Gun violence has risen dramatically in the Peel Region over the last few years. 54 incidences of firearms being discharged in Brampton and Mississauga were recorded in 2016, according to a Peel Regional Police report. As of October 31, 2017, there has been 56, leading to one gun death a month. Of the 14 murders occurring in the region this year, 9 have been due to guns. Peel Police Chief Jennifer Evans has stated that at least two of these cases are related to gangs and criminal activity. Peel Regional Police are currently trying to investigate these trends and put an end to them.
In Canada, gun violence has seen a 30 percent increase over the past three years, with 2,465 criminal firearms violations in 2016. In the Peel region, there has been an increase of occurrences, victims, and total rounds fired. Ralph Goodale, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, notes that “Too many young people have been killed and too many communities have been marred by gun crime and gun violence,” and that working with communities is the key to reducing gun violence through “greater enforcement, collaboration, and prevention.”
In the wake of the recent high-frequency mass shootings in the U.S., it is disturbing to see this upward trend. Incidences like the Las Vegas shooting committed by Stephen Paddock, who used modifications on civilian weapons to increase the lethality of his firearms which enabled him to kill 58 and wound 540, bring into focus the risks of firearms. The phenomenon is also in Canada: in January 2017 the Quebec City mosque attack ending 8 lives that Sunday evening. The Government of Canada aims to crack down on the combined problems of gun violence and crime by injecting “up to $327.6 million over the next five years, and $100 million annually afterwards, into initiatives that aim to reduce gun crime and criminal gang activities,” as well as a “National Summit on Criminal Guns and Gangs” in March 2018 , according to Insauga. Hopefully, these programs will assist in creating a safer Canadian community.
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