Flushing Sure Beats Brushing

James Mennie’s editorial on Montreal street gangs is dead on, but comes up short in one respect:

Why are the police waiting to address the street gang problem?

Did they not learn their lesson 20 years ago with the Biker Wars? Quebec only threw money at the problem after civilians got caught in the line of fire. Didn’t they learn their lesson? If everyone has seen the problem of teen gangs coming for over 20 years, if we all knew that it was only a matter of time before cultural transmission would turn a curiosity of American violence into a uniquely Canadian problem (hell, even before gangs, I knew in university not to walk Toronto’s Jane-Finch corridor, and that was well before gangs got organized) then why the long wait for preventative action?

“Money also has to be spent on literally hitting the gangs where they live, on educating 7- and
8-year-olds to the dangers of gang life and attempting to corral the poverty-stricken neighbourhoods where street gangs recruit and thrive into joining the fight.”

This is only occurring to you now? It’s too late now. The genie’s out of the bottle.

Everyone knows why the police have stalled. They will wait until the situation gets totally out of hand, then they will form Wolverine II and say they must concentrate all their attention on this new problem, thus excusing them for all the crappy service they’ve provided to us in the interim 20 years.

These things move in cycles, just like your toilet.


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