Study says rate of youth cited in gun offences up 32% since 2002
Vancouver had the highest rate of gun violence of all Canadian cities in 2006, according to a Statistics Canada study released yesterday.
The study also found that the rate of youth accused of gun-related offences has risen 32 per cent since 2002.
Vancouver police spokesman, Const. Tim Fanning said most homicides used to involve knives, but now he’s seeing "a lot more public gunplay and more brazen use of guns in public."
He added that court-imposed minimum mandatory sentences on gun violence and more interdiction at the border to keep guns out of Canada would help drive down the rate of gun violence.
According to the report, Firearms And Violent Crime, there were 45.3 violent offences involving guns for every 100,000 people in Vancouver, well above the national average of 27.5.
Winnipeg was second at 43.9 and Toronto third at 40 per 100,000 people.
David Toner is the public affairs co-ordinator with Vancouver-based Families Against Crime and Trauma, which advocates for victims of violent crime.
He said he attributes the proliferation of gang, gun and youth violence in part to a growing perception that the thug life is cool, fuelled by images of violence in the media.
"It’s an immature reaction but a very common one: when you have a weapon in your hand you feel big."