A brutal police shooting of a mentally ill man has rightly upset Mississauga in recent days. What the hell kind of ‘wellness check’ ends in a fatal shooting? Are we going down the same road as the likes of Chicago? If we are, what exactly is our excuse? Even if you are a really huge fan of police and take a harsh view of life how do you justify this kind of thing?
113 suburban cop shootings, zero discipline
Canadian cops keep killing people during wellness and mental health calls
Grim reading from august commentator on American community James Howard Kunstler. The author of seminal work The Geography of Nowhere sees direct ties between sprawl-lived lives and the gun nihilsm of America. Suburbia has been Kunstler’s thing for decades now and we respect his words. Even if he has become a little reactive, a touch cranky in recent years, any wisdom on this matter is surely welcome and his probably more than many others. The resort to maximum hand-held firepower as a response to one’s environment staggers the imagination and really has for decades now. What to do on this file? Thank the God of your choice this is not Canada, Dear Readers.
The landscape of despair. How our cities and towns are killing us
image: S. Davis via Flickr/CC
Ten years ago a corner of the GTA experienced a rather unhappy time. John Lorinc and Idil Burale take a look back in Spacing.
Summer of the gun, 10 years later first of three parts
Academic and social observer Richard Florida writes in the Star that gun crime in Toronto seems to map to class and cultural environments in a disturbingly close fashion. If you are in North America’s fourth largest city (the GTA edged out Chicago for that spot in terms of population just recently) try to hang around the green zone, where Florida’s so-called creative class live. Florida says, ” …the recent uptick in gun violence in Toronto mirrors the same fault-lines of economic and social disadvantage that exist in U.S. cities.” In terms of actual numbers of people killed by guns Toronto still remains remarkably safe, having only about a tenth of the firearm homicides of Chicago, according to statistics in the article. Those in the green part of the map are protected from gun violence because they are educated, economically connected, properly employed people. Florida points out that because gun violence is something happening to other people somewhere else, many a privileged Torontonian seems quite complacent about it. Removal of barriers to “living green,” as it were, is essential to eliminating gun violence and protecting the total quality of life in the city.
…look at all the dots on the map accompanying the piece indicating a gun murder in a suburban location.
Guns and class in Toronto: the vast majority of Toronto’s gun murders since 2000 took place where members of the service and working class live
image: 1888 photo of a bullet in flight taken by Ernst Mach via Wikimedia Commons
One of our readers pointed out recently that to date this blog hasn’t shared much content regarding suburban poverty and crime. It was timely then for us to come across a new study from the Ochs Center for Metropolitan Studies in the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. The gang problem in Chattanooga is a relatively established urban phenomenon but it has spread beyond the city core.
Rising gang activity in Hamilton County reported timesfreepress.com
Comprehensive Gang Assessment 173 page .pdf file