September 30, 2020

BY RYAN GOODYEAR

Recently there was another shooting at Toronto’s Yorkdale mall, which left one man dead and one in hospital with minor injuries.

Ever since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in 2012, the talk of gun control has been on the lips of every politician worth their salt. Of course, like most serious issues the United States has to deal with, this debate has drifted across the lake into Canada. No doubt the shooting at Yorkdale will only stir the pot more.

While a world free of all guns and ammunition may seem like a paradise to some people, it is not feasible. The sad fact is this planet cannot function properly without guns and ammo. People cannot hunt for food, police cannot do their jobs properly and the rights of those responsible enough to own firearms are stepped on. The world has revolved and evolved for years with guns being present.

So what has changed? It’s society. Our cultures and the way we interact with people have changed drastically.

It would be ignorant and naïve to think that if there were more gun restrictions, fewer shootings would occur. Drugs are illegal, so is prostitution, but hell, picking up an ounce of marijuana is almost as easy as going and picking up a case of beer. The point here is just because something is made illegal, or has serious restrictions on it, does not mean people won’t want it or won’t be able to get their hands on it; in fact, the situation is usually the opposite with demand and illegal trafficking on that particular good skyrocketing.

What the government needs to be focusing on is outreach programs for at-risk youth and street gangs.

Many of the people murdering each other are youth. Gangs deliberately target teens and young adults for recruitment and to do their dirty work. This is why more often than not the mug shots you see staring back at you on the evening news are youth and not those of middle-aged adults.

Another serious concern is how disconnected people are from each other in today’s society because of technology. It’s hard for people to name five people who live on the same street as them. The point is people don’t look at each other as neighbours anymore, half the time they don’t even register them as people. This may be just a sign of the times, or due to overpopulation and crowded urban areas, but it does not take away from the fact that it is a serious problem. We need to start loving our neighbour again, instead of shooting them dead because of some petty squabble.

The views herein represent the position of the newspaper, not necessarily the author.