Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Toronto’s Youth-Driven Violence Escalates Despite Policing Initiative and National Day Against Gun Violence

There are no easy solutions to the gang and drug violence that plagues the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), as well as every other major urban environment in Canada. 

The knee-jerk reaction that we must ban more guns from licensed owners is not the solution.

That’s the standard line from almost every community group and municipal politician, ignoring data from the Toronto Police Service that shows, year after year, that the overwhelming majority of guns used in crime in the GTA are illegal guns smuggled in from the United States.

That’s one issue that nobody seems willing to address.

No handgun ban can stop this violence because, and this needs to be repeated, gun bans only affect law-abiding firearms owners. 

Why politicians and anti-violence community groups can’t comprehend this simple fact is one of the great mysteries of our time.

Until we, as a society, answer the question of why young people in our cities resort to deadly violence, we will never solve that problem.

National Day Against Gun Violence

The first Friday of June is “National Day Against Gun Violence.”

“This day brings awareness to the issue, the causes and effects of gun violence, as well as prevention, healing and creating a path towards peace.”

Five days prior to this year’s observance of “National Day Against Gun Violence”, a 14-year-old boy allegedly shot and killed Delroy George Parkes (61), Seymour Gibbs (46), and wounded three others behind North Albion Collegiate Institute. 

With over 50 shots fired, it’s a miracle more people weren’t killed in the random shooting spree.

“There was no known connection between the men and suspects,” said Det.-Sgt. Phillip Campbell.

The 14-year-old now faces two counts of first-degree murder and seven counts of attempted murder. 

How do 14-year-olds get their hands on illegal guns and ammunition? Why do they use them to murder people they’ve never even met?[i]

Shootings like this are a common occurrence throughout the GTA.

Toronto Youth Cabinet Speaks Out

“We do not need more awareness,” said Stephen Mensah, Toronto Youth Cabinet executive director. “Our communities and the young people who are facing these realities daily need action to improve their lived experiences.”[ii]

On June 25, 2024, the Toronto Youth Cabinet hosted “Youth Talks: Addressing Gun Violence and Community Safety in Toronto”, where they presented a 2-page questionnaire to participants that covered a wide range of topics, including:[iii]

Question 1: “On a scale of 1 – 10, how safe do you generally feel in your neighbourhood or community?

Question 2: “What specific incidents have most shaped your feelings about safety in your community?

The questionnaire lists a wide range of initiatives the Toronto Youth Cabinet favours, including increased funding to violence prevention programs, expanding the Community Healing Project, from transit for high school students and increased funding for affordable housing initiatives.

What is one major action/investment you want to see Mayor [Olivia] Chow and City Council take to drastically improve safety and prevent gun violence in your community?[iv]

Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow, when asked by the media what the city is doing to address the issue on Gun Violence Awareness Day, said the city has invested in a lot of safety measures and plans to invest more in youth programs.

“It’s important that we get to the root problem of gun violence, (which) in many ways is despair and disregard of life,” Mayor Chow said. “All of those things, we must address collectively as a society and here at city hall.”

This is the same response we hear year in and year out from politicians.

What we don’t see is concrete action to solve those root causes, the despair and hopelessness that is the lifeblood gang recruitment efforts. 

A job at MacDonalds or Tim Horton’s will seldom draw young people away from a gang, which seems to offer them everything they feel they lack, including food, shelter and money.

Neither Chow nor her office would provide any details about these “safety investments.”

Youth Criminal Justice Act Maximum Penalty

The maximum sentence for a 14-year-old convicted of first-degree murder is 10 years, but a maximum of 6 years is in custody. The remaining 4 years must be spent under community supervision.[v]

Prosecutors are obligated to seek an adult sentence for anyone 14 years old or older who are convicted of murder, attempted murder, manslaughter or aggravated sexual assault.

This is little consolation to the families of Delroy George Parkes, Seymour Gibbs, or the others wounded in this 14-year-old’s June 2nd shooting spree.

CSSA agrees that “more awareness” isn’t the answer. We are painfully aware of the tragedy caused by illegal guns in the hands of drug dealers and gangs through the almost-daily news headlines.

The solution must focus on the societal and economic issues that drive this violence in society, and especially in our young people.

Another ban on more guns owned by RCMP vetted, federally licensed Canadians is not the answer, nor was it ever the answer to the violence we see in the GTA and across our country.

Our challenge is to help more Canadians understand this simple, undeniable fact.






Leave a comment

Continue Your Journey with CSSA

Renew your membership and sustain your passion for shooting sports.

To Preserve, Promote and Protect the Lawful Use and Ownership of Firearms in Canada

Contact CSSA

1143 Wentworth St W #204, Oshawa, ON L1J 8P7
Toll-Free: 1-888-873-4339
Phone: 905-720-3142


[mc4wp_form id="461" element_id="style-9"]

© 1998–2024. Canadian Shooting Sports Association | All Rights Reserved

Website by mango media