Bang Bang

On 6:30 PM Saturday in Toronto, at the Eaton Center food court, a gangbanger with a gun opened fire, killing one of his intended targets, injuring another, and hitting bystanders, including a 13 year-old boy who was shot in the head.

Last Wednesday morning, a mentally ill 40 year-old man with two guns killed four people in a cafe, then killed a woman, took her SUV, and finally killed himself as police closed in.

Both of these shootings took place in “decent neighborhoods” where “average people” gather. And, yeah, I know, Canada has tougher gun laws.






82 replies
  1. 1
    Metrosexual Black AbeJ says:

    It happened there because not enough bystanders were armed. That’s why things like that happen so much less often in the United States.

  2. 2
    Ohmmade says:

    What is the point of this post? Not sure I’m following.

  3. 3
    liberal says:

    Actually, I thought one point of Michael Moore’s “Columbine” movie was that despite gun laws in Canada not being super tight, they had a lot less gun violence. (That’s only IIRC, but my recall is that it was one of the main reasons it was hard to construe the film as “anti-gun”.)

  4. 4
    Corner Stone says:

    Cross border -drone- DRONE strikes. It’s the only way to keep us safe from this kind of threat.

  5. 5
    Suffern ACE says:

    Well, they also have a disembowling, body parts mailing, kitten killing adult film performer. So what’s the point again?

  6. 6
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Yes, Canada has very strict anti-gun laws, but I assume criminals still smuggle guns into the country (probably via the US border).

  7. 7
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Ohmmade: Guns are bad. That seems to be the only point.

  8. 8
    salvage says:

    No, Canada does not have “tougher” gun laws, we have sensible regulation. If I want to get a gun of any kind from concealed to military I can.

  9. 9
    Chris says:

    @liberal:

    Last time we had this discussion, I remember a canuck here saying that Canada had a thriving gun culture just like the U. S. – it just wasn’t the obsessive, borderline pornographic fetish it was in America.

  10. 10
    Ivan Ivanovich Renko says:

    we have sensible regulation

    FROM MY COLD DEAD HANDS! FREEDOOOMMMMMMMM!!!!

  11. 11
    FERD of the nort says:

    Toronto: where was the gun from?
    Handguns are illegal in Canada, so where did it come from?
    Buffalo or Detroit. Most illegal guns in Canada come from the US. Laws are correct. But law-breakers will break laws.

    More guns is not thus answer. Guns are tools that project injury. A shoot out would simply mean more injury. Not the idea the gun powder addicts want to have out there.

    Guns are a drug. Gun powder addicts need the rush of the smell of their bullets going off to get off. The sensual dependency the guns generate in some… Well there is areason the little head is bullet shaped I guess.

  12. 12
    gaz says:

    Maybe when Reagan decided to slash funding for programs designed to treat and house the mentally ill it was kind of a Bad Thing(TM)

    Maybe the free for all nature of “gun shows” is also a Bad Thing(TM)

    Meet our chickens, coming home to roost.

  13. 13
    jonas says:

    Canada requires gun owners to be licensed, but it’s not that hard to get a gun if you really want one. The bigger issue is the gang problem in urban centers like Toronto — there’s a large immigrant underclass, a bit like in the Parisian banlieux, that get sucked into a cycle of poverty and violence on the city’s margins.

  14. 14
    Cacti says:

    The Seattle shooter also had a concealed-carry permit.

    In other words, he was one of those “law-abiding gun owners” that the NRA tells me I have no reason to fear.

  15. 15
    FERD of the nort says:

    We have regulation and restriction. Concealed or open carry of hand guns is so highly restricted that most people would not qualify and should take years – unless a gun is an employment element for certain highly circumscribed jobs. Admitted car guard being the primary one. No civillian security guard is permitted to have them.

  16. 16
    SatanicPanic says:

    But cars kill more people so you should ban cars. Guns don’t kill people, cars do.

  17. 17
    Raven says:

    @Patricia Kayden: I doubt if they come in through the fucking Hudson Bay.

