In the past two weeks, in two separate incidents, a soldier was shot at the War Memorial in Ottawa and a man intentionally ran over two soldiers in Quebec.
What causes a person to commit such acts? The murders in Quebec and on Parliament hill have everyone scratching their heads. There are many, including the government. who blame terrorism and radical conversion of the perpetrators. This may be, but what would make these young men vulnerable to conversion. You don’t cheat on your wife if everything is great at home. So what is going on at home (Canada)?
30, 000 people are homeless on any given night (The State of Homelessness in Canada in 2013). I could go on and on with stats like, “over 200,000 Canadians are homeless in any given year” , but I will get to the stat of most interest to me.
20 percent of the homeless are young people between the ages of 16 and 24. The age where people discover who they want to be. The world is your oyster and all that jazz. But a large number of youth are seriously down and out. They find themselves in this situation due to the inability to find employment, addiction, mental health issues or family violence. These are issues they didn’t bring on themselves. And who is taking care of them? Certainly not the government. All the future holds for them is inefficient programs that have not changed the homeless rates in years, no job prospects, inadequate free mental health interventions. They can’t help but feel abandoned by a government that should look after them. A government that spends billions on foreign aid and foreign military intervention, but appears to neglect the needy in their own country.
Those conditions in the vulnerable youth are perfect for falling prey to outside influences. They are eager to have hope for the future, to belong, to do something that matters, and hate on those who neglected them.
Security is great, but perhaps the real solution lies in taking care of things at home, giving the youth help and hope.