Due to the recent surge in gun violence in Toronto there have been numerous discussions about how best to address this problem. I firmly believe that low and negative expectations are at the heart of what leads many black youth down paths that are lined with little more than underachievement, impoverishment and predatory violence.
I defend people charged with illegally possessing handguns. Many of them. There is at least one new such case every month; sometimes, there are two or three. If this crime is like any other, however, the number of people being caught illegally possessing handguns represents only a small fraction of those committing the offence.
There must be reasonable accommodation made between the robust ability of citizens to maintain arms and screening mechanisms to limit the purchase of weapons by criminals and the unfit. The overriding problem in Toronto and Aurora, Colorado this past week were madmen with guns, not guns in the hands of men.
Earlier today, an identified man was discovered in a school playground and pronounced dead from gunshot wounds. The latest killing was Toronto's 30th homicide of the year. In a desperate city that is looking for answers, its mayor, Rob Ford, and member of the mayor's executive committee, Councillor Michael Thompson, offer unusual Tea Party-like simple solutions to a complex made in Canada problem.
Isn't it impressive how every Torontonian with a newspaper column knows exactly how to prevent vicious gang violence? Truly, they have all the answers. In less blood-soaked news, the London Olympics are almost upon us, and you know what that means: time for the papers to be filled with bitter editorials about how horrible the Olympics are! (You won't be disappointed!)
What to do about gun violence in Toronto -- or anywhere else, for that matter? Well, contrary to prevailing opinion, there's a lot that can be done. For starters, we (the police and government) should determine who is doing the shooting. Unfortunately, "Profiling" is a taboo word for many, especially human rights zealots who equate "profiling" with bullying or unfairly picking on a portion of the community.
The mainstream media outlets can trot out their sociologists and university professors and talk about programs for at-risk youth and gun control and disintegration of the nuclear family but the indelible image of grieving families, usually black and poor, are what stand out. And no amount of social programs or government money is going to stop it.