Tomorrow is our anniversary and I am taking my wife out to dinner in a restaurant that opened just one week ago. The restaurant is in Moose Jaw, the city where our married life began 43 years ago. One of my cousins and his wife will meet us for dinner, we plan to visit two other elderly cousins after dinner, then meet my wife’s sister at 5 o’clock at Tim Horton’s. That means a 2½ hour drive each way, but it will be a pleasant break from our normal routine.
Tim Horton’s is a Canadian institution, far and away the biggest fast food chain in the country. There are no burgers on their menu, just paninis, wraps, bagels, muffins doughnuts, soup, and coffee of all kinds I have a special fondness for their mocha latte. Apparently 80% of the coffee served in Canada is served by Tim Horton’s.
I don’t make a practice of commenting on the news, but two incidents in the last couple of days have got me wondering.
In Toronto, a young man, 18 years old, got on a street car behaving bizarrely, pulled a knife and ordered everybody else off. The police came, 20 of them, and one of them went on the streetcar and ordered the young man to surrender. Apparently the police officer felt threatened, even though the young man was not near enough to harm him. He shot the young man nine times and ordered another officer to tazer him.
In Montréal, a seventy-two year old man threatened meter readers with a gun, then locked himself in the house, leaving his wife locked outside. The police came, as many as in Toronto, and the man fired one shot at them. The police were aware there were other guns in the home. They tried various means to communicate with the man and finally after 20 hours one policeman entered the house and fired one bullet.
The results: in Toronto a young man is dead, the family is hurt and angry, a police officer is suspended, an investigation will be held. In Montréal an elderly man with dementia is safe and sound, the family is relieved and happy, the police are heroes.
The bullet fired in Montréal was a rubber bullet. Hasn’t Toronto ever heard of rubber bullets?