Scene of Eaton centre Shooting. Eaton Centre shooting, 7 people injured two dead. Saturday June 2, 2012.
Credits: CRAIG ROBERTSON/QMI AGENCY
But to pretend we don't have an alarming problem of violent urban gun crime, fuelled by criminal gangs fighting over drugs and turf, is absurd.
To point this out, as the Sun did Tuesday in quoting a veteran cop, who noted there are times T.O. resembles a "war zone," is to state the obvious.
When bullets fly at the Eaton Centre, with innocent bystanders caught in the cross-fire, that's a war zone.
When innocent children are gunned down at birthday parties, that's a war zone.
It's true most neighbourhoods in Toronto are safe, despite the increasing breakout of gun violence in public places like the Eaton Centre.
But we also know the names of all the so-called "vulnerable" communities in Toronto, where the vast majority of law-abiding citizens live in constant fear of gang violence and death threats if they help police identify the gangsters.
They're living in a war zone, too.
Chief Bill Blair and our police force are doing all they can to address this crisis. But they can't do it alone.
When gangsters are given bail before the police can even complete the paperwork on their cases, that's a symptom of a justice system in denial.
Ditto when judges refuse to use the perfectly adequate laws and sentencing provisions we already have to send a message to gangsters that gun violence will not be tolerated on our streets.
Ditto when politicians insist people shouldn't be worried because "crime is down." Nonsense.
Crime has been going down all over North America since the early 1990s for a purely demographic reason - as our population ages, the percentage of young males most likely to commit crimes decreases.
But that's irrelevant to the reality criminal gangs today routinely engage in violent, urban, public gun battles that Toronto simply did not experience a few decades ago.
In the short term, we need to make our criminal justice system work effectively to deter gangs.
In the long term, we must effectively address the single greatest cause of future gang violence - the breakdown of the black nuclear family and the proliferation of absentee fathers.
But first, we have to get our politically correct politicians to admit there's a problem.