  18. 18
    Ohmmade says:

    I think I’m starting to understand this post.

    Two bad things happened in Canada. Therefor ANY guns represent horrible violence. People shouldn’t have any access to guns, because people could do bad things.

    Wait. Still not understanding. Mistermix, if you have a point just make it. Using two bad-thing incidents to represent your POV instead of, you know, words, is confusing.

  19. 19

    @Cacti: His father tried to get his concealed carry permit revoked, did you know? Link. There were clear signs the shooter was a violence risk.

    BTW, it is likely I had met the woman who he shot during the theft of her SUV. I am one croak away from both of the musicians.

  20. 20
    FERD of the nort says:

    Armored guard : damned auto correct

  21. 21
    mistermix says:

    @Ohmmade: The second incident happened in Seattle. Since you seem a little slow, I’ll explain how this works. The blue parts of the post are links, which go other places on the Internet, and serve to increase your understanding of the post. To get to them, you move the little arrow that your mouse controls, and click when the arrow is over the blue text. It’s a little like magic, try it sometime.

  22. 22
    Brachiator says:

    On 6:30 PM Saturday in Toronto, at the Eaton Center food court, a gangbanger with a gun opened fire, killing one of his intended targets, injuring another, and hitting bystanders, including a 13 year-old boy who was shot in the head.

    The follow up story about the arrest of a suspect notes that whether the shooting was gang related has not been determined.

    I’m not sure where mistermix’s certainty about the shooter comes from.

    http://www.thestar.com/news/cr.....police-say

  23. 23
    Amir Khalid says:

    When you hear of a gangbanger with a gun, you tend to just shrug. What’s surprising about a criminal with a gun? And it’s hard to infer from this incident that Canada might be lax about controlling guns.

    But the American, just south of the border in Seattle — why wasn’t he required to turn in his gun when he was diagnosed? That would seem a sensible precaution with mental illness, especially where the sufferer might be at risk of harming himself or others.

    Is there a Constitutional Reason* why Americans who want guns aren’t required to pass a gun-safety test and a psych evaluation before they’re allowed to possess a firearm?

    (* Initial caps used on purpose)

  24. 24
    Crusty Dem says:

    @mistermix: fucking funny.

  25. 25
    Crusty Dem says:

    @Amir Khalid: If crazy people can’t have guns, (insert idiotic NRA boilerplate here)..

  26. 26
    Craig says:

    Access to firearms makes the problem worse, but some subcultures resort to guns for trivial personal disputes more than others:

    2.2 per 100,000 non-Hispanic white males died from homicide using firearms in the US 2001 (National Vital Statistics Report, CDC, 2003)

    28.2 per 100,000 non-Hispanic black males died from homicide using firearms in the US 2001 (National Vital Statistics Report, CDC, 2003)

    The firearms homicide rate for black males is 13 times greater than that of white males. 13 TIMES greater, not 13% greater.

  27. 27
    Brachiator says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    But the American, just south of the border in Seattle — why wasn’t he required to turn in his gun when he was diagnosed?

    I think the general sentiment among some conservatives is that it would be crazy for him to give up his gun.

  28. 28
    Cain says:

    one day some crazy dude is going to shoot up a NRA office… I hope it never happens but with the way we don’t treat mental health properly such things have a chance of happening.

  29. 29
    gaz says:

    @Craig: Welcome to the problems of the generationally marginalized poor and otherwise disenfranchised.

    ETA: This is what happens when you relegate an entire population group to the sidelines of a society that they can see, but are denied full membership to.

  30. 30
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Craig: Maybe we should only allow white people to own guns. No, white males. No, white, straight, christian males.

  31. 31
    jonas says:

    @Cain: Yeah, but they’d all be armed themselves, so they would totally take the guy out before he even got his finger near the trigger. Or so they think in their fevered masturbatory fantasies…

  32. 32
    mistermix says:

    @Brachiator: I should have said “suspected gangbanger”.

