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We in Thames Centre have for the most part were immune to the horrendous travesties in the world around us. But, every day we are faced with yet another slaughter of innocent people in Syria. Our US neighbors to the South have had mass school shootings such as Columbine, Sandyhook and Parkland Florida We have recently seen the scentless carnage of drivers of delivery vans killing innocent people
in Berlin, Nice France and North London England. A 67 year old shooter killed 58 and injured 851 people at a concert in Las Vegas.

For the most part we Canadians have felt that we have had a protective blanket cocoon environment
that has kept us away from harms way.

That all ended at Yonge and Finch Streets in Toronto on a beautiful sunny day on Monday April 23rd. At 1.10 a rented delivery van driven by Alex Minassian, a 25 year old Seneca college student who intentionally drove on to the sidewalk targeting his victims for seven terrifying minutes.

The victims of the rampage along Yonge Street-10 dead and 14 injured- were predominately women aged from their mid twenties to their eightes the police reported.

If the killing spree had taken place at three the sidewalks would have been filled with hundreds of students from the elementary/secondary schools who were walking home from school.

The shocked bystanders did what they could calling 911, administrating CPR ,trying to help console the injured and the dying until the emergency measures and police arrived on the scene to try and take control of the massacre.

A member of the Toronto Police Force, Constable Ken Lam. faced the perpetrator, Minassian, down ignoring his claim that he had a weapon and his wish that he should shoot him in the head. Lam said he was just doing his job and took Minassian into custody. He is the cop that did not shoot.

There is a lesson for all of us to learn from the vehicular homicide in Toronto. The driver of the rental
van was a mentally troubled young man whose abnormal behaviour had been obvious to family and teachers before he went on his voyage of mayhem and destruction. Someone should have reached out to ask for help for Minassian before the deadly attack.

I still remember my secretary, Sheila, at Saunderís Secondary School, who gave me an anonymous
note: " Bill Smith has a gun." He took me to his car in the auto shop and reluctantly opened the trunk
and there under a blanket was a fully loaded double- barreled shot gun. Thank God someone cared enough to send me the warning note to try and prevent a slaughter in the halls/classrooms of the school.

To try and prevent violence we have to take on the role of our brotherís keeper to try and prevent harm. For evil to exist supposedly good people say and do nothing. Please take the time to care about your community.

For the most part Canadians have viewed violence happening in some place else to somebody else in the US or Europe but not in our communities. Like 9/11 when the twin towers fell in New York our innocence has been torn asunder. Hard to trust.

We should not take our safety for granted. For the most part I firmly believe that the vast majority (95%) of all people are nice law-abiding good citizens. But, we have to however acknowledge that we do not live in a perfect-bubble world where there are no evil people.

It is completely normal for our youngsters to be wary of unknown impending disasters; not being completely sure that they are safe. After the recent traumatic event in Toronto parents should take the time to listen/ talk to their children to answer their questions and tell them that you are there to support/ love them unconditionally.

Len Lesser is a career/education counsellor in Dorchester lenlesser@hotmail.com

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com