By: Surjit Singh Flora
If this past weekend was anything to go by, the Greater Toronto Area may be facing its own “Wild, Wild West”.
Fifteen people were injured over the long weekend in the GTA, including the fatal stabbing of a Brampton man outside his own home last Friday evening.
63-year-old Glensbert Oliver was fatally wounded after an altercation occurred with five male suspects in the Devondale Avenue and Lanebrook Drive area around 2:21 a.m.
Officers responded to the scene, where Oliver was pronounced dead at the scene. His son, who was also stabbed, was rushed to a nearby hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
The altercation started after an argument regarding a theft from a nearby vehicle, said Peel Police spokesman Martin Ottaway, who spoke at the scene of the crime last week.
Describing the scene as “tragic”, Ottaway explained that Oliver was “a person trying to stop a minor property offense that escalated to the point of becoming a homicide.”
Ottaway told reporters that Peel Police have surveillance footage of the attack and that it is only “a matter of time” before the perpetrators are caught.
Friday’s fatal stabbing is the latest in a series of violent incidents throughout the region, following the death of Jackeline Gore to a stray bullet on July 8 outside a club in the Torbram and Drew Road area. Oliver is the region’s 11th homicide of the year.
Last week in Surrey Vancover a shooting in the drive thru at the Starbucks that left one dead .
The incident was the precursor to 17 different shooting incidents that took place throughout Toronto over the long weekend — among them, a shooting at a busy North York nightclub early Monday morning. Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders said that shell casings were found inside and outside of the building.
“I find this one very bothersome,” Saunders said at a press conference Monday morning. “I find it disturbing when you have more than 100 people and someone would be brazen enough to pull out a gun and start shooting.”
Saunders stressed that the gun violence seen this weekend is “not normal” for Toronto. “I did not anticipate in a three-day or two-day span that I’m going to be talking about (this). This is not Toronto… I will be providing the resources where they need to be to solve these cases.
“When I’ve got 15 people right now in the city that have been shot, that have a bullet in them, I’ve got concerns about that and I can tell you we will be putting additional resources in specific places that we think will help deter and reduce the gun violence that’s occurring in the city right now.”
The issue of banning guns reached a fever pitch over the weekend, following a publicized incident where a man armed with an assault rifle opened fire at a packed shopping area in El Paso, Texas, killing at least 20 people and wounding 26 others, according to officials.
In a statement issued before Saunders’ news conference, Toronto Mayor John Tory said that he firmly believes that a handgun ban will help address gun violence in the city.
Opponents of gun control have been jumping on the news of shootings and stabbings in the GTA to suggest banning firearms and knives doesn’t stop violent crime.
When asked about a handgun ban in Toronto, Saunders responded by saying there is no silver bullet in reducing gun violence, but he would welcome anything that removes a handgun from the city.
“I’ll let the politicians work on that one,” he said. “I’ve got people that are shot. I’ve got people that are shooting people. I’m going to use my resources and all of my energy to solve these cases and bring them before the court systems.
“Anything that removes a handgun, it is a good day in the city.”
In Ohio, government official Mike DeWine reacted to a mass shooting in his state by considering Tuesday for a law that would remove weapons from the hands of individuals esteemed in danger of harming individuals.
Such measures, known as warning laws, have been passed more than twelve states as of late, frequently in the fallout of a weapon slaughter and regularly with bipartisan help. In any case, while specialists state the laws hold guarantee, especially in forestalling suicides, there isn’t sufficient research being done to comprehend their impact on murders ─ not to mention mass shootings.
“Each time there is an inquiry concerning avoiding mass shootings, the appropriate response consistently comes down to how to isolate a possibly hazardous individual from a gun,” said Aaron Kivisto, a clinical clinician at the University of Indianapolis who studies weapon savagery counteractive action. “Warning laws are one significant apparatus, yet I don’t think you’ll locate a solitary specialist who will guarantee that they are the panacea of weapon brutality. They’re definitely not.”