  33. 33
    Craig says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    Maybe we should only allow white people to own guns. No, white males. No, white, straight, christian males.

    If that is the way you interpret my previous comment then you should take a logic class.

  34. 34
    hrprogressive says:

    Still not a reason to ban civilians from owning guns.

  35. 35
    gaz says:

    @SatanicPanic: A white person killed my friends a few years ago in seattle, before turning the gun on himself. He was mentally ill, and his guns were “legal”. He had even gotten himself in trouble in Montana previously by discharging his firearms at an indoor art exhibition. He used the very same guns to kill my friends.

    Meet Kyle Huff

    ETA: The guy further down that link (with the red hair, deejaying) was one of my closest friends. I went to school with him. I have some of his ashes.

  36. 36
    scav says:

    @Craig: There might be a bit apples and oranges level comparison level there. If I remember correctly, southern white culture was more prone to use guns and settle things between involving honor violently so that stats would be different if you confined it to the south. There are also class differences, so you’d get different numbers if you compare poor whites and poor blacks, etc. etc. Not saying there isn’t a difference, just that the dramatic radio voice for 13 times might be entirely overstated.

  37. 37
    Craig says:

    @gaz:

    This is what happens when you relegate an entire population group to the sidelines of a society that they can see, but are denied full membership to.

    You can blame the firearms death rate of young, black males on whomever you want, but unfortunately that will not solve the problem.

  38. 38
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Craig: It’s totally possible that I didn’t understand and chose to view your comment in the least favorable light (wouldn’t be the first time). Where did I go wrong?

  39. 39
    gaz says:

    @Craig: Neither will being a blind privileged idiot.

  40. 40
    Craig says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    It’s totally possible that I didn’t understand and chose to view your comment in the least favorable light (wouldn’t be the first time). Where did I go wrong?

    I believe that you went wrong when you inferred that I was suggesting that whites be allowed to own a firearm, but blacks be disallowed, which is not even remotely true. If you want to have a civilized conversation then don’t put words in my mouth.

  41. 41
    Craig says:

    @gaz:

    Neither will being a blind privileged idiot.

    Bravely spoken.

  42. 42
    gaz says:

    @SatanicPanic: He’s race-trolling. That post was just him dipping his toes in. Seen it to many times too believe otherwise. You don’t lead in with a post like that without some seriously fucked motivations.

  43. 43
    PIGL says:

    @Chris: exactly.

  44. 44
    SatanicPanic says:

    @gaz: I was snarking. I may have misinterpreted Craig’s comment, but there seems to be a sizeable number of Republican gun-owners who want total freedom to own guns for white males, but I doubt they would be happy if non-approved (ie not Herman Cain) non whites had guns too.

  45. 45
    gaz says:

    @SatanicPanic: I know you were snarking. My responses to you were tangentially directed at the thread as well.

    ETA: Probably also a disclaimer about my sensitivity on the topic. It still hurts.

  46. 46
    gaz says:

    @Craig: Speaking the truth about privilege sometimes takes bravery.

  47. 47
    Roger Moore says:

    @Craig:

    If you want to have a civilized conversation then don’t put words in my mouth.

    If you don’t want people to infer the wrong thing from what you’re saying, perhaps you should come right out and say it. What do you think is the real solution to the problem of African American gun violence?

  48. 48
    SatanicPanic says:

    @gaz: Oh, sometimes so much snark goes on here I lose track. That really sucks about your friends. I’m not totally anti-gun, but the way guns are treated in our society is really disturbing.

    ETA- and by that I mean the idea that everyone, regardless of any good sense, should have one.

  49. 49
    gaz says:

    @SatanicPanic: I agree totally.

  50. 50
    Craig says:

    @gaz:

    Speaking the truth about privilege sometimes takes bravery.

    Actually calling someone an idiot over the internet is the opposite of bravery. And increasing the animosity level on this thread only serves to show that both parties in this country have lost their bearings. But ya’ll continue with the taunts. I have lunch to make.

