Homicides stem from risky lifestyle
When a veteran Toronto homicide detective recently told a mother her son had been shot to death, he was taken aback by her response.
"She was not shocked. It was almost as if she was expecting it," said the investigator. "It really stuck with me." The detective asked not to be named so as not to bring her any more hurt.
Here in Canada’s largest city, there have been 80 homicides so far in 2007, a number closing in on the record 89 set in 1991. Notwithstanding one city councillor’s call last week to bring in the military to combat gang violence, moral panic has not set in.
Make no mistake, Toronto remains one of the safest cities in the world and, as police remind us, the chances of becoming a random homicide victim are remote unless you are living a "criminal, high-risk lifestyle" involving guns, gangs or drugs.
"If you take out the gangbangers, if you’re not selling firearms, if you’re not involved in the sex trade, you’re not going to get murdered in Toronto," Brian Raybould, the head of the homicide squad, said last week.