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Casualties of gun violence leave 2 dead, 23 wounded
You might think that the headline relates to an incident in the Middle East, or in the United States. You would be wrong.
In the midst of an outdoor party in Scarborough, where approximately 200 people were in attendance, one or more individuals opened fire into the crowd. There were toddlers, young children, teenagers, amongst those shot.
Mayor Rob Ford reiterated after the Eaton Centre shooting on June 2, killing two, that Toronto was still a safe city. Subsequently, when a random shooting occurred on a patio in Toronto’s Little Italy during a Euro soccer match on June 26, leaving one dead, still, we were declared a safe city.
If you believe that statistics should be a predictor of future behavior, preliminary stats on the police website indicate that there have been 140 reported incidents of shootings this year, an increase of 32 per cent in comparison. We have surpassed the number of homicides compared to last year at this time (18 vs. 14).
Mayor Ford is quoted as saying he is, “Shocked and disgusted,” and that shootings will not be tolerated in this city.
For example: What, if anything, has been done to curb the growing violence in our city, since the Eaton Centre shooting?
What the citizens of Toronto, and those who are yet to visit and increase our revenue, need to hear from our mayor is that there is going to be increased policing during the summer so that those who choose to fight with guns, as opposed to words, must beware.
Instead, what I suspect will occur inevitably is an editorial about how judges are too soft on crime.
What I also expect to hear is that more innocent citizens, based upon the colour of their skin, their age and/or their socio-economic status, are going to have their Charter rights violated by random stops, illegal searches and rough treatment. Most people won’t care that the underprivileged will be mistreated.
I believe the answer is to increase funding for those areas, like Malvern, the Jane and Finch Corridor and other impoverished areas.
Monies should be spent on more education, more free extracurricular activities, more mentoring. I’m sure that Ford could shift the monies from, for example, adding more speedbumps in Rosedale or perhaps planting so many flowers on University Avenue.
We are in the midst of a mini-recession. For middle-class individuals, it means less travel.
For those in the impoverished areas, it means no food, no clothes, no hope.
We are all citizens of Toronto. It is our obligation to help those in need. We gain strength as a city when the weakest link becomes stronger.
It is not the justice system that has failed the city … it is the city itself.