Senator and former police chief Vern White is right: we can and should fight gun violence in our community with an escalated police strategy.
Yes, there are prevailing trends around gun violence that are beyond our control, like the increased prevalence of guns in Canada and the expanded use of firearms by gang members who once used less powerful weapons like fists and knives. We can’t do much about those wider dynamics, but we can fight the gangs the same way communities have always taken on violent threats, by overwhelming them with a comprehensive policing effort.
The city should ask the province for financial help and provincial politicians should provide it. And if they won’t, we should find money in the city budget to put toward an expanded strategy to combat gangs, rather than continue to hold the police to tight budget increases that stretch their resources across many priorities at a critical time.
This is a problem that will only get worse, and become more expensive to fix, if we let it develop any further.