Violence and the City

Last Tuesday, a teenage boy was shot outside his school on the other side of Toronto.  The boy survived but ended up in the hospital.  That day there were three other violent attacks in Toronto, which lead to a lot of dicussion about how violent the city, and its schools, is becoming.

A day or two later, it was discover the the boy who was shot was actually trying to rob another student with a gun.  So the victim became the suspect, and the conversation changed a little bit.  The schools are still too violent, everyone says, but there is something fundamentally wrong with our children.  Why have school yard fights moved from fists to knifes and guns?  Why are young men shot and then dumped on the highway?  What is going on?

Although studies show that violence is actually on the decline in most parts of Canada, it seems like quite the opposite is true. (Toronto Police Services reports crime overall is down 11.4% over last year, and murders are down 22%.*)  I believe this is partly because, while there may be few crimes, the ones that are happening are more violent, often involving guns and/or knives.

I am actually a little scared to send the Baby Man to school.  I know that crime isn’t as bad as the news makes it out to be (I mean, good news is hardly news, is it?), but he is my only child and I know I will be crushed if anything were to happen to him.  I suppose the best any parent can do is to teach their child to do the right thing, to avoid people who have no respect for the law, and just to live the best life they can.

* Note that these statics are for the period ending August 26, 2008, and were vaild on the day this post was written.  TPS will likely update this page in the future.

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