Pubdate: Sun, 16 Nov 2003
Source: Liberal, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2003, Metroland Printing, Publishing and Distributing
Author: Tom Pashkov


Just before the municipal elections, Toronto Police Chief Julian
Fantino said the recent spike in gang violence was perpetrated by "gun
toting thugs" who have "no respect for the justice system".

While we can agree to the truth in that simplistic analysis, the more
cynical of us will see it as a request for a bigger police budget from
the next mayor of that city. We can either continue on with the
business as usual approach and ratchet up the enforcement side, going
the way of the United States, or we can progress to mature policies.

We can give the police more money and power to wage a war on our
streets and we can expect much of the same violence that is typical in
the U.S. or we can attempt a new approach, something that has been
advocated for years, and, perhaps, an approach whose time has come.

Ban the manufacture, sale and possession of all handguns in Canada and
create a gun-free zone in the Greater Toronto Area with stiff sentences.

At the same time, regulate the recreational drug industry, thereby
taking the financial incentive out of black market sales.

We don't see bootleggers shooting it out with their tommy guns on the
streets of Toronto for a reason. There aren't any more moonshiners in
'dem der Richmond Hills. Prohibition was then and still is now, the

I certainly agree that sentences for gun crimes must be increased, but
without the regulation of the recreational drug market, all that the
increased punishment will do is increase the price of the drugs and
increase the violence on the streets.

The only one who will gain from Mr. Fantino's approach is Mr. Fantino
and his ballooning budget.

Tom Pashkov

Richmond Hill
- ---
MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin