Re: "Shooting prompts public meeting," Wednesday, Sept. 12.
Monday's Port Moody gathering or "rally" is no way to respond to the horror of gangs and drugs in today's society. We are each responsible for our own actions, and to do what we can to ensure safety in our own homes and communities.
Reality check No. 1: Gangs and drugs are in every community.
Long gone are the days when gunfire rang out only on the streets of our larger cities. People have the ability to walk, drive and live anywhere, therefore violence can happen anywhere: at our coffee shops, recreation centres or right down the street from our homes.
People choose gangs and drugs for a reason. And in many cases these unfortunate choices are made earlier in life. Our children need to be nurtured and shown a safer path, and learn that gangs and drugs are not the way to go.
And to those adults who right now are raising children while living a gang or drug lifestyle, how do you expect these innocent kids to grow up to understand and experience a normal childhood? Albeit normal is a broad term and subject to anyone's interpretation, but killing yourself and/or others with drugs and gang violence is not normal.
If gangs want to get rid of each other, it would be appreciated if they could do so somewhere that the general law-abiding public won't fear for their own safety. It is my right to be able to go about my daily life without worrying if my kids and I will be caught in the crossfire.
Reality check No. 2: City politicians are elected. Nowhere in a mayor's job description does it say they are responsible for removing violence from their communities. This is what the police are for. Our taxes help pay for the police and there is only so much money to go around. We can not expect them to be everywhere at every moment of the day to see everything and watch everyone. They also rely on the residents to be the eyes and ears of our communities to fill in the blanks. The blame shouldn't be put on Mayor Mike Clay. He's not the one who lives a dangerous lifestyle, nor did he pull the trigger. He supports the City of Port Moody. All residents should be doing the same without pointing fingers. Start educating your kids early about the dangers of gangs and drugs. And put more pressure on our federal government to have stiffer penalties handed out to the people responsible for these crimes.
K. Marrington Coquitlam