Toronto Strong; Our Loss Of Innocence


*Some Sensitive Content*

I feel it’s probably safe to say that after the tragic turn of events which occurred on The Danforth this past Sunday night that Toronto has officially lost its innocence. In the last few months alone there has been more unprovoked violence and innocent lives lost than ever before. In the first half of this year we have already far exceeded the total amount of shootings that occurred in all of 2017 and the homicide rate has more than doubled.

Although Toronto has never been immune to violence in the past, it just always seemed to be more contained. In years past we have witnessed many unprovoked violent occurrences and witnessed many innocent lives being lost but now it is happening almost daily. The amount of violence is making it very difficult to feel safe anywhere in the city and whether or not it’s labeled as a mass shooting, gang related, racism, terrorism or at the hands of a mentally ill individual, the outcome is still the same and can only be summarized in one word; tragic.

This latest tragedy which left thirteen innocent people injured and a beautiful, young child, age 10 dead along with another beautiful young woman, age 18 dead who was 6 weeks away from entering her first year of University to become a nurse. These two beautiful, young faces will forever be ingrained in my mind and being the parent of 3 beautiful, young soles myself, I can say without a doubt that no parent should ever, I repeat EVER have to bury their child and I can’t even begin to imagine what these families are going through right now.

Since the investigation began late Sunday night and especially once the name of the suspect was released the reports on both Social Media and News Stations alike have been speculating as to what could have caused this 29 year old animal to (seemingly) and randomly begin shooting at restaurant patrons through windows in one of the busiest, most tourist driven, summer hot spots in our great city. In the coming days and weeks ahead through police investigation we will hopefully learn the truth behind his rampage (and as to where he got his gun) because what the media has uncovered thus far is still just purely speculation (there has been no police confirmation to any of the stories including whether or not the gunman died at the hands of the police or by suicide).

One such speculation from the very beginning has been that the suspect suffered from “severe mental health challenges” including depression and psychosis which his parents quickly pointed out in a statement to the media. They claim that “the interventions of professionals were unsuccessful in helping him, and medications and therapy were unable to treat him”. Right away people all over social media began to voice their opinions and so many of these opinions feel that the family’s statement was a cop-out.

Through further investigation the truth behind his motive will eventually be unveiled as to whether or not it was due to an untreated mental illness, or if ISIS (unconfirmed) was behind it, or if he actually had an intended target in mind but for now I feel I need to focus your attention on the reality that not all mental illnesses are so clear-cut. Yes I suffer from depression and anxiety and it has taken away so much of my life over the last four years, but at the same time it has never left me feeling violent towards another individual or the urge to murder someone which is because I do not suffer from any type of serious psychosis; but many people do…

A person suffering with symptoms of psychosis can begin to experience and/or believe things that do not actually exist causing them to lose all sense of reality. During such time an individual may undergo delusions or hallucinations and may sometimes hear or see things that do not really exist which can prompt a person to become paranoid or go into violent rages; and yes sometimes medication and drugs can precipitate these symptoms as well. Sadly when a person is suffering a psychotic episode their judgement can become extremely impaired and when left untreated can (NOT ALWAYS) cause the individual to act upon these delusions or hallucinations which in some cases (NOT ALL) have lead them to murder.

So no matter what causes someone to open fire on innocent bystanders eating dinner with friends & family or running down innocent people with their van on a busy street in broad daylight or hijacking planes with the sole purpose of killing thousands of innocent lives or walking casually into a high school and murdering innocent children or detonating a bomb at the concert of your favorite teen idol we must take into account the suspect’s mental state at the time because let’s face it, it has to be somewhat prevalent in someone carrying out these heinous acts of violence. Like so many other mass shootings around the globe, and so many other terrorist attacks around the globe we as a society have instinctively become too quick to jump to conclusions or point out their own biases and stereotypes instead of wanting to learn and understand all the facts first. Maybe it’s simply that we have just become too numb to our reality as we try to keep our innocence and lives of our loved ones intact.

Author: Kim Fluxgold

Wife, mom of 3 beautiful children, dog lover, creative sole and children's book Author. Sharing my journey with depression and anxiety through blogging in hopes of educating and ending the stigma.

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