Following a record 11 shootings and 13 related injuries over the August long weekend, Toronto police chief Mark Saunders appeared on a television outlet to assuage the fears of Torontonians that the particularly violent few days was not the norm in the City of Toronto.
“This is not a normal weekend in the City of Toronto. I do not anticipate in a two day span I’m going to be talking about 13 people shot (again). This is not Toronto,” said Saunders.
The weekend saw several large events taking place including the Caribbean Carnival, OVO Fest and Veld, bringing an influx of people from across the world to the city.
Although many Torontonians and observers would draw a link between large festivals like the Caribbean Carnival, Chief Saunders didn’t see it that way at all, but put it down to the general increase in the density of people in the city at night and the number of venues open that could potentially have been a contributing factor to the spike in violence.
In terms of where the guns are coming from and how to deal with firearms crossing the border or 3D printing of guns, Saunders said he is more focused on the people using the guns.
Saunders also reiterated what he’s said several times in the past about who could fall victim to such crimes, saying that people who are not involved in unlawful activities are largely safe.
“A lot of the places and some of the people that have been shot aren’t necessarily 9 to 5, wife and kids, home…if you’re in that stratosphere then the odds of anything happening to you are very very slim in this city.”
Saunders reiterated he would continue working with various stakeholders to reduce gun violence in the city and added that there has been cooperation from all levels of government to that end.
Mayor John Tory reiterated his call for a handgun ban in Toronto.
The problem is lax laws seem not to be much of a deterrence to criminals who put the lives of innocent bystanders at risk as they go about their business of settling scores with rivals. -CINEWS