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July 19, 2010

Gun-Toting 12-Year-Old in Toronto

Recently in Toronto, a 12-year-old boy was arrested on charges of gun possession. Yes, 12 years old, and yes, gun possession. The best part of the story, however, is that this is not this youth’s first time being charged with this. This youth already had charges against him stemming from earlier incidents of gun possession, and was already on probation.

Are you kidding me? The story informed readers that it wasn’t even just one previous charge; it was previous charges, as in more than one incident. At 12 years old, this person already has a sheet, a history with the local police, and apparently a thing for weapons.

Please, oh please, be gentle with him; he doesn’t know any better! He’s only 12! Don’t put him in jail! Don’t ruin his life! He needs to be at home, where the responsible adults are! He needs a chance to grow up and turn his life around!

Give me a break, bleeding hearts. This isn’t a kid who made one mistake, one time. This is a person who is making the same mistake, multiple times over. This is a person who was arrested riding his bike through a residential neighbourhood, armed with a gun. A loaded gun, in fact. This is a person who is known to the police for incidents related to gun possession, assault, and robbery. The fact that he’s 12 is irrelevant.

When are we going to learn? When are we Canadians going to actually realize that 12-year-olds  are old enough to know the difference between right and wrong? When are we Canadians going to demand a justice system that looks out for the rights of the innocents, as opposed to the rights of the guilty? Why do we all have to watch our backs for flying bullets, while those pulling the triggers walk free?

Canada is a criminal’s heaven, where they get multiple chances to break the law and endanger the law-abiding citizens, for fear of permanently scarring their psyches or cutting them off from the chance to make something of themselves. God forbid! God forbid we punish someone for doing the wrong thing!

If this 12-year-old is out running the streets with loaded weapons, clearly home is not the place for him to be. It’s quite obvious that whoever is supposed to responsible for him (Mom? Dad? Aunts? Uncles?) isn’t capable of doing so. It’s also quite clear that this criminal (for yes, that is what he is, whether he is 12 or 35) has not learned from his past mistakes, for he is still out on our streets, lauging in the face of the law.

This is not a kid caught spray-painting an overpass or throwing rocks through a window. This is not about a youth needing a chance to redirect his energy and fill is free time. This is a person, armed and potentially dangerous, over and over breaking the law. The last thing he needs is another chance. The first thing he need is a swift kick in the ass, followed by some time behind bars, and yes, a mark on his permanent record. He made his bed, let him lie in it; far from the comforts of home, and out of our backyards.

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