You know Halifax has an image problem when your average Tim on the street is
unfazed by a shooting in broad daylight on one of the city's busiest
Tim is Tim McGowan, a construction worker helping to renovate the old
Blockbuster video store on Quinpool Road.
When I spoke with Tim on Thursday afternoon, he had just watched police
cars screaming down the road as officers, with their weapons drawn, pulled over
a late-model Cadillac. Moments earlier, the passenger in that car was shot, just
a few blocks up the road, steps away from a busy MacDonalds. Police say several
shots were fired.
Tim stood just feet away as police arrested the driver, while paramedics
took his passenger to the hospital.
When I suggested to Tim that must have been a pretty scary moment, he
replied, "I live in the north end of Halifax, so this is not a new thing to me. This happens far too often in this city."
Tim wasn't the only one with a "just another day in Halifax" reaction.
Check out this comment on Twitter: "Gun shots midday in Halifax? Gosh! Is
it Thursday again already?"
Sarcastic? Absolutely. But like all good sarcasm it cuts pretty close to
CBC news has been tracking gun violence
So far this year, there
have been 22 "shots fired" incidents in the municipality. In 2011, there were
75. That's one shooting every 4.8 days.
Police say virtually all the shootings are connected to drugs and other
criminal activities. I guess that's supposed to make us feel better; after all
it's just thugs shooting at thugs.
The problem is they're playing their gangster games on our streets.
We've already seen one bystander caught in the crossfire
. In April, Maurice
Sneddon, a military police officer and Afghanistan veteran, was shot while
waiting for a haircut in a barbershop in Fairview (a second man, who police say
was the intended target, was also shot.)
Think about that for a second. Sneddon survives two tours of duty in one of
the most dangerous places on the planet, only to be shot by some jacked-up punk
who chose a crowded barbershop, on a Saturday afternoon, to try to settle a score.
Fortunately, Sneddon, who was shot in the leg, is expected to see a full
recovery. The next innocent victim may not be so "lucky".