Gun violence is way up in Toronto this year


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Justin
January 2, 2004, 11:54 PM
http://www.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Law/2003/12/31/301091.html

Gun violence is up 35% in Toronto this year and almost half the city's murder victims were dispatched by a firearm. The rise in the use of guns appears based on drug turf battles, squabbles involving any of the more than six dozen identified gangs, retaliation for a previous tiff or sign of disrespect.

"Violence begets more violence," said Det.-Sgt. Gary Keys of the Toronto Police guns unit "It's getting to a point where they're all arming themselves because they're worried that other people are armed."

65 MURDERS

Of the city's 65 murders this year, 30 involved firearms.

Of Toronto's 60 killings in 2002, 28 were committed with firearms, a drop from 2001, when 33 of 60 murder victims were shot.

As of last night, there were 286 shootings reported this year to police, compared to 212 last year -- an increase of 35%.

The Street Violence Task Force, created 12 weeks ago especially to get firearms and 400 targeted suspects off the streets, had seized 78 firearms as of Dec. 22.

SMUGGLED FROM U.S.

Keys said half of the street guns are smuggled in from the U.S., particularly Ohio, which has lax gun laws. The other half are stolen from lawful gun owners in break-ins here in Canada.

Keys said there is also some renting out of guns to gangsters for specific uses while some gangs have "team guns."

The list of violence since last Saturday includes two men shot to death, a woman stabbed to death, shots fired aimlessly in a possible home invasion, two teens wounded by gunfire and a man who was stabbed in the neck.

One of the teens, who was 19 and known to police, was shot three times Monday afternoon as he pulled away from a traffic light along Canmore Blvd. at Cavalry Trail in Scarborough by someone in a black Lexus driving beside him.

"To be randomly attacked like this just doesn't happen," said Det.-Sgt. Tom Archibald of 42 Division. "We don't know what it's about but you know darn well that it's no random attack."

He said the victim didn't see his shooter.

"All he knows is that he was hit," he said.

'SHOTS RING OUT'

The victim drove to a nearby relative's home for help. His injuries are not considered life-threatening.

"Here you are at 2:50 in the afternoon, there are kids still celebrating Christmas, still playing in the area, and shots ring out," he said. "It's just ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous."

Archibald was a gang cop 11 years ago with the 4 District Street Crime Unit, and he's seen things get worse.

Indeed, he reminisces about an era when many thought teens then were out of control.

MEDICAL CARE

Gangs, he said, are now more sophisticated and "are a lot more violent, and they're so loose with the gun," he said.

"There's an absolute disregard for the community, the people in the community, the kids."

Keys said only the high level of medical care has kept the death toll from soaring even higher.

"Paramedics, trauma doctors, nurses and whatever are saving people's lives. It's what is keeping the homicide rate down."

Both Keys and Archibald agree that it won't be the cops who stop the arms race. "We need help from the public," said Keys.

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Bill Hook
January 3, 2004, 12:04 AM
Somebody tell Mikey Moore. :rolleyes:

Standing Wolf
January 3, 2004, 12:20 AM
Somebody tell Mikey Moore.

Why? He already has his alleged "mind" made up.

SDC
January 3, 2004, 10:35 AM
And everytime we write to the local papers saying "But we were promised that the gun registry was supposed to PREVENT these sort of things", we don't get any sort of an answer. :rolleyes:

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