Sullivan shoots from the lip.

Half of the students in a local Grade 10 class own or know someone with an illegal handgun. York South Weston MP Mike Sullivan made this claim in Parliament yesterday as he discussed a bill to allow citizens a stronger reaction when confronted by a criminal. Students divulged that the predominant reason for possession of a firearm is for self-defence. The school in question is likely York-Humber as Mr Sullivan visited there last week.

Before we run off madly in all directions, we need to take the revelation with a large grain of salt. The question referred to owning or knowing someone who owned an illegal gun. This is hardly a scientific survey. Grade 10 boys are prone to exaggeration and would want to look cool in front of their buddies and a visiting VIP. In addition, Mr Sullivan was making a point in Parliament and perhaps he too got carried away.

If guns were as prevalent as Mr Sullivan’s informal survey indicates at first glance, our neighbourhood and indeed Toronto would be like the wild west. Fortunately, the murder rate in Toronto is one of the lowest in the country and far lower than any major U.S. city. Let’s keep our perspective on this. There are guns out there but the need for attention of a few Grade 10 students should not be allowed to outweigh more reliable evidence.

2 thoughts on “Sullivan shoots from the lip.”

  1. Judging by this follow-up article, it’s evident that some people simply prefer to live in denial.

    Sure, it’s possible that the quantity of illegal handguns owners may have been exaggerated, but the bottom line is this: there are many illegal guns out there, a large quantity of which are owned by high school aged teenage boys. In addition, these violent offenders tend to be concentrated in certain ‘high crime’ areas of our city. Unfortunately for us Weston residents, the Jane Street / Weston Road corridors are a part of those concentrations.

    Disagree? Spend some time reviewing (perhaps on a daily basis), the Toronto Police News Releases on-line. There’s no denying the prominent trends when it comes gun violence in Toronto, i.e. age, race, and locale.

    Sorry if the truth hurts!

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