A passionate plea to Torontonians: get off our *sses
Dave Agar, our colleage at NewsTalk 1010 in Toronto, had a passionate appeal to Torontonians in the wake of the Scarborough shootings.
He joined Dan Delmar to talk about what should be done about gang violence - you can listen to that here.
Here is Dave's commentary:
When 2 young people are killed just because they got in the way of a gang-driven gunfight between two thugs and when 23 other people are wounded by gunshots and bullet fragments, it’s time we started doing more about getting to the root causes of this type of madness. As I thought about it, it was clear tougher gun laws, a war on gangs and a mandatory minimum sentences alone cannot be the solution. The following, I hope, will help us take a broader view of the challenges.
We just watched a 14-year-old die. We witnessed a 23-year-old young man die.
It makes no sense. While their relatives and friends anguish over the loss, solutions from our political leaders are few.
No doubt we will see more innocents gunned down. Politicians will wring their hands in dismay and promise tough action again.
The mayor has declared war on street gangs. That alone is just not going to cut it. Nor will tougher gun penalties.
We need a co-ordinated plan and that's what's been lacking for so long. Money gets thrown here and there to make it appear something is being done. But the money dries up, as elections campaigns come and go because the people we've put in charge are most concerned about their political survival, not the survival of our kids.
Law and order may placate some but that alone will never be the full answer. The solution is complex but not complicated.
This community, this city, has to stand as one and act as one.
I don't mean the black community, not the Jamaican community, nor the Sri Lankans, nor Sikhs, nor Chinese, nor East Indian. It will take all of us. White folks too.
For example, how much longer are we going to let the downtrodden in this city fester in the filth of public housing. The politicians let the repairs of these pits lapse for years at a time. And when kids are raised in that squalor, is it any wonder some of them turn to crime to try to get out of the gutter. Some are caught and put behind bars where gang affiliation is a way of life. They come home to their hell much smarter in the ways of gangs and guns and drugs to mentor the young gangsters-in-waiting.
We can't arrest them all. We can't leave them to kill each other because they are slaughtering our innocents too, our sons, our daughters, our future.
We just watched a 14-year-old girl die and a 23-year-old young man had the life shot out of him.
To be blunt Toronto, we all have to get off our collective complacent asses because the next dead kid might be yours.
Photo by Pam Lau