“We are a community not by choice.”
That sentiment was heard as the community put their heads together in the fight against gun violence recently at Scarborough Civic Centre.
UMOVE (Mothers Opposing Violence Everywhere) and Zero Gun Violence Movement (ZGVM) held a Parents Conference with leading members of the community including former deputy chief Forde, Audette Shephard, Stephen Linton, Donna Harrow and Louis March.
“There is a story to tell behind every gun shot fired – are we ready to listen to the full story? Because that is where you will find the solution to gun violence,” March, leader of ZGVM, lamented.
March told The Camera, “The Zero Gun Violence Movement takes a crucial message of need for collaboration, education and youth engagement, in order to reduce gun violence and help build healthy communities across the city.”
They started with a concept and a commitment after the Danzig and Eaton Centre shootings.
Gun violence this year, particularly among gangs, has caused Toronto Mayor John Tory and Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders to both try to assure the public that the city is still essentially safe and that police are tackling the problem.
March agreed with prominent lawyer Ernest Guiste who wrote “Gun violence is linked to the absence of equality of opportunity.”
According to Guiste, “Gun violence in Toronto is the manifestation of the poor policy decisions which our policy makers have continued to make in spite of the overwhelming evidence that there is a glaring absence of equality of opportunity for the vast majority of Toronto’s African-Canadians.”
How can you get involved? “Join the ZGVM outreach team at www.zerogunviolence-movement.com.
Forde said UMOVE was formed by a group of mothers who have each lost a child to a senseless act of violence, along with supporting members of the community.
He noted the issue of gun violence embraces the deepest hopes of all people and remains humanity’s guiding inspiration.