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Paul Mitchinson is a part-time writer and a full-time father of two. He writes when he can. » more about me

Drug gangs in Toronto have recently adopted the tactic of spraying gunfire into crowds. The intended target might or might not be hit, but innocent bystanders generally get mown down. The latest victim was a four-year-old boy who remains hospitalized after being struck in the leg by two “stray” bullets.

The Toronto Star seems perplexed by this phenomenon. So they went straight to the experts to clear up the mystery of, to quote their August 6th headline, “Why gunmen choose to fire into a crowd.”

Heading the list of causes are “low self-control,” “psychopathic behaviour,” and the “devaluing” of human life.

Yes, it’s true. Shocking, I know, but true. Thank God for experts.

There are no easy answers to explain the motivation or mindset of a gunman who appears to feel no compunction about possibly injuring innocent bystanders, said Scot Wortley, professor at the University of Toronto’s Centre of Criminology.

Many criminals don’t perceive the long-term consequences of their actions, he said. They’re angry, they want to do harm and they don’t think about who will get hurt in the heat of the moment when they are driven to act.

“It’s a devaluing of those they shoot and their own life,” he said.

[Dr. Mark] Berber suggested that this behaviour might be caused by a lack of bonding between the mother and child and an absent or transient father. The child in turn may have trouble attaching to adults and have a low level of tolerance for frustration, and a sense of self-importance.

Remember, you read it here first.

One Response to “Stupid Questions, Volume 1, No. 1”

  1. Is ‘dreg’ spelled with one ‘g’ or two? A personal reply would be greatly appreciated…

    Andrew Port