Friday, August 28, 2009

Gunplay in Traffic

Cultural Enrichment News

On the face of it, this news story from Ontario doesn’t give any clue as to the ethnicity of the perpetrators. So I made a few discreet enquiries among my contacts in the Frozen North, and here’s what taffyincanada, who lives in the area, said about the neighborhood in which the incident occurred:

It’s just south of the infamous Jane and Finch. Great place to go if you want crack, heroin, a gun, an STD, or just looking to get shot. Heavy Jamaican and immigrant area.

So I think we can safely assign this article to the “Cultural Enrichment” category. According to The National Post:

‘Brazen’ Teen Allegedly Fires Across Traffic Lanes

Shortly before 7 p.m. on Tuesday night, as the evening rush hour dwindled on Sheppard Avenue West, a 15-year-old boy got into a shouting match with a trio of young men across the street.

According to police, the boy made hand gestures at the trio, whom he blamed for a previous conflict, then pulled out a gun and fired six or seven shots across four busy lanes of traffic.

Only one bullet hit its mark — a 18-year-old man was hit on the leg — but even in a city growing accustomed to random gunfire, police were shaken yesterday discussing what could have been.

“He was brazen enough to pull out a loaded firearm and fire across four lanes of traffic. I wouldn’t suspect he thought too much about where the traffic was when he decided to let off some rounds at his intended target,” Division 31 police Superintendent Chris White said on Thursday. “We are lucky we are investigating an attempted murder instead of a murder or an innocent bystander being struck in this incident.”

The boy, who cannot be named, has been charged with attempted murder; two older teenagers have also been charged.
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“It’s a scary proposition. I guess you always worry about where the other six bullets could have gone to,” Supt. White said on Thursday.

Following the arrest, police executed a search warrant on a nearby home on Brady Crescent and discovered a .38 Special revolver, a .380 semi-automatic handgun, ammunition and a large quantity of marijuana. The 15-year-old and two older teenagers all face gun-related charges.

The shooting came near the corner of Jane Street, in a troubled residential neighbourhood that has experienced its share of gang-related violence. In 2005, an 18-year-old resident was shot dead outside a housing complex at the same corner. A 15-year-old charged in the shooting was later acquitted.

City Councillor Maria Augimeri, who represents the area, said “the communities around Jane and Sheppard are very challenged,” and cited the area’s social and economic woes for the prevalence of gang culture.

“This incident is emblematic of the larger harrowing experience of people living in impoverished communities,” she said. “Any time you put thousands and thousands and thousands of people together with high needs, you get a certain amount of social challenges, and … inevitably gang culture and a certain amount of civil violence.”

Ms. Augimeri said solving the problem entirely is an expensive proposition that includes razing the public housing complex and building a new, open model. She said the neighbourhood is currently focused on street-level solutions.

Supt. White, however, said members of the public quickly alerted officers, suggesting a changing mindset, through community-based policing such as the Toronto Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy.

“We get down and work alongside with some of the good residents of the neighbourhood to make sure this is isolated,” he said.

The 15-year-old boy has been charged with three counts of attempted murder while using a firearm, aggravated assault, discharging a firearm and endangering a life, the careless use of a firearm, using a firearm to commit an indictable offence, pointing a firearm, failing to comply with the Youth Criminal Justice Act and failing to comply with recognizance.

The 15-year-old, Alphonso Zuriel, 19, and Dwayne Powell, 18, were also charged with careless storage of a firearm, unauthorized possession of a firearm, two counts of possession of a firearm knowing its possession is unauthorized, careless storage of a firearm, possession of a restricted firearm with ammunition and careless use of ammunition.

Mr. Zuriel also faces two counts of possessing a firearm contrary to a prohibition order and possessing ammunition contrary to prohibition.


For a complete listing of previous enrichment news, see The Cultural Enrichment Archives.

Hat tip: Tuan Jim.

8 comments:

Zenster said...

City Councillor Maria Augimeri, who represents the area, said “the communities around Jane and Sheppard are very challenged,” and cited the area’s social and economic woes for the prevalence of gang culture.

“This incident is emblematic of the larger harrowing experience of people living in impoverished communities,” she said. “Any time you put thousands and thousands and thousands of people together with high needs, you get a certain amount of social challenges, and … inevitably gang culture and a certain amount of civil violence.”
[emphasis added]

Behold the weasle words of our budding social engineers. The "communities around Jane and Sheppard are very challenged". Why not just say "infested with crime and urban blight"? The word "challenged" carries so many other superfluous connotations implying externally imposed factors and unavoidable obstacles. I've been homeless and have worked around the homeless and can tell you that a lot of poverty is self-imposed.

As to putting "thousands and thousands and thousands of people together with high needs": Is it that they are really so needy or is it just that these people elect to be unproductive and create their own poverty? Perhaps the real "needs" involved are resorting to predatory behavior in support of an otherwise unsustainable (read: lazy), lifestyle.

laine said...

Augimieri is one of the socialist sillies in a city hall dominated by them, led by a Harvard mis-educated union loving mayor who just ruined the summer for Torontonians by closing their pools and kids's camps, letting their parks fill with garbage and rats for weeks, to no purpose as he eventually just caved to the city workers' unions as he'd been planning to do from the beginning, gave them hefty raises and let them hang on to cushy benefits in a recession.

