Handgun bans. Anti-gang crackdowns. Easy bail. In Toronto, as the number of people killed or injured in shootings continues to surge, such terms are often used by municipal leaders, politicians, police. But what do we really know about guns, gangs, and possible solutions to a growing violence problem? Over the next four weeks, the Star is aiming to find answers … and to find out when we don’t know the answers … to some life-and-death questions. At the entrance to Canada’s largest firearms show, a woman stares intently out from an enlarged poster, her handgun trained on those walking through the doors. “Welcome shooters!” it greets. Inside, laid out in the expansive Mississauga conference centre opposite Pearson International, a gun smorgasbord awaits. Last month, 18,778 people attended to the Tactical and Competitive Shooting Sports Show, a three-day event purported to be Canada’s “premier gun exhibition.” Salespeople hawked everything from gun lubricant, cleaning supplies and shooting courses, to custom firearm coatings, cammo sports bras, and gun patches — “2nd Amendment — America’s Original Homeland Security,” one read. “Guns, Ammo, Coffee,” said another. And there was the main draw — scores of guns, displayed floor to ceiling in booths set up by… Read full this story
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