What with Toronto being the center of the Canadian universe, it’d be hard to miss the latest spat of gun violence around town. Funny thing is, it only seems to make news when it happens in neighbourhoods where it usually doesn’t. Oh, don’t get me wrong, the Morningside area of Scarborough where the latest big shooting happened I’m well familiar with (I went to high school there), and it’s never been a terribly pleasant place to visit. Even the hookers along Kingston Road are lacking a certain je ne sais quoi — hard to believe hooking could get seedier, but it does.
But this particular neighbourhood where the shooting happened is a small residential street near The Guild, a ritzy part of Scabby Row, not the rundown hellhole ‘hood people are making it out to be on the news. And that’s precisely why it made the news.
You see, nary a night goes by when a *pop pop pop* isn’t heard down the street from my place; that’s either a lot of fireworks, backfiring cars, or guns going off. I’m pretty sure it’s the later. And it’s the same for nearby Regent Park. When guns go off, neither the media nor the mayor give a shit. In fact, the best people like Ford can do is put on an idiotic bravado by vowing to get those pestilent immigrants out of our fair city, or butting heads with the premiere and pretending to stand on the side of the common man by refusing to take any “BS” (i.e. demanding money from the province), even after voting to cut every single community violence prevention project around town (and being literally the only councillor to do so), and sporting a brand new luxury SUV to demonstrate exactly how much he himself is cutting corners in these tough times.
Let’s not mince words, Ford is a hypocritical piece of filth and he knows it. And he and his buddy, the Chief of Police (incidentally one of the few city agencies to get a plentiful raise while all others received cuts, not including the latest boost from the province), just plaster newspaper headlines with more crap about gun control (were any of the guns used legally purchased?) And is it coincidental that these shootings coincide with the criticisms of Harper’s Omnibus Crime Bill, in the same way that Obama was forced to back off on his gun control legislation just as the Denver shootings took place? Sure, it’s a bit conspiracy theory, but you have to admit that the timing couldn’t be better. Almost too good.
Also interesting to note that the police don’t appear to keep statistics on how many deaths they’ve caused, but judging by the general number of complaints against them, I’d say that the first step in addressing crime is to overhaul the police services, not allow them to investigate themselves, and to show the public that crime by armed, trained, sworn police officers is dealt with as seriously as crime by civilians, not covered over, drawn out for years, and summarily dismissed. When neighbourhoods can trust the cops to actually enforce the law and not be more crooked than the criminals (I don’t recall any criminal taking an oath to serve and protect the public), then maybe the neighbours will have a reason to report crimes and criminals in their midst. And then maybe something will change.
And in case you’re wondering why most people don’t want to talk to police after shootings — that’s the reason! The vast majority of them believe cops can’t be trusted, and a lot of the time they’re right on the money. Why invite armed thugs, a.k.a. Toronto Police, into the neighbourhood when they’ve seen them selling drugs and pushing people around while being given a free pass by the law to do as they wish (in fact, being licensed to do it)? Not such a big mystery, is it?
Any news reporter mention that? Did Ford blurt that, even in passing, out of his bloated giblet?
But this, the path of transparency, honesty, and propriety, is clearly not one Harper and all of his underlings, including Ford, are willing to take, despite being told for years what the issues are. They know the problems, they know the solutions, and they’re heading in exactly the opposite direction. The only conclusion must be that they’re not interested in curbing violence, they’re interested in keeping the population scared and huddled until they can swoop in on their pale horses and take away all of our rights in the name of “safety”.
If only their efforts weren’t so transparent, one might be tempted to call them absolute imbeciles. Sadly, the truth of the matter is much more insidious.