No Good News – Guns, Germs and Lorrie Goldstein

When I sat down to write this, I was worried that I might accidentally diminish the tragedy of the recent shootings in Toronto – horrible, tragic, brutal shootings, in which people lost their lives – but then I realized Mayor Rob Ford and a some op-ed writers had already done so. I’m looking at you, Goldstein.

Certainly, effective social spending, along with hiring more cops and fixing the justice system, is a legitimate response to gang violence.

But McGuinty’s reckless spending means he has run out of our money to enact the very programs he advocates.

Yeah, he gets into Ornge in a column about PEOPLE LOSING THEIR LIVES AS A RESULT OF GUN VIOLENCE. TRAGIC GUN VIOLENCE; and this guy’s campaigning for the Ontario Tories. Tasteful. Good moral sense. Just doing the right thing. He goes on to imply that it’s Toronto’s own fault, somehow. Apparently because we won’t get any favours from our tough-on-crime PM:

Harper seems more at home, personally and intellectually, in his adopted city of Calgary, which he calls the greatest in Canada, as opposed to Toronto, where he was born.

One gets the sense he doesn’t feel any particular urgency to help Liberal Toronto address its gang problem.

Right. We’re gonna get gun-fucked by gangs because we’re liberal. Did I mention that it’s a 100% tactful time to be campaigning for political parties?

Lorrie Goldstein

That’s the least of Toronto’s problems, though. Toronto has managed to package all of our problems into one man: the mayor.

“I don’t care if you’re white, pink, or purple, I don’t care what country you’re from, I don’t care if you’re a Canadian citizen or not. All I’m saying is, if you’re caught with a gun and convicted of a gun crime, I want you out of this city.”

Jesus Christ, that’s so many colours that human beings never are. It’s like he’s invented a new way to be racist- potential races. And what does he mean, “out of the city”? He knows the city doesn’t have closed borders, right? And what if someone’s just caught with a gun before being convicted of a gun crime? Do they get a free pass? Also, what does he mean by “Canadian citizen or not”? Usually, when an adult human being speaks, they have an idea to convey, but this quote from Rob Ford seems more like the impression of a set of ideas flying back and forth, like they were caught in a Tornado.

Ford follows this up by calling NewsTalk 1010, a local radio station, to try and explain himself to News Jockeys John Downs and Ryan Doyle. Now, I’m not a huge fan of Downs and Doyle. I don’t think they’re particularly good interviewers or that the talk radio format is especially good for public discourse, but basically anyone with hearing and a brain could tell that Ford was Crazy-Training this phonecall:

FORD: I want to clarify what John was saying. I have called the Prime Minister to find out if there’s any laws with respect to the immigration and citizenship status in the city. So people are – I don’t care if you’re white, pink, or purple, I don’t care what country you’re from, I don’t care if you’re a Canadian citizen or not. All I’m saying is, if you’re caught with a gun and convicted of a gun crime, I want you out of this city. And the portfolio for a cabinet minister is the Immigration and Citizenship. So I don’t think the other half of my statement came out quite clearly. It has nothing to do, particularly, with immigration, you know, where you come from, which I think John was trying to say. All I want to do is get information, which I’m not an expert on, I’m sure nobody is right now, until we talk to the minister, and I can only get that information to the Prime Minister’s Office. So I put a call in to the PMO to get that information. Maybe, you know, maybe we don’t have a leg to stand on.

Let me explain: Rob Ford had one-quarter of an idea, then stopped, and called the radio station. I’m not saying Ford isn’t upset because I’m sure he is; he’s a human being with empathy and emotions. I’m saying that he had no idea that he had nothing. He could have said “This is unbelievably awful, so awful I can barely wrap my head around it, and I’m searching for answers to make this make sense.” Instead, he said this:

I’m gonna do everything in power to find out, you know, if we can get rid of these people when they get out of jail. I don’t want ‘em living in this city. So I just want to clarify: the same portfolio is called Immigration and Citizenship. It’s not just Immigration.

Surely the man who is mayor of the largest city in Canada – one of the largest in North America – knows how citizenship works and whether or not citizenship decides which city you get to live in? That would only make sense. People voted for this man. People in Toronto felt that he was capable, from knowledge and experience, to run the city of Toronto.

DOWNS: So what do you mean, though? Could you clarify in terms of the citizenship angle here? Are you suggesting that you want to revoke citizenship? Or what is it you’re –

FORD: No. Well maybe I’m – maybe you can clarify things, John, with me. When you have a status in a country, what portfolio does that fall under? Your address, your date of birth, your country of origin – I’m pretty sure it falls under Citizenship.

DOWNS: Well, if you’re Canadian-born?

FORD: Yeah, well, obviously – your status is obviously under “Canadian.”

DOWNS: Well, when would a Canadian citizen, like yourself, for example – you were born in this country –

FORD: Right.

DOWNS: When did you ever deal with Immigration and Citizenship?

FORD: Well – any time. If you’re having problems in another country, they try to look at your status. I’m saying –

DOWNS: That’s Foreign Affairs.

FORD: Okay. Whoever it may be. That’s what I’m saying: maybe I’m not an expert on the ministries. But all I’m saying is, if it’s Foreign Affairs or if it’s Immigration and Citizenship, I want to talk to the PMO and find out, if we can – maybe we can’t – but I’m just trying to clarify that if you’re caught with a gun and convicted of a gun crime, I do not want you living in the city anymore. And to find out that information you have to go through the PMO, and that’s what I’m doing. I’m not an expert in this but I am trying to resolve the issue that’s at hand.

Not an expert?! I would think you wouldn’t even have to be a dabbler to understand that Immigration and Citizenship – let alone Foreign effing Affairs – has nothing to do with what city you get to live in. And can you imagine what that conversation is going to look like?

FORD: Can I kick people out of the city for being convicted of a gun crime?

PMO: No.

FORD: Not even I we, uh, like, I know if you’re in another country, and you shoot someone…

PMO: But this is the same country. You’re in the same country that you committed the crime in.

FORD: Yeah, but we could check ’em out.

PMO: “Check them out”?

FORD: Yeah, you know, like a license plate.

PMO: There is a gun registry if I…

FORD: No, no, Not that! The people! The people!

PMO: I’m not sure I…

FORD: We check out the people. The people with the gun crimes.

I wouldn’t blame you for thinking that the above was an actual conversation because the actual conversation (on the radio where anybody could hear it) went something like this:

FORD:  All I’m saying is, I think people have had enough… I said I’ll do anything in my power to deal with this issue and a lot of people just said, ‘Rob, like, why are they living in the city, no matter who they are?’ I don’t care if you’re Canadian-born, a Canadian citizen, I don’t care if you’re an immigrant, I don’t care if you’re a refugee, it doesn’t matter to me. If you’re convicted of a gun crime, I do not want you living in the city. And the only way I can find out whether that’s legal or not, or whether we can enforce that, is through the PMO. And that’s what I’m doing.

He actually doesn’t know the law. He doesn’t even know close to the law. He doesn’t even know close to what would be a possible law. He’s afraid, he’s angry, he’s been kept in the dark his entire life, and he firmly believes that the answer to “stopping gun crime” is in the sentence “stop gun crime”. Because that’s what he’s been told his entire life. And he listened. Which is how jackals like Lorrie Goldstein stay in business.

About Matt Collins

Matt Collins is a musician (Ninja High School), cartoonist (Sexy), jock (Manhunt), and comedian (Matt Collins) in Toronto, Ontario. Please buy more Matt Collins. [Other Posts By Matt]