Politicians like Augimieri insult every person who has ever been impoverished at some point in their lives like yours truly by claiming that crime is the natural and forgivable response. It is one of several possible responses. My parents' culture taught them to work more than one job to make more money. On the other hand, certain cultures pick crime over education and hard work,for example Jamaican blacks who have spread the gun, drug and gang culture that has made their island unlivable everywhere they have migrated. They are massively over-represented in gun crime statistics, both as shooters and victims.

To give them PC cover, Augimieri smears everyone economically disadvantaged as an incipient criminal unless government pours more money on them (the area in question is a ghetto of public housing and Welfare).

If the black urban community does not change its culture of race grievance, entitlement and allergy to hard work, then there isn't enough money in Canada to fix their problems and the problems they inflict on society at large.

Afonso Henriques said...

Zenster, I really liked your comment.
You see, I come from a country in which a majority of the population came from poverty in the 50s to a "middle class" status that was strong in the 80s.

From what I see, when the people were poorer here, they had a greater sense of morality. They were shocked by theft and things like that.
Nowadays, although we can't seriously say we live a bad life like "we" did before, people don't care about criminality as they once did.

I am not saying that the richer one gets, the less one cares about not commiting crime.
What I am saying is that poverty and crime are not related unless a person has to steal to feed their family.

On another note, Capitalism-Consumerism is also somewhat destructive as people buy now things they don't need purely to show off. There are others who steal in order to show off.

4Symbols said...

"led by a Harvard mis-educated union loving mayor who just ruined ..."

In search of a common denominator and a link to GoV issues as played out in places such as London, Copenhagen and Ontario.

That common denominator would be the university educated elite of both the deluded pseudo right and the suicidal left.

Are universities now as much of a threat to Western Civilisation as the mega mosque in every western city?

Cyrus said...

Afonso, perhaps the crime is not a function of sheer poverty, but of economic disparities. If, as in Portugal, there is endemic poverty then everyone is just as poor-off as anyone else and crime will not be a tremendous benefit. If there are many rich and only some poor though, crime becomes a solution. There is a lack of commonality with the victims making them suitable targets.

Avery Bullard said...

"Jane and Finch" is a black area. It's known throughout Canada as the crime capital of the country. Since the mid 90s Toronto police are not allowed to release racial crime statistics. Blacks and white liberals were too offended by the yearly stats showing that blacks were responsible for over 90% of the city's violent crime despite being less than 10% of the population.

Zenster said...

Afonso Henriques: On another note, Capitalism-Consumerism is also somewhat destructive as people buy now things they don't need purely to show off.

Please do not tar Capitalism with the same brush that consumerism so richly deserves. My prefered term is, "Conspicuous Consumption" (pdf). Designer clothes with labels on the outside are one of the more pervasive forms of this social malaise.

The entire [c]rap music culture is rife with conspicuous consumption in the form of "bling" and the egregious "sonic turf" staked out by car stereos with the sound system wattage of a large auditorium. I have seen vehicles literally being shaken apart by the ubiquitous sub-woofers needed to assure that everyone within a quarter mile is forced to listen to the most monotonous, repetitive, low-minded Thug Life™ glorifying garbage that makes punk rock sound like fine classical music.

Most ironic of all is how the practice of conspicuous consumption is rampant among low income groups. As if wearing $200.00 sneakers changes how your room overlooks the city dump. As the linked article notes:

It is a well-known and well-deplored fact that less well-off people spend more on status-enhancing positional products and save less money as a proportion of their income that richer people.

Functional Capitalism actually encourages saving, prudent investment and, that age-old hallmark of true civilization, deferred gratification. It is the modern culture that admires unearned wealth (e.g., scam artists, lottery winners or gamblers), and unmerited fame (e.g., celebrities famous for being famous or boybands), that feels it is imperative to broadcast their status no matter how vulgar the display.

Understatement is an alien concept to the cult of conspicuous consumption. Mass marketing is pehaps the biggest driver for the pernicious and toxic notion of "Perceived Value". The Grand Master of this ploy was Ron Popeil, whose shoddy, low-budget products were pumped up in apparent value by using the now nefarious Infomercial.

Any legitimate manufacturing enterprise that budgeted the same ratio of advertising costs to actual revenue would go out of business in a New York minute. Popeil used large-block television programming to superimpose artificial value upon his worthless products.

De Beers is another prime example of marketing driven "value". As gem stones go, diamonds are actually rather common and of little real investment value unless it is a large piece of exceptional clarity, cut and color. For example, until recently Japanese marriages did not involve an exchange of rings. Through barrage-style marketing and subtle emotional manipulation De Beers single-handedly made a diamond engagement ring that costs an average of three months' salary into the norm.

Another De Beers master-stroke was the "Tennis Bracelet". This product was specifically developed to unload large quantities of otherwise unmarketable low-quality medium weight stones that could never pass muster in a solitaire setting. Few other items exemplify the destructive intersection of Conspicuous Consumption and marketing controlled perception of worth and, even, self-esteem than diamond jewelry.

That these common gems play such an exaggerated role in the world of rap music, be it in worn items or even the obscene "grilles", is in perfect accord with rap's entire mindset and lifestyle.

It has very little to do with Capitalism and much to do with inadequate and insecure personalities.

laine said...

Cyrus, it is not poverty per se or even discrepancy in economic levels that drives crime. It is culture.

Individuals in some cultures work two jobs when one is not enough to feed their family. Others steal at gunpoint. Lower class blacks prey mainly on other lower class blacks. Until blacks as a group decide they would rather be safer and hang onto their modest belongings than continue the social charade that they are not crime ridden, they will make no progress on their problems. It's like looking for your lost key in the light instead of in the dark where you lost it because that would be hard.