EDITORIAL: Gun violence in Toronto has left 14-year-old girl with life threatening injuries

by | Feb 19, 2021 | Editorial

Her father holding her as tightly as possible to stop the bleeding is what saved his 14-year-old daughter’s life, according to paramedics and doctors. His child was gravely wounded after being shot in the head.

Alyssa Driscol was rushed to the infirmary Feb. 12 after a shooting in an apartment building at 25 Stong Court in the Jane Street and Finch Avenue area.

Information is still being handled delicately as much is not known as to what happened the night of the shooting. And while a lot of information has not been disclosed, her father Brandon said she is recovering and has been released from the ICU, but will still need medical attention.

“She’s a warrior,” he told reporters. “I thank God. It’s a miracle,”

It could have happened to anyone in the apartment, in the building in the neighbourhood. It could have even happened to one of Humber’s Et Cetera staff members who grew up in the same building if they not had moved due to their parent’s concerns about the area’s bad reputation in the 2010s.

This time it happened to a 14-year-old girl who had barely begun her life. She was the victim of negligence and ignorance as Driscol’s mother had said she was “devastated” in which no weaponry should have been in the household.

Toronto Police arrested a 17-year-old male four days after the shooting that apparently occurred in an apartment. Police allege a group of young people were inside the unit of an apartment building when a firearm was discharged. The 14-year-old was struck in the head and the suspect and others fled, police said.

To say the worst is behind the family would be a long stretch as many questions are still left unanswered. Police report Alyssa suffered life-altering injuries.

Gun violence in the Jane and Finch area is nothing new. And for the residents of 25 Stong Court, the level of danger has risen and may now have them on high alert.

This year has just started and four shootings and two murders were recorded in 31 Division, the police precinct where Stong is, police report.

In 2017 and 2018, two separate pieces of gun legislation were passed to improve the safety of Canadians by cracking down on the amount of gun violence recorded in each province.

As a province, a lot more needs to be done in regard to the lack of gun control. And while Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced new gun legislation to create safer communities by increasing the penalty for smuggling and trafficking firearms, what’s to stop another incident like this from happening when nothing seems to be changing?

“Getting these weapons off our streets and out of the hands of criminals means less violence, and that means safer cities and communities,” Trudeau told reporters.

We are only two months into the new year, but how many lives will have to be at risk or lost before an effective means to ending gun violence comes to pass?