  51. 51
    gaz says:

    @Roger Moore: Yeah. Total Bull-In-A-China shop approach to a sensitive and potentially hurtful topic. Mighty white of him.

  52. 52
    scav says:

    And, for that matter, given the extreme violence of Chicago in the 30s, how should they have addressed the problem of Caucaso-American gun violence and law-breaking?

  53. 53
    gaz says:

    @Craig: I’ll call you an idiot for failing to realize how your post would be hurtful and mendacious. If you had a modicum of self-awareness you’d get that. But you don’t. Ergo, you are an idiot. The calculus is pretty straightforward.

  54. 54
    TK421 says:

    Did you hear about the thug who killed a man, then waited for his family to gather to mourn then shot at the mourners?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/worl.....2-pakistan

  55. 55
    gaz says:

    @Craig:

    1. It has nothing to do with political parties. It has everything to do with violence. You chose to make it about race, so you’re the one that raised the animosity level of this thread. Personal Responsibility, how does it fucking work?

    2. Rest assured, I’d call you an idiot to your face as well. If you don’t know that, you don’t know me.

  56. 56
    SatanicPanic says:

    @gaz: Craig is so smart, and his discourse is so high level that you can hardly expect us dummies to understand it. He doesn’t want to play with us anymore and is going home to make lunch.

  57. 57
    gaz says:

    @SatanicPanic: Yeah. Maybe while he’s makin’ a sammich he can get himself an edumacation as well.

  58. 58
    flukebucket says:

    I would like to know how the majority of gun enthusiasts see the Zimmerman / Martin incident?

    I am from Georgia so most of the gun guys that I know think Martin got what was coming to him.

    I try to argue with them that the incident in no way is good for organizations like the NRA but they disagree because somehow they think it proves that you have to have guns to be able to protect yourself.

    I would be interested to know what gun folks outside the south think.

  59. 59
    giltay says:

    My partner was thinking of going to the Eaton Centre on Saturday, but was distracted by “shiny things” on Queen West. She’s rather shaken, and I’m not sure if she’s more scared of being shot or being injured in the panic after the shooting.

    I wouldn’t call Yonge Street a “decent neighbourhood”. It’s not a bad neighbourhood by any means, but it isn’t a particularly good one.

    The reason this made the news is because it happens so rarely. Toronto is about 2.5 million people; we had 50 homicides last year.

  60. 60
    gaz says:

    @flukebucket: Gun culture is alive and well in my very liberal coastal enclave. There’s a reason we have the phrase “Gun-Toting-Liberal”. Most of the people I know that know how to handle guns well are first and foremost, advocates of responsible gun ownership. To the point that you’d almost never see them handle a gun without using the word “responsibility”

  61. 61
    somegayname says:

    @SatanicPanic: This definitely was the case 50 years ago. The southeast often require local law enforcement [white sheriff] to sign off on handgun purchases. California had a bit of a panic after the Black Panthers embraced the second amendment. Thanks for gun control, Reagan!. Fortunately, I’d guess only about 27% of gun owners hold these views in 2012.

  62. 62
    gaz says:

    @somegayname: Your name is a guy that enjoys having sex with other men? How does that even work?

  63. 63
    gaz says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Is there a Constitutional Reason* why Americans who want guns aren’t required to pass a gun-safety test and a psych evaluation before they’re allowed to possess a firearm?

    No, there is no Constitutional justification for that. If anything there’s a Constitutional justification against it (well regulated clause of the 2nd ammendment in the Bill of Rights – although that’s of course subject to interpretation)

    The primary reason this goes on is
    1. Gun Lobbies
    2. Lack of funding for enforcement and rigorous background checks or followups

    ETA: I’d suggest that those two things are related.

  64. 64
    Trakker says:

    Sadly, in 2009 ten states had more shooting deaths than motor vehicle deaths. Billions have been spent making cars safer while at the same time we have made it easier for the angry, the paranoid, and the deranged to own and carry guns.

