Editorial: This is your home, speak up
From past gun violence to recent gun violence, it is a fear that we can all control and prevent. Many communities have been affect by gun-play and it’s not a laughing matter, it’s a fearful one. “I know for a fact that those living in high crime areas are scared for their lives. They wonder if they can go out to the corner store or even taking their children to play in the community without hearing gunshots.” Maharaj said. Nobody should be afraid to do anything in their community. This is getting to be ridiculous Maharaj said, his voice showing the stress of the situation. ” Nobody should be afraid to do what they want or when they want. This is your community.”
Those high crime areas were under a microscope this summer after two very public displays of gunfire. The first happened at Eaton Centre in the food court. As hundreds of people were enjoying a Saturday lunch break a man took out a gun and started shooting. In the weeks to come it would be revealed that the shooting had two prime targets, both members of the shooters own gang. In the process others were hit, including a young boy and a pregnant woman was trampled as the crowd ran for safety.
The second incident was also gang-related. During an evening BBQ on Danzig Street a gang shoot-out took place. Laying on the ground in the aftermath was a 13-year-old girl and a young man from Ajax. They were both innocent bystanders.
Both of these incidents had witnesses and people who knew what was happening who kept quiet. It was the start of a summer where gun shots rang out and too many people looked the other way.
Many community members have taken action to work along with the police and community builders to take a stance in fighting crime today. We need to break the Code of Silence today, not tomorrow, not next month, or next year. If we don’t, we will continue to allow these individuals to fire up our homes. We cannot afford to let them do this to us. “It breaks my heart to see families today who are still seeking for justice because of a lost loved one due to violence. We don’t need anymore.”
The police have been very good helpful to the communities after the horrifying gun-violence on Dazing st that left many wounded and a few dead. As Nicholas says “I can understand that many people have trust issues with the police but who cares. They are the real crime fighters in our city and they do everything possible to keep us safe. We should all take that into consideration and work along with them to keep everyone else safe. At the end of the day we call the police to help us but yet we criticize them for all the bad things they’ve done and forget about the good things they’ve done for us.”
Maharaj uses social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and other forms of Social Media to promote the Toronto’s Crime Stoppers program. “This program is not controlled by the police in any way. It is an invaluable tool that they use to obtain information from anonymous tipsters.” Maharaj says that he wants to see many more concerned citizens to use this community based program to the full advantage if it is anonymous because one tip just might save someones life. It can be his, yours, or a love one. “This is our city and we should all take the stance in fight for what is right. And that is for our lives.”