Generally the right wing of the local blogosphere is predictably critical of David Miller's plan to address gangs and guns.
At The Meatriarchy there is this dismissal:
The "certain common feature of most of the suspects" that Rugged Ron refers to is that very many are black.
And in comments to the same post he adds:
I actually agree with a fair bit of what these two critics are writing about.
On the issue of guns, I've expressed the same opinions as The Meatriarchy does here for over a year. I want the federal government to crack down on gun smuggling from the US, I want stiffer penalties for gun crime because it is unacceptable, and I regret the federal government's bungling of this file. What I don't get is how Mr. Meatriarchy comes to the conclusion that David Miller holds an opposing view, or is directing resources away from these issues. After all, he does quote one point of Miller's plan as "lobby senior governments for tougher sentencing and stricter gun-control legislation".
As well, the points that Meatriarchy and the Rugged Intellectual make about public housing projects are the broadly-accepted consensus. That's why the city is entirely restructuring Regent Park to integrate aid recipients with the rest of us. I suppose TM & RI might like to go farther and entirely eliminate any housing support, but that would put them well beyond Mike Harris or any other public figure in this country.
The main debate here, however, is about whether or not the City should take any steps to address "root causes" of gang involvement. To guys like The Meatriarchy or Rugged Ron, (not to mention The National Post) this approach is wimpy left-winger pandering to criminals.
However, neither of these critics seems to deny that one's environment plays a role in the choices they make. For example, they both cite public housing and hip hop as factors in promoting criminal behaviour.
So, who can argue against building a community centre at, for example, Jane-Finch so that young kids have something to do other than hang out with older gang members on street corners?
There is nothing incompatible with the idea that "people must be responsible for their own actions" and the pragmatic assertion that "environmental circumstances contribute to individuals' decisions to engage in crime, and it is in our interest to adjust these circumstances". Just because we have every right to hold gang members responsible for choosing crime doesn't mean that we shouldn't be trying to offer young kids some better alternatives.
(However, I still would like to hear from Ron about how lowering taxes is going to make crime go away. I'm also interested to know what action he feels we can take now that he has discovered that a disproportionate number of serious crimes are committed by black Torontonians.)