It seems that, for yet another year in a row, gun violence has remained one of Toronto's greatest topics of concern. Fourteen separate shootings occurred over the course of a single weekend last month, reopening the discussion about measures to combat Toronto's illegal handgun problem. Participating in the discussion is radio host Yonah Budd, who set out to see just how easy it is to acquire illegal firearms in Toronto.
Budd, the host of "Straight Talk", conducted an experiment this week. According to Newstalk 1010, Budd, who worked for years as a private investigator and prison chaplain, was confident he could lock down a dealer.
It took Budd less than five hours of reaching out to contacts to find a gun-dealer. The host then found himself standing in a Toronto mall parking lot, staring at a selection of guns in a stranger’s car. The deal reportedly went down in broad daylight on a weekday.
"I'm really mind-boggled," Budd told Newstalk 1010. "I really expected to meet in some warehouse area or in some industrial unit, or in some sketchy underground parking lot."
According to CBC, police are fighting a losing battle against criminals, who are constantly coming up with new ways to smuggle guns into Canada’s black market.
NEWSTALK 1010 EXCLUSIVE: How easy is it to get an illegal gun in Toronto? Yonah Budd, host of Straight Talk on NE… https://t.co/jyLhAr7pRY— NEWSTALK1010 (@NEWSTALK1010)1567590591.0
"Gun violence is getting worse, there is more access to firearms," Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders said during an interview with CBC News back in May. "And so, we have to look at the problem from a bigger perspective."
Mayor John Tory has long pushed for a handgun ban to no avail. However, the federal, provincial and municipal governments did announce last month that they would jointly offer $4.5 million to Toronto police to help curb gun crime.