Canadians hear tragic stories every day involving guns! However, we must discuss community change if we are going to stop gun violence! With limited success, government, police, schools and nonprofit groups try to reduce violence with educational programs on child abuse, bullying, drug abuse, domestic violence and gangs as politicians write new gun control laws. These approaches help, but to break the cycle of violence we must focus on the root cause for gun violence, the breakdown of the family.

Canadians gave away their power to keep cities safe when family and neighborhood support decreased. Neighbors who used to take care of each other turned the responsibility over to police as city leaders hired more police and turned to technology to increase public safety!

Police became the new authority figure. With increasing police responsibilities, the healthy balance between police and citizens declined. In some areas, citizens feared police and stopped reporting criminal activities.

For decades, taxpayers funded the “war on drugs” and the “war on poverty.” Citizens grew increasingly dependent, as cities became crime ridden. We lost generations of youth to drugs, crime and gangs, as criminals with guns spread fear and destruction.

Because the laws in many cities forbid law-abiding citizens from having guns, the only people who have guns are the criminals. These prey on the law-abiding people, many of whom, prevented from themselves owning weapons, end up joining gangs to protect themselves or to take revenge. This creates a downward spiral in which more and more people become gangsters and criminals, including many who would not had this not been the case. If law-abiding citizens are allowed to have guns, they can protect themselves from the gangsters, and violent crime once initiated will run into a wall, instead of spreading like gangrene and involving more and more people in it.

Meanwhile drugs and prostitution are the commodities that are being peddled by gangsters; and for as long as these are illegal, there is quick money to be made in the crime business. The Mafia had its heyday in 1920s, when alcohol was against the law. Because a substance that was in demand was against the law, the criminals were in control of its production and distribution. After alcohol was made legal again, there was much less for the Mafia to do, and it lost most ofits power and its membership.

Drugs and prostitution are in demand and will remain in demand. For as long as these things are illegal, they will remain under control of criminals. Want to do away with the brutal gangs and drug cartels? Legalize the commodities that they peddle – drugs and sex for money – and these ugly entities will have nothing left to do and will go away; and their members will have nothing left to do but to become productive citizens.