You can read the stories anywhere.
"A 13-year-old Vancouver boy is dead and 15-year-old teen is in
jail after a stabbing on Saturday ... " "A 35-year-old man from the
Prince Albert, Sask., area is in serious but stable condition after he
was taken to hospital with a knife sticking out of his head ... " In
Winnipeg, "a woman was fatally stabbed at an apartment block at the
corner of ..." The very next day, "a 23-year-old man was taken to
(hospital) in critical condition after being (stabbed) ... meanwhile a
22-year-old man was in critical condition after a stabbing behind the
... " Knife violence is commonplace and what we read is just the tip of
We talk about it, debate endlessly whether violence is on the
rise or in steady decline. Academics and some political types point to
numbers on a chart and espouse that violence is really about
perception, even imagination. Others, like Winnipeg police spokesperson
Kelly Dennison says that "we're experiencing more and more violent
crime every day ... we can't hide that fact." But like the weather
everybody talks about crime. Few do anything about it.
An exception is Winnipeg's Floyd Wiebe. And Jack McLaughlin.
There are others like Paulette and Rod Moffitt from Brockville,
Ont. Their son, Andy, was murdered almost nine years ago, just two days
before Christmas. Trying to do the right thing, he was stabbed to death
by a drug dealer who was then sent to prison for just three years. The
consummate justice failure.
Since that killing, Paulette has written more letters than she
cares to think about, lobbying the feds to do something about knife
violence. To somehow create the deterrence needed to sideline those who
see violence as a means to an end. And that deterrence must include a
time-out. A mandatory one where the individual has time to think and
evaluate his path.
She got the attention of Conservative MP Gord Brown who
introduced Bill C-393, seeking minimum guidelines for violent crimes
committed with knives.
She has the support of leading authorities like Chief Bill
Closs of the Kingston Police Service who has recognized the growing
trends in knife violence and whose police services board has sent a
formal resolution to the federal government asking for action.
Justice Minister Rob Nicholson is tuned in, but with a minority
government the usual suspects, who embrace the "hug-a-thug" philosophy,
are forever stalling any legislation that recognizes the need to
More than 80 print articles, rooted in Andy Moffitt's murder,
have appeared nation wide, most decrying the nonsense that is passing
for justice. And while media outlets may advocate the principles of
judicial independence, the slant of the stories and columns is a clear
recognition of the crisis. It can no longer be left to the absolute
discretion of judges, too many of whom relish their activism,
unaccountability and plutocratic-like position.
For those who promote tackling root causes -- economic
disparity and cultural malaise -- think about the decades needed for
In the meantime we're at zero hour and action is required. Bill C-393 provides that.
People need to know that if a knife is used to cause harm that
there will be serious consequences. And that the offender will be
removed from the rest of us.