In 2007, Kofi Hope was made a Rhodes Scholar. This year, he returned to Toronto with a newly minted PhD from Oxford. He reflects on the latest tragedy at the Eaton Centre as well as looks at potential solutions to help curb what is becoming an often occurrence in the GTA.
Depending on who you listen to, last weekend's shooting spree at Toronto's Eaton Centre was a sign of gun violence getting out of control, or an isolated "incident" in North America's safest large city. But the fact of the matter is there have been 134 shootings this year, and Toronto police still refuse to help the public by profiling the criminals.
In a world in which I am dying to be invisible, it is sad to note this one seems to be yet another black-on-black crime that takes one to the deadly summer of 2005 -- the "Summer of the Gun" where the number of shootings were very high, and the role of gangs in our streets. Is the incident at the Eaton Centre an isolated incident?
On Saturday evening, gunshots replaced the regular sounds at the Toronto Eaton Centre foodcourt. A feeling of the need for a community vigil has organically begun. Unlike December 2005, when it took a week to organize one for victim Jane Creba, today's social media tools have allowed that organizing to coalesce within hours.