So Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty had a “summit” meeting yesterday to discuss guns and gun crime in Toronto in the wake of all the recent shootings. Rob Ford was going to ask for more provincial money for police, while McGuinty was going to ask if there was a way to get 50lbs of fat transplanted onto him off Ford’s belly, because McGuinty’s skeletal body is getting chills in the winter and could use the added insulation.
Anyway, the result is, of course, DRUM ROLL PLEASE, more money for police. Shockingly imaginative. Is there a problem, by the way, that would not be resolved by more money for police, jails and law enforcement? We’ve touched on this subject before.
Anyone who knows Toronto knows this – you cannot park for 2 seconds illegally, or without putting every coin in that change jar you keep in the glove box into the parking meter, before you get some pseudo-cop materializing out of nowhere and slapping a parking ticket on your windshield. It’s like the Toronto police have perfected the ninja-cop who can move amongst us undetected, constantly on the lookout for criminal parkers – they’re always there.
Or how about the ubiquitous speed trap where the cops catch you going 60 in a 50, pull you over for a half –hour while they write your ticket at a pace that would make a 100-year old tortoises envious, and then they let you go, you say, OH SHIT – I’M LATE FOR MY MEETING, put your foot on the gas and then get caught doing 60 in a 50 on the very next box. Very efficient at catching speeders are these Toronto Police.
But one thing the Toronto police and police in general don’t seem to be very good at these days is stopping actual crime. Look at the G20 fiasco. Look at Caledonia. Look at the London Fanshawe riots. Look at the Vancouver riots. So, now putting more police on the streets, when there seem to be plenty already for crap like parking tickets and speeding traps, or when there are $100k/year officers working behind desks at police headquarters, that’s going to solve a gang violence problem?
The last year or so, since the Conservatives have been pushing their Law-and-Order agenda, progressives have been pointing out how the crime rate has been falling in Canada, so these measures are unneeded. Here’s the dirty little secret – violent crime is not falling. And when you poll Canadians on the question of “do you feel safer than you did last year/five years ago etc” the majority reply that no, they do not feel safer. Why? Because in reality the crime rate has not fallen. What has fallen is the citizens’ willingness or interest in reporting it. Who reports a stolen bike or graffiti or car break-in anymore? Who reports minor arson or threatening panhandling anymore? Who reports seeing penny-drug deals in the parkette around the corner, or teenage youth loitering in a school yard drinking and smoking weed? Nobody. Because what is the point – the police won’t can’t do anything. They are very good now at documenting crime, but becoming increasingly poor at stopping actual crime or finding culprits. So we have all given up. We’ve accepted crime. And in a case of broken glass syndrome, once you start accepting petty crime, minor lawlessness, you have then given permission for escalation to shootings at block parties.
No… more money for more useless police is not the answer. But we are so sorely lacking any real leadership in this country that we could have predicted this response the minute the Danzig shootings had finished.