I remember a confounding demonstration that Michael Moore presented in one of his documentaries to show how different societies provided health care. He seemed to walk up to a stranger’s front door on a Canadian street and unannounced open it, presumably something you could not do today in an American neighbourhood where doors are all safely locked against whatever’s outside. Now this display of Canadian open and fearless neighbourliness made me wonder where in Canada Moore had performed this demonstration; maybe Rosedale, Forest Hill or The Bridal Path, because where I grew up in the city of Toronto, Canada before Mr. Moore had begun documenting societies, I had to carry a key to open my parents’ door; or remain on the street till sunrise. This perspective of Canadian openness at least in the part of Canada, or in the family that I grew up in, seems to parallel what I’ve been hearing almost forever about making laws to control gun violence, a solution I can’t recall ever hearing to stop the increasing number of shootings on Toronto streets where I’ve assumed we’ve had plenty of restrictive gun laws with the only one ever at issue being a federal long gun registry (eventually rescinded) that recorded the names of rifle owners. And despite the seeming increasing nightly reports of shootings in Toronto we hear nothing about increasing legal control of guns; maybe because no one’s ever thought you could get a gun in Toronto; at least that’s what I thought in the years before Mayor Miller’s scathing this is unacceptable response to a publicised Toronto shooting about 10 years and several mayors ago, the first of the many shootings that now seem to happen nightly. One would think that those who say that gun laws could stop someone from shooting a bunch of innocent people in the U.S. might consider the effect of gun laws in Canada where hardly anyone ever got shot on Toronto streets until 10 years ago, maybe the kind of society back then that might have given Michael Moore the false impression that Canadians never locked their front doors. In fact my impression that anyone would allow neighbours easy access to their home seemed to be created by American movies and television shows in the days when one seemed to never hear of mass shootings or bombings of innocent strangers.
The photo below from a June 9, 2012 Toronto Star depicts the aftermath of a shooting in the Toronto Eaton Centre food court.