TORONTO - More than one hundred shell casings from semi-automatic firearms strewn on the ground. One dead; five injured; seven would-be assassins on the run. An entire community traumatized.
Mourn for Malton, formerly a sleepy little suburban town in Mississauga, northeast of Pearson International Airport. We bought our first house just around the corner from the ambush area. Young families like ours found it ideal: quiet, schools, churches, lots of green areas and close to work and all the amenities of suburban lifestyles.
Saturday evening, some gangsters played out their fantasies in a hail of deadly gunfire in what used to be a quasi-idyllic neighbourhood. Video replays posted online are reminiscent of the violent sounds of battles associated with war-torn Mogadishu in the movie Black Hawk Down.
So much for progress. It shouldn’t be that way. Scenes such as these are bound to convert more and more citizens to stricter rules regarding the manufacture, distribution and possession of firearms; to a “lock them up and throw away the key” approach to sentencing.
Inevitably, there will be increasingly strident calls for greater police presence – with powers to execute “preventative cures” and summary arrests that the Courts will enforce. Mandatory sentencing for the commission of a crime while in possession of a firearm already exists, but…
There is something terribly amiss when young gangsters can “shoot up” a neighbourhood with impunity. Bystanders (young and old) and the community become victims of wanton insensitivity. Yet, the school system entrusted with imparting the ethic of civic values, let alone there moral/social values (life skills) that underpin them are strangely silent.
At least the Mayor of Mississauga, Bonnie Crombie, took her place beside the Police Commissioner to “calm the waters”. There were no other representatives from the senior levels of government – not from the Province’s MPP, Deepak Anand; not from the Federal government’s “Deputy Prime Minister from Brampton”, Navdeep Bains, the MP for Mississauga-Malton.
The Federal Leaders are all shadow- boxing, positioning, on “issues” (climate change, same-sex marriage and abortion rights). Too busy to offer anything more than generic observations about “the need to have all police forces working together”, more money available for “more effective control of our borders”… nothing substantive.
Monday morning, there was another mobile shoot-out in what is fast becoming Canada’s Wild West – Brampton Mississauga.
Here’s a thought for a campaign issue: forget parades start working out public security issues.