Gun Violence in Canada

Gun violence in Canada is an issue which is evident within Canadian society, especially in the last year. The shooting in the Eaton’s Centre in Toronto recently was the largest mass shooting in its history. The reason behind the shooting was related to gang violence in the area, therefore there is a social issue that demands solution. Gun violence in Canada is generally on the low end of the overall crime rate, and in recent years the severity of crime was down four percent, but this does not mean there is no reason for alarm anymore.

A Statistics Canada study on criminal code statistics offer misleading information on the severity of the situation, this includes gun violence. A past Statistics Canada study based on 2009 data showed that only 31 percent of the most common types of crimes were reported, therefore there is 69 percent that has not been recorded leaving a gap in the knowledge we have about the true violence within Canada (Ottawa Citizen,2012). Gun violence is as Global Mail see’s it an expression on manly rage, but I do not agree with this accusation.

Gun violence in Canada is a social issue in relation to gang violence, and although this crime rate is not on the rise it cannot be taken lightly and it is not to be blamed as an expression of manly rage also known as pistolization. As the Globe and Mail states two weeks after the shooting in Toronto’s Eaton’s Centre, Police Chief Bill Blair sees the gang violence at its root (Globe and Mail, Aug 2012). Gang violence is the cause for the largest mass shooting Toronto has ever seen, but it is also the basis for any other reported shooting in the Toronto area, along with the rest of Canada.

The solution is to prevent the young men in and around the communities with the highest recorded gang violence from joining or going down the path of gang violence. Catching them at a young age is easy, young men are easily influenced and this is generally how they join a gang in the first place. Therefore, if society gives those who are in a higher risked neighbourhood the attention they need, gang violence may decrease. With this decrease will come the decrease of criminal rates, this includes gun violence.

Young men who are brought up in a home with risk factors such as domestic abuse and alcoholism are prone to being initiated into a gang. Solutions such as summer employment programs are the best options for these kids. Helping these children may also change Canadians views on the issue of gun violence. People’s impressions of crime are formed by more than what is captured by official crime stats (Ottawa Citizen, 2012). Statistics Canada does not report all they are informed about, Canadians then take what they hear on the news and what they experience for themselves when understanding violence, this gives them a false understanding.

People are not that concerned for their own general safety, this may be because of how little we know but at least from what we do understand we are trying to change. It would be the best viable option if Canadians were to be informed more in terms of violence in Canada. Crime is a problem even if crime rates are diminishing, and although many of us are not in imminent danger we still need to change for the future. That is why dealing with young men before they curb to the norms of gang violence would be the best long lasting solution.

In opposition to this belief, blaming gun violence in Canada on pistolization is not the most appropriate way in dealing with this issue. Although it is obvious that gun crimes are nearly always perpetrated by men does not mean that gun violence is a problem of men’s social-psychological dimensions (Globe and Mail, July 2012). We live in a culture that gun violence is all over the media, whether it be in video games or in movies. There is proof that men tend to be more susceptible to any sort of violence, but just because gun violence falls under this category does not mean there is a social psychological problem.

Women can be part of the same crimes as men, the only reason the rate for women is lower is because we still live in a society where the media is still geared towards men. It is also unwise to believe that gun violence coming from men is a form of status anxiety and that the culture has been significantly shaped by pistolization and guns are being used as a weapon for acting out (Globe and Mail, July 2012). Blaming gun violence in Canada on drug dealing because there is no form of legal recourse is a scapegoat.

It is true that drug deals can be violent if a merchandiser or customer of drugs does not live up to their end of the bargain, but to blame gun violence in Canada on this is inappropriate. It would be understandable if one was in Columbia, due to the amount of cocaine that is imported and exported from there, but Canada has never been one of the top countries in drug solicitation. These issues are complex, and they are merely speculations of the plausible explanation of gun violence in Canada.

Gun violence in Canada is not to be blamed on expression of manly rage which is pistolization; it instead is due to the social issue in relation to gang violence and diminishing crime rates. Gang violence is the leading cause to gun violence in Canada, the best long lasting solution to ensure that crime rates do not raise is to deal with young men before they are influenced into joining a gang. Crime rates from Statistics Canada give a false apparition into the true violence that is evident in Canada.

Both the media and government know either too much or too little but whatever the case may be they are not giving the full story to the Canadian public. Canadians are little concerned with their safety due to the diminutive knowledge they have been given. Their impression of Canada may change if they had the whole story, but this is not the case. The blame of gun violence being either because of pistolization or drug abuse in Canada is not a viable argument. In turn, gun violence in Canada is due to gang violence and is best dealt with in the neighbourhoods with higher rated crimes before they grow in numbers and moved on to new communities.

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