  65. 65
    somegayname says:

    @gaz
    A handle I thought clever as a 13 year old on BBSs in the early 90’s. I really should abandon it, but it holds sentimental value.

  66. 66
    Corner Stone says:

    @TK421: A story so well told they already came out with a sequel:
    Drone blitz on Pakistan enters third straight day
    “Up to 27 people have died in strikes that began on Saturday as US shows no signs of bowing to Pakistani objections”

  67. 67
    gaz says:

    @somegayname: ahh. I kind of wondered if you were 13. Just sayin’ =)

    It’s not the most offensive thing in the world, but it’s juvenile.

    Although considering my nick is a cartoon character from a nickelodeon show, I guess mine is pretty juvenile as well. cheers =)

  68. 68
    SatanicPanic says:

    @somegayname: Great article. Shocked that Reagan said this:

    Governor Reagan told reporters that afternoon that he saw “no reason why on the street today a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons.” He called guns a “ridiculous way to solve problems that have to be solved among people of good will.”

  69. 69
    Someguy says:

    Canada has tougher gun laws.

    Not tough enough.

  70. 70
    muddy says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    But cars kill more people so you should ban cars. Guns don’t kill people, cars do.

    But cars are at least registered and you have to carry liability insurance. I never see why this is asking too much when it comes to guns.

  71. 71
    somegayname says:

    @Trakker: Well, our population of angry, desperate and deranged has been increasing at a rapid pace since 2008. Someone should give some free money to rich people and disarm the poors, and soon.

  72. 72
    SatanicPanic says:

    @muddy: I was snarking. I hear that all the time from gun owners and I think it’s the worst of their many bad arguments. I feel like it defeats the point of snark to label it as snark, so I don’t and often get misunderstood.

  73. 73
    gaz says:

    @Someguy: When Moore made Bowling for Columbine, he repeatedly raised questions about why other societies with a thriving gun culture are not as prone to gun-based-homicide. He cited Canada as his major example.

    I think that while the question itself is fraught with a myriad of complex factors, there’s one that I see that stands out above the rest. (Keep in mind I’m speaking of the time in which BFC was created, not necessarily now).

    Canada has (had?) a robust social safety net and an amount of wealth equality that we could only dream of. I’m not saying that Canada’s doesn’t have an underclass, nor am I attempting to stratify the poor, but the poor in the US have (had?) it rough compared to Canada. We’ve institutionally disenfranchised and marginalized vast swaths of our people. That in a country that is supposed to be the wealthiest in the world, is shameful. We do not have class mobility or even a basic level of comfort in our country for the poorest among us. At least not at a level commensurate with our wealth. We are a nation that comforts the comfortable and afflicts the afflicted rather than the other way around. History tells us that this causes unrest and discord. Add lax gun regulations to the mix, stir in our peculiar brand of racism, our abandonment of the mentally ill, and presto: Instant disaster!

  74. 74
    muddy says:

    @SatanicPanic: Sorry, I should have known that, from you.

    They always say guns can’t be registered because then the gov’t has a list of whom to come and confiscate from, come the revolution. In case of revolution I’d rather have the car, could convert it to biofuels or something. Will the gov’t come and confiscate their cars, they never worry about that.

  75. 75
    Comrade Mary says:

    The Eaton Centre suspect wasn’t merely arrested: he turned himself in very early this morning.

    Police “sources” say that the shooting resulted from a planned gang discussion over turf that went awry:

    Accompanied by his lawyer, the suspect, a man in his early 20s, turned himself in at downtown’s 52 Division early Monday, at about 2:30 a.m.
    __
    News of his arrest capped an edgy 36 hours in Toronto after a gunman opened fire in the mall’s crowded food court, early Saturday evening. One man, Ahmed Hassan, 24, was killed and six others hit by bullets.
    __
    The suspect and Mr. Hassan were meeting at the food court to discuss “turf arrangement” but matters got out of hand and shots were fired, a source said.

