Mother of girls shot at Scarborough playground among those calling for handgun ban
Stacey King speaks with reporters at an event organized for the Coalition for Gun Control.
Chris Fox, CP24.com
Published Tuesday, November 13, 2018 10:40AM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, November 13, 2018 10:42AM EST
The mother of three young children who were shot at a Scarborough playground this past summer is adding her voice to those calling for a city-wide ban on handguns and assault weapons, telling CP24 that the violence in the city “is getting out of control.”
Stacey King made the comment during the launch of an advocacy campaign organized by the Coalition for Gun Control on Tuesday morning.
As part of the campaign, the group temporarily erected a 13-foot-tall bullet sculpture shaped like an exclamation mark beside the Toronto sign in Nathan Phillips Square.
The group is also putting up a series of billboards across the Greater Toronto Area and rolling out an extensive social media campaign directing residents to an online petition.
They have also installed a glass sign on a sidewalk across from city hall. The sign is filled with hundreds of shell cases and a question printed on the exterior reads “How many more shots before gun violence takes over our city?"
“This is not something a mother should ever have to go through, having your children playing in a playground by your house and getting shot,” King told CP24. “My kids cry. At night time they have nightmares. How do you explain to a five-year-old why she got shot? How do you explain to a seven-year-old why she was grazed by a bullet? How do you explain to a nine-year-old that she can’t run anymore because the bullet is still in her leg? How do you explain that to anybody?”
King’s daughters were wounded by gunfire as they played in a playground on Alton Towers Circle shortly after 5 p.m. on June 14.
Police have said that as many as 10 children were in the playground when three suspects arrived in the area in a rented vehicle and two of them got out and began firing in the direction of a man who was there with his young child.
That man escaped injury but King’s daughters were not so lucky.
Her five-year-old daughter sustained a gunshot wound to her abdomen while her seven-year-old daughter sustained a gunshot wound to her leg. Both required multiple emergency surgeries.
To date, two of the suspects have been arrested in the case but the third remains outstanding.
Speaking with CP24, King described what happen on that fateful summer afternoon as a “worst nightmare for anybody.” She said that she is committing to fighting for stronger gun control measures so that other mothers don’t have to go through what she went through.
“Gun violence needs to be stopped. It is getting out of hand, it is getting out of control,” she said.
Feds looking into ban
Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction Bill Blair is looking into a possible ban on handguns and assault weapons across the country and is expected to release a report ion his findings in early 2019.
Though the window for public submissions through an online portal closed on Saturday, members of the Coalition for Gun Control want Canadians to sign an online petition demanding the ban.
They say that there has been a rise in crime guns that are traced back to a Canadian source, something that they say is proof that a handgun ban would make an impact.
“Canadians often are often preoccupied with smuggled guns but we have seen far too many tragedies where the guns are traced back to Canadian sources,” Coalition for Gun Control Co-Founder Wendy Cukier told reporters. “It won’t solve the whole problem but it will certainly make a difference.”
Mayor John Tory has previously spoken out in favour of a ban on handguns.
Speaking with reporters last Friday, he said that far too many guns that are legally purchased are falling into the wrong hands.
“Part of the problem is that people can legally buy handguns; in fact they can buy 10 and what is happening is that people are buying 10 handguns perfectly legally, filling out the paperwork and then trafficking them to criminals,” he said.