Toronto has had a weird week. On Monday night, at least two men opened fire at a large outdoor barbeque, killing two and wounding two dozen others. In other parts of the city over the next several nights, two more men were killed by gunfire. This level of violence would be a rounding error in most North American cities of Toronto’s size, but that hasn’t stopped many in the media from descending into full-blown panic mode. And when that happens, the government can’t be far behind.
And isn’t far behind, as it turns out. Next Monday, Toronto mayor Rob Ford, Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty, several of his government ministers and Toronto police chief Bill Blair will all meet at Queen’s Park, the Ontario legislature, for a meeting on how to tackle these kinds of problems.
Ford says that he wants to see longer sentences for those convicted of illegal possession of a handgun. He also wants more provincial money for police officers to focus on Toronto’s gangs. Ontario, however, wants to go a step further. Ahead of Monday’s meeting, the provincial attorney general, John Gerretsen, said that Ontario will be renewing calls for a national ban on the private ownership of handguns. Now that’s leadership!