News and Commentary

After Deadly Shooting, Toronto Mayor Asks, ‘Why Does Anyone In This City Need To Have A Gun At All?’

On Monday, Toronto Mayor John Tory addressed the City Council in the wake of a deadly shooting in a popular Toronto neighborhood on Sunday night in which a shooter murdered an 18 year-old-girl and a 10 year-old girl while wounding 13 others. Tory called for stricter gun control, asking, “Why does anyone in this city need to have a gun at all?”

Tory stated:

I have said for some time that this city has a gun problem and that guns are far too readily available for far too many people. This is an international problem and this is a domestic problem. There are far too many people carrying around guns in our city and our region who should not have them. You’ve heard me ask the question of why anybody would need to buy 10 or 20 guns, which they can lawfully do under the present laws. And that leads to another question we need to discuss: Why does anyone in this city need to have a gun at all?

According to The Globe and Mail, the 29-year-old shooter walked along Toronto’s Danforth Avenue randomly shooting pedestrians before he opened fire on crowded restaurants. He was later found dead after a gunfight with police. It was unclear whether he was fatally shot by the police or whether he killed himself.

St. Michael’s Hospital received five of the victims, three of whom underwent “immediate life-saving surgery.”

Andreas Mantzios, a witness to the attack, saw a man dressed in all black. He said, “He had this horrible expression on his face.” He added that after a crowd realized what was happening, “… a lady tried to run and she fell down. He turned around and shot her point blank, two or three times.”

In March, the Canadian government passed new gun legislation. As GlobalNews reported:

When a person in Canada currently applies for a gun permit, authorities do a background check that goes five years into the individual’s past to look for criminal convictions, mental illness associated with violence or a history of behaviour that includes violence or threats to commit such acts.

Under the new legislation, authorities assessing applications for a gun permit will now consider all of those factors going back for the applicant’s entire life. …

Currently, an authorization to purchase either a restricted or prohibited firearm automatically results in an authorization to transport that weapon for specific purposes, and there is no discretion for the chief firearms officer on whether to approve that authorization.

Under the new legislation, those authorizations would be at the discretion of the chief firearms officer.