LETTER: To Surrey’s criminals: ‘To hell with you and your drive-by shootings’

The Editor,

An open letter to the criminals of Surrey: To hell with you and your drive-by shootings.

For those who decided to litter our streets with casings of bullets — blocks from where our school held its spirit night only hours earlier — to hell with you for even coming close to my babies.

And I don’t mean just the two I gave birth to. I mean my kids, their friends, their friends’ friends and even the children I see when I walk my kids to school. They are my neighbours. And so they are mine.

We have lost enough children. We have decorated lawns, trees, schools and held candlelight vigils to remember our lost children. We have baked cookies, cooked dinners and littered our streets with flowers to help mend broken hearts and we have rallied for our sick and widowed mothers.

So, to hell with you for turning the story of these streets that have witnessed so much compassion into a violent story.

On that note, to hell with you thieves who have broken into our houses, walked off with our garages contents or stolen from our porches.

I don’t judge you for what you’ve been through that would lead you to the awful choice of raising a gun to another soul. I am truly sorry your concerns as a young man are not what job to apply for or if you should ask the cute girl in your chem class on a date. But your choice to bring violence to our homes is inexcusable. So to hell with you.

And don’t think I’m implying you should take your violence elsewhere. Surrey has its fair share of individuals irreverent of the concept of community — like the men in the stolen vehicle who rammed my husband and his vehicle off the road in a school zone two weeks ago (on that note, to hell with them, too).

This city will be known as the sum that is greater than its parts. Why? Because of people like my people. Like the man who walks his dog with a plastic bag to clean up the garbage on his way, like witnesses who chased and caught the driver who hit my husband, like the many who have called/texted/emailed/dropped by another’s home saying the few precious words, "How can I help?"

Now please excuse me. My neighbour’s house burnt down on the same night as the shootings. I have to see what my amazing community is doing to help and how I am needed. My neighbours are the most compassionate people I have ever known.

Give us a few days. We will rewrite your violent story.

Sincerely, Sullivan community.

Trina Pacey, Surrey

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