  76. 76
    elmo says:

    @flukebucket:

    I would be interested to know what gun folks outside the south think.

    I don’t know that I count as a “gun enthusiast:” I consider them tools that are handy to keep around the house, but I don’t collect them or peruse magazines about them or anything of that nature. But I do keep guns, and I have used a gun in self-defense (without firing it), so I think in this crowd I count.

    I think what happened between Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman was definitely Zimmerman’s fault, and definitely something he should go to jail for. But I don’t think it was second-degree murder.

    I think Zimmerman had zero business chasing an innocent teenager at all, let alone doing so with a gun in his waistband. Doing so with the gun adds a level of additional culpability, because what he’s done is put himself in a situation where he’s more likely to feel so threatened that he has to kill another human being. The whole point of carrying, if you carry (I don’t) is to be able to avoidperil and harm to yourself. You go off chasing down somebody because he looks suspicious, you’ve just deliberately put yourself in a situation you’ve got no business being in, and you’ve put in motion a chain of events that, if you weren’tarmed, would be a threat mainly to yourself, but since you are armed, are a threat to those around you.

    If that makes any sense.

    That said, I don’t call it murder, because I believe he precipitated a fight that he ended up losing. I could be wrong, certainly. He could have assaulted Martin, or threatened him with the gun, before being bested. But from what I’ve read, I think he attempted to grab Martin’s arm, and Martin decked him and then kept hitting him when he was on the ground.

    It’s the “kept hitting while he was on the ground” that turns this into manslaughter. If he was decked and then shot Martin immediately, that’s murder. I don’t think that’s what happened. I don’t have any reason to disbelieve the witness who is quoted as saying Martin was straddling Zimmerman and hitting him, and the evidence report indicates that the bullet wound and burns on the jacket are consistent with a close-up shot.

    Does that answer your question?

  77. 77
    Nemesis says:

    @gaz: Well said, indeed.

    Another factor is that Canada, through the years, as a soverign country, has not exhibited itself to be a rampant imperialist menace to the rest of the world, unlike our good lo’ US of A. We are and have been a violent nation since our ceration as a nation. When faced with problems around the globe, the US response is to unilaterally act out though violence.

    And then we ponder whay oh why we are so violent as a people. We are inculcated from birth that violence works to achieve important goals.

    Seems pretty clear to me…

  78. 78
    Ohmmade says:

    @mistermix: Aww. Someone’s fee-fees are hurt, so instead of explaining the point of this post he would rather insult my intelligence. That’s sad. I like reading your posts and you’re better than that.

  79. 79
    uptown says:

    Sadly, the Seattle shooting wasn’t our first.

    Last week, a man died when a stray bullet struck him as he and his family drove down a Seattle street. In late April, a woman died of injuries suffered in an apparently random drive-by shooting near downtown.
    No arrests have been made in either of those fatalities.
    On Saturday, a bystander was wounded near the iconic Space Needle when he was struck by a bullet allegedly fired by a gang member involved in a dispute with another man, authorities said.
    Later that night, about 60 shots were fired in drive-by shootings at four houses. No one was hit.

  80. 80
    uptown says:

    @elmo:

    Martin was defending himself from Zimmerman, Zimmerman used his gun while committing a crime.

  81. 81
    flukebucket says:

    @elmo:

    Does that answer your question?

    Yes and thank you. I have found it very difficult to discuss that incident with the people I am normally surrounded by because as I said they feel like Martin got what he deserved because he was “probably up to something”.

    It makes me sad and sick to hear somebody say that.

  82. 82

    @Amir Khalid: He was never formally diagnosed with mental illness. Many mentally ill Americans aren’t.

    US law is not universal on firearms ownership; it varies by state and sometimes city. Washington state law is a “shall issue” law; the only mental disabilities that allow the authorities not to grant the permit are major ones that involve institutionalization, and Ian Stawicki was never institutionalized.

    Some commentary at the LA Times: http://www.latimes.com/news/op.....4209.story

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