special treatment for "Aboriginals" such as sitting on an island with a drum as "punishment" (which was actually tried and proved to be an abject failure) when the best the rest of us can expect is jail.
The term "Aboriginal" is also rapidly becoming a misnomer. If your family has been in Canada 12 generations and you are not entitled to a "Status Card" (the key to obtaining a whole set of goodies and privileges to which some descendants of early arrivals are "entitled"), then you are getting s@rewed since you are paying for other early arrivals welfare payments. 12 generations - does it get more "Aboriginal" whether you are a descendant of a group of wandering Siberians who first went east then later even further east landing in a vast and largely unoccupied Continent; or those whose ancestors headed west early on and found themselves in a largely unoccupied Continent and perambulated in all directions. In the case of the Six Nations, they have been here for a year less than the Loyalists who took up land grants in the Niagara Peninsula. So who should be entitled to be termed "Aboriginal"? The Grand River Valley is NOT their ancestral home. It belonged to the Huron - Wyandot who were "exterminated" (an act of raw genocide) by the then Five Nations during the 1640s. The latter could not hold on to the land since they were sent packing by the Mississauga and allies (e.g., Pottawatomie). This is a subject for future deliberation - which group of Siberian wanderer descendants have a legitimate right to being considered "Aboriginal"?
At the time of Confederation (1867) the new Canadian Government should have asserted complete sovereignty over all the lands from Sea to Sea, and within a 10 year period have dealt with any outstanding valid claims. The Reserve system has been a pox upon the land. After the trillions of dollars spent by Canadian taxpayers trying to shore up a terminally ill system, what do we have to show for it. Nothing but a bottomless pit and the pleading for more money more money. The Boushie and Styres cases should illustrate to all Canadians just how effective their efforts over about 150 years have been (plus the British before). Is there any realistic hope that things will get better? Not a shred of evidence - a bottomless pit now and forever unless there is drastic change.
Here is a question to ponder. Would Boushie and Styres be alive today if we had done what was needed years ago - if we had followed Pierre Elliot Trudeau's "White Paper" and demolished the "Indian Act". This is what should be on the table for consideration, not just more blame and a call for more resources. It is sobering to realize that the two men might have been say a construction foreman and an accountant, and their lifestyle choices would not have led them down the path to their ultimate demise. This is what we must discuss because tinkering with a hopelessly flawed system operated by the "Indian industry" in Ottawa is just a waste of time and resources. This is a wake up call. Make Jon and Colton's tragic deaths have some lasting meaning by dismantling the entire system and rebuild from the ground up.