Jamie Bacon didn't even see the two guys on the street in front of the Surrey house at about one in the morning on April 13. But as he drove his Corvette into the driveway, the two men sent a cascade of .45-caliber shells at him. Five shells hit the car, seven penetrated the garage door. Jamie instinctively leapt from the car, which continued to roll until it hit the house. As the two assailants ran away, Jamie pulled out a Glock handgun and fired four shots at them.
It was an arrest this week in Greece this week that put Canada's gang violence into perspective. To understand how it all fits together, it pays to revisit two murders in Toronto and Kelowna, B.C. -- 10 months and more than 4,000 kilometres apart -- to understand how organized crime is fomenting violence in Canada.
Of course, selling drugs is a dangerous game. With so much money involved, friction between rival gangs often emerges, and disagreements over territory frequently erupt into violence. Because of this, gangs form alliances for mutual protection. In B.C., as with the rest of Canada, those alliances fall into two groups -- those aligned with the Hells Angels and those against them.
Today, under cannabis prohibition, youth have easier access to marijuana than alcohol or tobacco. As a law enforcement leader and former minister of public safety who has spent more than 33 years creating and enforcing laws, I know that a strictly regulated marijuana market for adult cannabis use would better protect youth through the use of regulatory tools that have proven so effective in reducing tobacco use. The taxes resulting from a regulated cannabis market could support our most important public programs, including health and education. Rather than enforcing unworkable laws that breed violence, police would be free to focus on laws that actually protect citizens and improve public safety.