TORONTO - So, if it’s not a war zone, then why are there so many war guns out there?
You know, killing equipment like AK47’s and Glocks and whatever the hell can spray 17 shots in two seconds as what we saw happen at the Eaton Centre and a hell of a lot of other places.
As of July 3, there were 163 shooting victims — a 37% increase over the same time period as last year — and 131 occurrences in which people used firearms.
“Relative to other large urban centres this is a remarkable safe city,” says Chief Bill Blair.
Perhaps it is just that in the posher parts of Rosedale.
However, if you look at the Toronto Police shooting map, you’ll see there are areas that are not quite as safe.
If you live in a community housing project, you have a four times greater chance of running into one of these bullets Councillor Adam Vaughan is trying to ban.
You don’t go into the projects so there is nothing to worry about?
Of course, the city was not safe when bullets went flying around in the Eaton Centre or down at the Canada Fireworks in the Beach or in Little Italy or in the new North York playground or outside the family gathering where the two year old was shot.
But let’s give it to Chief Blair, who does acknowledge “we still have some issues.” Let’s say there is no gang turf war going on and all of these shootings are just coincidence and part of big city life.
Let’s not call it a war zone.
So what do we call it?
Comparing it to other large urban centres out of the country is not appropriate or relevant.
Let’s compare Toronto shootings to Toronto shootings. In 2012, they are up and if not for the good work of our EMS people, the bad shooting of many idiots with guns and some pure luck, the homicide rate would be up over last year instead of being pretty well equal.
The problem is there seems to be an acceptance that this is a big city and there’s going to be crime. There should be zero tolerance on any of it.
And the public should not let the public sector justice world gloss it over since it was them who have not been able to fix it.
The police are not the bad guys in this but the good guys. Remember, most of the shooters have been in court before but thanks to leniency found there were free to go out to satisfy their revenge.
The police, courts, mayor, premier, prime minister, judges, lawyers and whoever else cares should cancel their holidays and come up with more than “we are safer than Chicago” as a strategy.
“Toronto Police officers need to get out of their air-conditioned police cars and get harder on crime. Tougher enforcement,” retired Toronto Police staff-sgt. Daryl Monaghan said. “Is it not the right time for the chief to step forward and inform the citizens of Toronto what he is personally doing to stop the gun crime and murder of people in this city?”
Certainly the announced Youth In Policing Initiative (YIPI) summer program to hire “157 young people from across the city” to be paid $10.25 an hour is likely not going to be the answer.
It’s social worker policing while, sources say, there are are least 50 Toronto Police candidates who have been hired and are waiting to come on the job.
Good thing there is no war zone out there.