The rhetoric is flying fast and furious from politicians of all stripes as the country tries to come to grips with the indiscrimate shooting that occurred on Boxing Day in Toronto.
The Prime Minister was fast out of the gate with a bunch of empty words that said exactly nothing about bringing about the type of change necessary to combat the senseless violence. Not that I would expect much else from him, but a real leader would stand up and meet the problem head on.
NDP leader Jack Layton got a little closer to the mark with his comments. “These crimes remind us that we must get illegal handguns off our streets in Toronto and across Canada. To do that we need tougher border controls, tougher sentencing for weapons offences and tougher anti-gang policing, prosecutions and sentencing.”
Sounds good until the very next thing out of his mouth. “We need more effective witness-protection programs and more compassionate victim assistance. We also need to get tougher — much tougher — on poverty, unemployment and social exclusion.”
Uh-huh. More socialist claptrap. I mean really, social exclusion? We are the most inclusive country in the world.
Conservative leader Stephen Harper at least seemed to focus on the issue when he said, “I am committed to doing everything necessary to crack down on gun violence, including increasing support for front-line policing; stopping the revolving door on our nation’s sentencing system by introducing mandatory prison sentences; enforcing Canada’s tough gun control laws; stopping the flow of illegal guns at our borders; as well as supporting community programs for youth at risk. I will have more to say about this in the days to come.”
I suspect they all will have more to say on the issue in upcoming days. And what they say will be telling as the events in Toronto have propelled crime up the list in election issues. Only Harper seems to have grasped this fact thus far.