A man was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries after yet another shooting in the city of Toronto.
The Toronto Police Operations Centre reported that on Nov. 8th at approximately 1 a.m., a man in his 20s was shot on Blossomfield Drive in North York.
“It was about a little after 12 and basically there was about fifteen pops, and then rapid fire,” said a resident of the neighbourhood.
“It’s kind of getting rough back in the jungle here… it’s getting dangerous again. Yeah, it’s not good,” She said.
This shooting is another signifier that gun violence in Toronto is a growing issue.
Founder and full-time youth worker at Amadeusz, Tina-Nadia Gopal Chambers, says that youths in Toronto are acquiring firearms because they feel the need to protect themselves.
Amadeusz, the non-for-profit organization based in Toronto, conducted a research report in association with The City of Toronto’s Toronto Youth Equity Strategy (TYES), Humber College, and Laidlaw Foundation called Look at My Life: “Sparks” for Firearm Possession among Young People in Toronto, which is comprised of data collected by interviewing 10 people ages 15-30 who have been convicted and incarcerated for possessing a firearm more than once.
The research showed that youths are obtaining firearms because certain “sparks” which included “lack of economic opportunity, issues in the traditional education system, family issues, and all of these different issues,” said Gopal Chambers. She outlined that systematic barriers such as racism, poverty and inequality create an environment where young people feel the need to carry a gun.
Gopal Chambers described that due to these “sparks” youths are triggered to equip themselves with guns. She added that these systemic failures that cause a young person to go out and acquire a firearm are what need to be investigated and resolved in order to combat the surge of gun violence the city of Toronto is facing. “We are looking at it as the victim and the shooter…but what we are not realising is that the shooter is the victim,” said Gopal Chambers.
The battle against Toronto’s gun violence issue focuses on enforcing the law, and putting those responsible for gun violence behind bars, though Gopal Chambers doesn’t believe that this tackles the underlying issues. “Are we going to only invest in corrections and policing, or are we going to look at other innovative solutions?” she said.
A huge part what Gopal Chambers identifies as the issue behind youths possessing weapons is a lack of government support to the research for solving the problem at its source. “We’re not getting the long-term funding to hire the staff to work with these young people,” she said.
The main point that she stressed is that through identifying the root causes of gun violence, Toronto can work towards a new model whereby firearm crime is not as common.