Reaction Roundup: who’s to blame for the Scarborough shooting and what should be done

Reaction Roundup: who’s to blame for the Scarborough shooting and what should be done

Police Chief Bill Blair briefs the media (Image: Gang Investigators) 

Already unnerved by two brazen public shootings this summer, the city is now grappling with the Scarborough shooting that ended the lives of 14-year-old Shyanne Charles and 23-year-old Joshua Yasay and wounded more than 20 others. We’ve pulled together the main threads of discussion playing out in the media, including what Rob Ford plans to do about gangs in Toronto, and what changes are ahead for residents in community housing.

• Rob Ford swiftly declared a war on gangs (despite having voted against receiving federal money for gang prevention). He said the city must “make life for these thugs miserable, to put them behind bars, or to run them out of town.”

• The mayor also insisted the city is still safe, though newspapers revisited that ongoing debate, one going as far as comparing Toronto to Tijuana.

•  Gene Jones, a Michigan native and the new head of the Toronto Community Housing Corporation, instead compared Toronto to Detroit. Jones said he doesn’t understand these public acts of violence, which are more brazen in Toronto than the scattered shootings in Detroit. “In Michigan, you can get a gun, you can get a concealed weapon, but they’re not shooting like that,” he said, adding that he plans to evict anyone found on TCHC property with a gun.

• A range of other public figures also weighed in. Former police chief Julian Fantino believes tougher sentencing is part of the answer, while current chief Bill Blair promised police wiretaps and other gang-surveillance measures to prevent retaliation. Councillor Adam Vaughan took a political approach, attacking Ford’s “austerity budget” and hiring freeze in the police force.

• While politicians grappled with root causes and possible solutions, an op-ed in the Toronto Star by Nikisha Reyes-Grange summed up why the shootings directly affect all Torontonians, not just those who live nearby or knew the victims:

Every one of these acts causes us to question our city and society, to be more fearful and to have less trust and patience. We are all victims of guns, and, somehow, we are going to have to work together to curb this violence.

Rob Ford says best remedy for shootings is jobs [Toronto Star]
• Mass shooting on Danzig puts the lie to Toronto’s ‘safe city’ mantra [Toronto Star]
Action needed before Toronto has Tijuana’s reputation [Toronto Sun]
Math doesn’t matter: Rob Ford can’t turn blind eye to Toronto gun violence after fatal shooting, says councillor [National Post]
A ‘meaningful’ price must be paid, Fantino says in wake of Toronto shooting [Globe and Mail]
Grief and few solutions in wake of mass Toronto shooting [Globe and Mail]
Scarborough shooting: We are all victims of gun violence [Toronto Star]