Barely a day goes by in Toronto, or any large city, without some reminder of the pain and damage caused by gun violence. While most agree it's a serious issue, the best way to address it remains a topic of considerable debate. Do we need more police? Better grass-roots community programs? Stricter gun control laws? In this latest installment of our popular series "Change My Mind," Huffpost asked two panelists from today's Direct Engagement Show "Putting the gunz down" town hall to debate the statement: Government can solve Toronto's gun violence problem.
We get it, hockey people (myself included). We know you like to act tough. But, please, please, please... Everybody in the NHL, for the love of whatever imaginary friend in the sky you believe in WEAR A VISOR! Fact is, visors don't save you from everything. They're not supposed to. But, they can still save your career. They can save you from something far worse.
Upon hearing some friends complain about Toronto after a local violent crime hit the news, Eva Karpati became determined to show the world that Toronto is a "wonderful place filled with amazing people." This gave her the inspiration to launch Good News Toronto, a publication that celebrates our local everyday heroes.
From this year's Charles Taylor Prize winner: When Abraham Lincoln embraced the end of slavery, he transformed a domestic civil war into a struggle for the soul of humanity. With this transformation, he now presided over America's first war of humanitarian intervention, with a crusading, explicitly religious moralism at its core.
I visited 14 different cities, looking at some of the best and the worst in urban transportation. Moscow offered both: surface roads gridlocked by a nightmare of free-for-all congestion, and an awe-inspiring and efficient metro system, a legacy of the Soviet era, that kept working like clockwork beneath the streets.
On Monday night in Toronto, a coyote was was out roaming for food, which is scarcer in the winter months. That sometimes means traveling a little further from home. For this coyote, a little further from home meant the edge of Cabbagetown, which was likely full of appetizing smells after the big thaw. The coyote's punishment for following her nose? She was chased, shot at, and killed by police. We must ask ourselves what kind of communities we want to live in. Communities that respect wild animals, or that treat them with fear and disdain? Communities that live peacefully with wild animals, or that violently eradicate them?
Ofelia asked if I would like to see the Wall. We got into my car and she guided me along the paths to the border. It was quiet. Ofelia was quiet too and her presence lent the scene a kind of sacred stillness. She told me we were lucky -- the silence was too often punctured by helicopters and Border Patrol ATVs.
I've been told that it's impolite to say "I told you so," so I won't say that exactly. But given today's divisional court ruling overturning Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's removal from office, I will say this: "The lawyer I quoted told you so." That lawyer had warned that the lower court judge was wrong to interpret the law as empowering council to force Mayor Ford to pay out over $3,000 for a code of conduct violation. And today the divisional agreed. Do you think Rob Ford is unfit to lead Toronto? Then begin a campaign for a better candidate for 2014. But don't use the legal system to undo a decision of Toronto's voters.
Despite the grand conspiracy pushed forth by Toronto's anti-high school football illuminati, Rob Ford the World's Greatest Mayor is keeping his job. Sure, Rob Ford may be an angry drunken high school football coach who also just happens to be the mayor, but he's our angry drunken football coach. If you're not one for performance comedy, we can kind of understand why you might be upset about Big Dawg Rob's return, but here at VICE, we would like to to welcome the gravy man back with open arms.
Just shortly after the news that 20 small children were killed in Connecticut, the White House Press Secretary said "today is not the day" to engage in a policy debate over gun control. But it hardly matters if we all agree that shooting schoolchildren is terrible if we don't do anything to prevent it in the future -- and that is difficult to do in a society that promotes gun culture to even its youngest members.