What Gang Related Shootings Mean for Calgary Crime

News outlets have been stirring up fears in relation to the spike in gun violence Calgary has been experiencing recently, but in fact this violence has had no real impact for the vast majority of Calgarians.

Shootings in Calgary, both recently and historically, have been largely limited to inter-gang violence, where gangs specifically target rival gang members, frequently in "turf wars" surrounding the illegal drug trade.

The most effective step towards reducing gang violence and shootings in Calgary would be, according to some, changing law enforcement's approach to drug possession charges and making the drug business less lucrative to gangs. This does not appear to be a solution that officials in Calgary are entertaining.

"You're never going to get away from targeted attacks, I mean they're stalking each other," said Calgary city council member Ray Jones.

Right now, the demand for drugs in Calgary is making these targeted attacks appear lucrative to those involved. While this is no defence for gang violence or violence of any kind, it is an undeniable fact that many appear willing to ignore. If the real concern is reducing the number of shootings in Calgary, removing the incentive to control "turf" would seem to be a wise step.

Again, though, Calgarians who are not involved in gangs are not in any greater danger due to the spike in gun violence, and the public safety issue caused by these shootings has possibly been blown out of proportion by the press.