Saturday, November 19, 2005

When you are not safe at church from gunfire - where can you possibly be safe?

The Globe and Mail is reporting this:
Toronto — Police say a teenager shot dead at the Toronto funeral for another teen was apparently targeted by his killers. The 18-year-old was gunned down at a church in the city's northwest end this afternoon, sparking panic among 300 mourners in the building.

The funeral was for a 17-year-old boy who was slain by gunfire last week. Toronto police Chief Bill Blair says he believes the two murders are connected, noting the victims were friends.

When I first read the news release from the Toronto Police Services I thought the way the program was initiated was rather daft. In light of the fact that to be eligible for the amnesty you must call police to arrangements for the police to come and safely pick up the firearm you wish to surrender. Maybe it is a failure of imagination on my part, but I just can’t see your typical gang-banger calling the cops and having them come out to their home to pick-up their gun. I am willingly to concede that the Police know these people better than me, but I just can’t see how it is going to work in any appreciable or measurable way to end the killing on our city streets.

It’s not like the police did not have a relatively successful model to base the current gun amnesty program on. Operation Safe a Life which ran from October 4 -14th in 2000 offered $50 bucks for every unwanted firearm or illegal gun given to police to a maximum of $100 per person. Approximately 1,753 guns were turned in, but of course, that was a different time and a different Police Chief.

Maybe it is time for some enterprising reporter to ask Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair to give an accounting on just how many guns have actually been turned into police to date under this current Gun Amnesty initiative while there are still 11 days to turn this program around.

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