Few details have emerged about the murderer who killed two and injured 13 Monday night in Toronto. But that hasn’t stopped the city’s highest officials from leveraging the attack to support their anti-gun agenda.
“I’ve said for some time that the city has a gun problem, that guns are far too readily available to far too many people,” Toronto Mayor John Tory said in a press conference.
“As I’ve said repeatedly, this is an international problem and this is a domestic problem,” he continued. “There are far too many people carrying around guns in our city and our region who should not have them.”
Tory is referencing the city’s rising rates of firearm-related crime. Despite Toronto’s draconian gun laws, nearly twice as many people were injured in shootings in each of the last four years than were injured in 2014. Gun-related homicide rates have risen as well, though not as markedly.
Purchasing a handgun in Canada is already nearly impossible. The seven-step process, as outlined by The Toronto Star, requires a proficiency course, references, permits, registration, background checks, and, of course, money:
- Join an accredited shooting club.
- Complete a safety course and pass both a written and a practical test.
- Ask for two references.
- Apply for a permit, and wait 28 days before processing begins.
- Pass a background check that considers your criminal record, mental health, addiction and domestic violence history.
- Buy a gun.
- Register it with the police before taking it home.
That isn’t enough for Tory. He further proposes limiting the number of firearms an individual can buy and even outlawing firearms entirely.
“You’ve heard me ask the question why anyone would need to buy ten or twenty guns, which they can lawfully do under the present laws,” he said. “And that leads to another question we need to discuss: why does anyone in this city need to have a gun at all?”
Tory neglects to mention that one of the people injured or killed in Monday night’s attack could reasonably be said to have needed a gun, but that likely isn’t the “answer” he’s looking for.
“I know even answering that question won’t fully eliminate tragedies like this,” he opined. “But even if we can prevent one of these incidents, then in my view it is a discussion worth having, and having very soon.”
Officials have yet to reveal how the attacker acquired his handgun.