I've always viewed Vancouver as a beautiful, welcoming city, the big jewel of our Canadian West Coast. And what transpired post-game of the seventh tilt in the Stanley Cup finals, did nothing to damage that image.
The riot that followed the Bruins cup win was no more Vancouver's fault than it was the NHL's.
Unfortunately, like all cities, Vancouver has an A-list of a-holes and last Wednesday night they were in fine form!
They wreaked havoc on the downtown core; cars burned, stores looted and a number of people wound up in hospital.
The next day, words like 'shame' and 'embarrassing' were employed in headlines and the scribes queried as to who was to blame. At whom should we point the finger?
The obvious answer, of course, is the rioters. They, and they alone are responsible for their deeds. Not the City, not the cops, nor the parents of latch-key kids.
But if we must find fault beyond the perpetrators, what about the courts? A seeming lack of will on the part of our judges to come down hard on idiots like this.
For crimes like assault, arson and vandalism, the law allows for severe penalties. Maybe it's time they were doled out. It's time to send a message. Heavy fines and a healthy stretch in the hoosegow can be a deterrent.
Now, some will argue that we shouldn't be too harsh because most of the rioters were young, and the young make mistakes.
What a load! Burning and looting are conscious choices, not mistakes! They knew they were doing wrong!
The bottom line is Vancouver has nothing to be ashamed of. It's still a great city!
What should make ALL of us blush, is a system too timid to dispense real justice.
No-one's been punished yet, but I'll say it now... I told you so.
What a pathetic sight that was. The golden glow of the Olympic experience is well behind us. What a shame! Who do you blame for this? Were they hockey hooligans or a bunch of malcontents just looking for any excuse to create havoc?
As you looked at many of the clean-cut kids smashing windows, starting fires and flipping vehicles did you hold your breath wondering if you might see your child in the melee? How embarrassed would you be if you identified them?
Some families have turned in their children after seeing them on television mugging for the cameras after their disgusting displays. They did the right thing.
What should their penalty be? If that were my kid, he would spend a long time working to pay back the money for the damage he did. He would apologize to the owners of the stores damaged and write a letter to the city.
Hopefully our complete disappointment in his behaviour, for the lack of respect he showed for his city would weigh heavily on him. His regret and remorse would carry on long after all the talking heads on radio and television had finished eviscerating him.
One is the 17-year-old son of a doctor who is so very sorry for what he did. He is a water polo star who has been suspended and there are calls for him to lose his scholarship, too. Are the penalties too harsh? I don't think so, he has to learn and so do the others that your privilege won't protect you from consequences. His father is paying the price too, having had to suspend his medical practice because of threats.
And one other thing, standing around and videoing this for posterity was just as bad. For the thousands who will say they had no part in it. You were the audience for the fools. They played to you, they played for you. So it's your fault too.
The fallout continues and so does the debate. Paul and Carol Mott can be heard discussing the issues weekdays from 11 until noon streamed through their website themotts.ca.
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