Toronto; Do Better (Gun Violence)

I’ll be short.

I say Toronto as a general blanket, encompassing Toronto and the surrounding suburbs in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area).

Most of my my reader base stems from the city of Toronto. They’ll understand this. For the readers who don’t know, I live in Ontario, Canada in town called Oakville. About a 25 minute drive from Toronto. Oakville is suburbian. White picket fences, people jogging, children with their parents credit cards but I haven’t always lived in Oakville. I haven’t always lived in Canada but for the most part I call this country home because it is where I have settled and begun my life as a young adult. Before I lived in Oakville, I lived in Scarborough, before that the U.S. and before that? A now war torn Zimbabwe.  Too say the least, they differ in numerous ways, ways I can’t necessarily delve into at this time. However, if you use your imagination and Google I’m sure you can come to your own conclusions.

In Toronto and the GTA … I have seen both sides of the tracks. Both have their dark and lights, both sides have their extremely good and extremely bad aspects. The GTA seems to be split into two worlds. West End and East End and Toronto of course, the centre hub. The general idea is that the East End is full of more violent acts but that’s not true at all. I visit Toronto a lot, I go to school there, I shop there, have friends, family there and it seems over the last couple of years, that freedom I have  to move freely without the threat of harm, is slowly starting to slip away. Random acts of violence are slowly taking away the freedom I have to live.

January 1st, a lot of us lost a good friend to gun violence.

It was perhaps one of the most unexpected painful losses I have ever experienced.

It shed a lot of light on things I had chosen to be unaware of.

A former friend of mine lost her brother to gun violence, do you know what that does to people? It destroys your psyche, your life, your ability to trust and to love. It shatters the image of a world you have grown to be comfortable in and leaves you naked, vulnerable. There is nothing like the pain of death and the pain intensifies even more when it is by the piercing of a bullet. You can never be the same again.

I have never been a fan of guns. I don’t understand their existence nor do I support their use. The only thing I see guns for are murder weapons. I don’t care who is toting the heavy piece of metal whether it be police officers or random civilians, guns are horrible. The Eaton Centre shooting really put things in perspective for me. I was supposed to be downtown that day, shopping. Eaton was my first mapped destination, like so many of us do.

What if that had been me? What if it had been you? 

People are so casual about “holding a toolie” or “toting a .9” when in reality there is nothing casual about death or the pain inflicted by the absurd ringing of gunshots. What happened to using your words as a weapon? When have we as a people become so cowardly and rely on the pop of a gun to solve all of our problems? I know that these problems are deep rooted and stem from psychological discrepancies I couldn’t even decipher with a manual. I understand that people come from a culture or families that may believe in the ideas that lead to gun violence but you know better. Wrong from right. This is not about the black community because the person who shot our friend is white. It’s not blaming Scarborough or Malton or Brampton because every community has the likes. Even Oakville.

Nothing happens in Oakville. Why are you carrying a gun around, in Oakville?

Gun violence not only affects you and the victim, it affects your families, your community and random strangers like myself who don’t know where the next stray bullet is coming from. It shouldn’t be like that. I don’t want to start listing stereotypes of the Canadian person but there is NO reason for any of us to be approaching problems with gun violence. NONE. I have seen things, that most of you could never imagine and at the rate people are going, you are all about to see those things. and lose the contents of your stomach; on a daily basis. I know this was an aimless rant, I got upset again half way through and probably made no sense but there is one thing I want to get across.

Gun violence solves nothing.

If anything it creates more problems.

Please, please stop.

Toronto, honestly…you can do better.


P.S. Fuck Rob Ford, you stupid fuck. How is this an isolated incident if you have already had 19 homicides in the GTA alone? You puffy tomato colored bastard.