US Should Learn A Thing Or Two from Toronto’s Response To Gun Violence

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“What’s happened in the United States is what not to do,” said Toronto city councilman Joe Cressy.

Mass Shooting

A day after 29-year-old Faisal Hussain opened fire near downtown Toronto in Canada, killing two people and injuring 14 others – including a young girl, City Mayor John Tory asked a very important question during the city council meeting: “Why does anyone in this city need to have a gun at all?”

At a time when Toronto is grappling with a sudden uptick in the incident of gun violence, Tory’s query made perfect sense. As several research studies have proved, more guns do not stop more crimes. If anything, they add to it.

Therefore, as the residents of Canada’s biggest city mourned the innocent lives lost in the attack, the city council pushed for a vote on the total ban of handgun and ammunition sales within the city.

Although it might sound unbelievable or even far-fetched to some, the city’s gun control motion passed by 41-4, now leaving it up to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government to take action and enact the law that would undoubtedly save more lives.

Apart from proposing a ban on guns, the city council also voted for crackdown on gun trafficking since some local sources claim the gunman, who died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, had obtained the semi-automatic handgun from the United States since it is already illegal in Canada.

 Moreover, the officials also voted to implement stronger checks so that weapons don’t fall in the hands of domestic abusers and people battling mental illness, according to Huff Post.

Needless to say, the United States should learn a thing or two from its northern neighbor’s response to gun violence.

So far in 2018, Toronto has witnessed over 200 incidents of gun-related homicides that claimed 26 lives, while the number of mass shootings remains fairly low. Last year, during the same period, authorities reported 17 shooting deaths.

On the other hand, the United States has had over 185 mass shooting incidents alone this year. So far, more than 7,000 people have died from gun-related violence in the U.S. while more than 13,300 were injured.

However, despite the high number of deaths and the increase in the gun violence epidemic across the country, the current administration has failed to do anything to stop such incidents from happening over and over again. Unfortunately, the National Rifle Association and its hefty donations to prominent lawmakers and President Donald Trump’s election campaign play a huge role in this.

Every single time a gunman opens fires in a school, at a concert, in a church or in an office building in the U.S., these politicians are quick to offer their thoughts and prayers while raking in fistfuls of cash from the pro-gun lobby.

Toronto city councilman Joe Cressy summed it up rather accurately: “What’s happened in the United States is what not to do.”

It’s high time the United States learns something from other countries that have successfully tackled gun violence by implementing stricter laws. While the ban suggested by city officials in Toronto might not completely stem the flow of illegal firearms or prevent people from buying guns outside the city limits, it’s still a commendable start.

 

Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters, Chris Helgren

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