To say it’s been a violent year in Toronto would be an understatement.
With 11 days remaining in 2018, there have already been a record 95 homicides — eclipsing the previous record of 89 homicides in 1991.
While 10 of those homicides resulted from the van attack in April, more than half of the 95 victims died by gunfire.
We asked the following question on our social media pages: What do you think should be done to stem gun violence?
Hundreds of responses followed, varying from a return to carding and the death penalty, to more social programs and investment in at-risk youth.
On the CityNews Facebook page, Andrew Elliott sparked a spirited debate with the suggestion that Toronto’s lack of affordability is a contributing factor to the street-level violence.
Karen Burnside fired back, saying he was blaming the system, and not holding the perpetrators accountable for their own abhorrent actions.
The debate continued on the CityNews Twitter page, with contrasting views between those who believe in harsher punishments, and others searching for the root, social causes of the escalating problem.
Here’s some of your responses:
Replace the Mayor and Police Chief. They are useless. Bring back the death penalty for gun crimes.
— Terry Fisher (@TerryFi85618785) December 19, 2018
Ban all firearms and ammunition in city limits with stiff mandatory jail time for any infractions. Use a gun for hunting? Fine, keep it locked up in a storage facility close to your hunting destination. Zero exceptions.
— Ryan Hubert (@RyanHubert) December 19, 2018
Tougher penalties. Guns are already heavily regulated. The problem is that criminals dont care about the laws!
— J M (@siralopxlt) December 19, 2018
Let the police do their job, let them investigate and track communities were violence occurs no matter the colour. Get the media to report facts and not sensationalism based on selling and their own biases. Tougher legislation that is enforced without political pressure.
— lawrence (@lawrenceboycott) December 19, 2018
No bail for gun crime. Fire JPs and Judges who give ridiculous sentences and give bail. If they bail to an accused in a gun crime and that criminal goes out and commit another gun crime. Then they are fired.
— Eddie W. (@wingmannut) December 19, 2018
Reinstate T.A.V.I.S. and add PORTABLE FINGERPRINTING DEVICES. They’ll drop their guns. Also give access to a SECURED DROP-OFF GUN safe/BOX to be built near the mailboxes area in apartment buildings where criminal activites are suspected, if they want to be unanimous.
— Michael Julihen (@asthesunrises77) December 19, 2018
1) Invest in youth. Community programming. Engage at risk youth.
2) Tackle gangs. Police need the appropriate resources to dismantle gangs and prosecute members.
3) Disrupt illicit gun trade. Prosecute thieves and criminals diverting legal guns to the illicit market.
— Michael Deinhart(@mdeinhart) December 19, 2018
all levels of gov need to meaningfully address poverty, meaning: affordable housing, raise the “minimum wage,” addressing food insecurity/food deserts, stop the violence that is gentrification/forced displacement, oh yeah and better transit (just to name a few suggestions)
— milen tewelde (@milentewelde) December 19, 2018
Carding worked however the police have only themselves to blame for screwing it up. Go back to carding and do it right this time.
— Mark Wafer MSC OMC (@markwafer) December 19, 2018
Gun laws already restrictive. How can you cull impaired driving? Domestic violence? Personally, it all starts at the home.
— Terry Mergl (@whozitsdad) December 19, 2018
Canada just enacted legislation allowing any driver to be pulled over and breath tested without just cause.. and everyone cheered.
And yet, with increasing gang use of illegally smuggled guns… carding is banned as well as anti-gang task force.
The govt only wants our guns.
— Dfor (@forthedee) December 19, 2018
Just banning hand guns won’t fix anythin.Bringing in better f/t jobs will help.Lowerin basic costs of housing will help.There is a steady migration of ppl out of the city in2 sm places like Hamilton. I fact I think u could do an in depth piece on the flight of ppl 2 outside TO pic.twitter.com/NUopVmJyJU
— LexAnder (@PurpleRaison) December 19, 2018
Curfew. Bring in the army. Door to door. Jail and deport.
— bluecon (@nocrapcanuck) December 19, 2018