Police stand in front of the Toronto Eaton Centre shopping mall in Toronto after a shooting, June 2, 2012.
Credits: CRAIG ROBERTSON/QMI AGENCY
We're having another spasm of gang and gun violence in Toronto, but of course politicians don't want to address the biggest cause of it.
That's the breakdown of the black nuclear family and the reality of absentee black fathers, many of whom impregnate as many willing women as they can.
Kids growing up in poverty without dads are the single greatest future recruitment mechanism for the gangs, the single greatest predictor of future violent urban street crime.
But politicians, so politically correct they're in danger of disappearing up their own behinds, ignore this.
Instead we get pointless calls for handgun bans. Even bullet bans. Because in their blinkered view of the world, talking honestly about gang violence, which is primarily black-on-black violence, is racist.
Except what's really racist is to consign entire sections of Toronto, or any city, to the terrorism of criminal gangs, without doing everything possible to combat it.
It's racist because most of the victims of black gangs aren't whites, although the random gun violence is increasingly claiming innocent victims of every race, creed and colour, when it bursts into public settings like crowded, downtown malls.
Most of the victims are black, including the vast majority of law-abiding, decent people forced by economic circumstances to live in the same communities as the gangs, where they're terrorized by what, to them, is an occupying army.
One problem is the chronic unwillingness of too many judges to use the perfectly adequate laws and sentencing provisions we already have - we don't need new ones - to address violent urban street crime.
Another is the unwillingness of too many politicians to spend the public money needed to ensure there are enough prosecutors, courts, detention facilities and prisons, so that the system doesn't have to constantly rely on easy bail, early parole and plea bargains to avoid collapsing from overcrowding.
But even if we dramatically increased the rate of incarceration of gang members, that won't curtail the next generation coming up behind them, because of the breakdown of the black nuclear family.
I'd invest public funding not into any more academic studies of the problem - we know what the problem is - but into black, socially conservative, evangelical Christian churches who preach and teach the real remedies to black crime.
Sexual restraint. Fidelity. Delayed gratification. Self esteem. Family and financial planning.
Many of these churches provide these programs on their own, but lack the necessary resources to make a societal difference.
Black preachers know what their communities need, and are unafraid to say it, because they're the ones who have to deliver the funeral eulogies for the gangsters and their victims.
The rest of us need to stop pretending racism plays no part in this crisis, because it does.
It starts with decent kids living in the communities dominated by the gangs having to lie about where they live, even to apply for minimum wage, after-school jobs, because otherwise employers won't even look at their applications.
We should allow school boards to tax again, subject to annual audits proving the money raised is being invested in effective programs to bolster student performance in our most vulnerable communities.
But the underlying choice is simple.
We can do the real work, or we can pretend banning bullets is the answer.