Stabbings Shouldn’t Be Scary or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love The Ultraviolent Toronto Transit Commission

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Yesterday afternoon, a woman was knifed by a complete stranger in a Toronto subway station. It seems as though in the last few months, Toronto’s public transit system has made the news several times in regards to violent incidents or tragic accidents: shootings on the bus; shootings in the subway; random stabbings; teenagers being pushed onto the tracks and under incoming trains; teenagers roughhousing and falling underneath the platform to be crushed by the subway. It’s a pretty impressive list and the Toronto Transit Commission should be very proud of itself.

Even more proud should be the TTC’s riders. Clearly an intelligent group of people, TTC riders have properly-informed opinions and are logical to a fault. In the aftermath of each of the above-listed incidents, Toronto news crews set out to interview random passengers about their thoughts and feelings on the safety of their beloved TTC. And they received similar responses each time: Riders are scared, nervous and afraid.

I am very curious as to what these riders are so scared, nervous and afraid of, if I may venture down that road. Am I to understand that because a woman was randomly stabbed at Museum station, other riders are “constantly looking over their shoulder now”? Really? Seriously?

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It makes sense that people are shaken after such an incident but I just cannot stand the idiocy of people who make comments about how they are unsure if they will ever feel safe on the TTC again. Do these same people avoid flying because a few airplanes drop from the sky each year? Have they never gone to school because a few shootings have taken place in high schools and universities? Do they even step outside their home, knowing that people have been killed walking the streets?

Why are they so scared? This isn’t even a rhetorical question. I’d really like to know. You’re nervous to be on the subway because someone was shot or stabbed? You have got to be kidding me. If that’s your logic, then you may as well never drive a car, walk down a street, take a shower without a bathmat or join a biker gang.

Society seems to have gone from desensitization to hyper-sensitization and suddenly, every tragedy is blown out of proportion and people are afraid to ride the subway because of a few incidents. Welcome to the real world people: Shit happens. It’s unavoidable and any hippie who tells you otherwise is a dirty, lying beatnik.

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