Amid the spray of bullets police and politicians find themselves under fire from the public to curb the gun violence. Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti proposed a gun amnesty/buyback program that would allow residents to turn in their weapons for grocery vouchers without fear of prosecution.
The head of the city’s Municipal Licensing and Standards Committee, Cesar Palacio, wants the province to suspend the liquor licenses of businesses where illegal gun activity has become a chronic problem – effectively shutting them down by targeting a lucrative source of revenue. His motion passed with unanimous support from Council and includes “proactive enforcement measures” that Canada’s restaurant association fears would unfairly target some businesses.
“If someone is shot in a car you can’t say the car is the problem. It’s the situation,” protested James Rilett, Vice-President of Ontario operations.
And as the season shifts and temperatures rise, so too the sense of fear among some residents that this summer could mirror the violence in 2005, infamously dubbed the “Summer of the Gun.” But crime experts say it’s still too early to predict whether that pattern will play out. The recent media spotlight has focused police efforts and resources, and politicians of all three levels of government seem determined to collaborate on a solution.