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Investment in at-risk communities needed to reduce gun violence, U of T's Jooyoung Lee tells TVO's The Agenda

Toronto police and the forensics team examine shells and blood stains after a shooting in July near Queen Street West and Ossington Avenue (Rene Johnston/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

Following an unusual spate of gun violence, University of Toronto sociologist Jooyoung Lee spoke to TVO's The Agenda about the need for investment in at-risk communities to reduce gun crimes. 

Lee’s appearance on the program come after 14 separate gun-related incidents in the Greater Toronto Area over the August long weekend. The municipal, provincial and federal governments have responded by announcing $4.5 million in additional funding for Toronto police to tackle gun violence. 

The recent spike in gun violence was not a “one-off,” Lee said on The Agenda, pointing to police statistics that show the number of shooting-related injuries in Toronto more than doubling between 2014 and this year. 

Lee, who appeared on the show along with community activist Louis March, called for a greater emphasis on prevention through community investment. 

“Why not create a society where the most at risk are not likely to get involved in situations, where they could become a victim or an offender?” Lee said. “Why not create a society full of safety nets that deflects and funnels at-risk youth into other activities that could help them avoid these situations?”

 

 

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