Okay, so it's not like I'm huddled away in my home worrying about the safety of my family. But since the incident last week, I've thought twice about doing stuff that I usually just do. For example, watering my plants. I have a few pots of flowers on my front step and in order to water them, I must step outside to do that. I do it, but I think twice.
I grew up here. I learned how to drive here. I went on my first date here. I got my first job here. I walked to school, rode the bus, biked on the bike paths without a care in the world. And now, a mother of 3, I think twice about taking my kids to the park.
I didn't know that the incident had happened until a friend called me. I had no idea. I likely would have found out eventually, but I don't listen to the radio and really, since our city doesn't have its own TV station (which I likely wouldn't watch during the day anyways) I'm in the dark. That concerns me...though not enough to start listening to our mediocre radio stations on a regular basis.
Here's the info on the incident. It was gang related...probably drugs. The rumours fly, but we do know that it wasn't a random event. More info...3 men were SHOT in my townhouse complex!!! All survived. Granted, there are 200+ townhouses in our complex, but still. 1 street away. I walk down that street to go to the good park in our area. There were also shots fired on the other end of town last week in a car chase...so lest you think that we should just move out of our area, it likely won't make much of a difference.
Violence and crime happens everywhere. It's worse some places than others, but it still exists. We could run and hide, but it would likely find us eventually. It makes me angry that my peace of mind can be shattered by a bunch of guys who can't handle their differences like rational people. Chances are we'll never be effected directly, but you never know what a desperate and possibly (or likely) high person can do and you happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.
The thing is that illegal behaviour effects people. A 17 year old driving drunk can shatter a family in a heartbeat. Companies disposing of waste in an inappropriate manner can cause lasting detrimental effects to people's health. People who embezzle money ruin people's financial futures. Drug dealers or buyers take away the safety in what would otherwise be a safe neighborhood. And the list goes on. It doesn't likely seem to those people that anyone willl be hurt by their actions, but someone likely will be. And it makes me angry because I want to raise my children in a safe world.
There is a reason why I don't let my kids go out and play alone.
So on this Canada Day, in this country that I love so fiercely...I celebrate with a small amount of unsureness. Hoping that this will have been an isolated incident in our life here. Thankful for our Mounties who are fighting hard so that we can live in a safe town. And looking for all those ways that I can prepare my children to be safe, but not scared.