Were the Danforth deaths preventable?
Opinions will be divided over this question for a long time. However, there are some considerations which should be made.
Debate may go on unnecessarily at Toronto city council as it usually does. Too often city councillors see an opportunity for self-inflation rather than municipal improvement. The subway system debates are a prime example. The councillors need to get past political correctness and pass bylaws which have a proven efficacy. They likely will not but will sink into the abyss of self-glorification, self-proclamation and self-inflation.
Questions worth debating with a goal of reaching a decision
1. Gun law restrictions may be of limited value but they must have some value. Reinforce them?
Proven to be an effective deterrent in the past, reinstate it? However, can police officers be trained to use common sense in its application? Can they use carding in a practical way rather than repetitively applying it to the same groups?
3. Social change
Can the public be persuaded to see authority as an ally rather than the enemy? Can the public be persuaded to view legislation as intending to help the situation rather than being socially polarizing and divisive?
4. Authority figures and institutional power
Can people in authority be trained to use restraint and pragmatism rather than institutional power to resolve problem situations and polarizing social groups?
5. Them vs Us
Can people be persuaded to compromise, to try something out, to give new ideas the test of time rather than dig in their heels against every change, every new attempt at solving the problem?
6. Can other professionals such as medical teams, first responders. mental health workers have ideas worth considering?
Some medical professionals have said they are willing to be part of mental health responders who would attend emergencies such as the Danforth one. Obviously, responding after the incident is too late, but can these professionals offer viable considerations that may lead to workable and similar incident reductions? There are volunteers among mental health workers who would participate as part of first responder teams. Incorporate them into the first responder teams.
Lightning strikes haphazardly and the Danforth destruction of lives may have been just that, lightning with innocent victims in the wrong place at the wrong time. Our hearts and our prayers go out to the families of the two victims
We share in their pain and loss.
Let us promise with sincerity and real dedication, promise that this will not happen again is easier said than done. Let us really do something this time, rather than pay lip service to the promise. We can improve life in our city and we owe it to everyone to do so. Let us dedicate ourselves not to the promise but to real action, without debate or equivocation.
In your memory Julianna and Reese, we can do better and, we will.