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Last night at 18:30, I heard 7 shots. The last time I heard that sound was 2am on a Sunday morning.  I went back to sleep, thinking I’d been dreaming, and later discovered an innocent 19 year old woman had been shot while trying to stop a fight outside the nightclub a half-block away from me.

So I knew what I was hearing last night.

I flipped off all the lights, and crept onto my balcony to see what was going on. Just like we hear about in the news, people simply kept walking by. I don’t think it’s because they were horrible people, but rather, innocent, and it didn’t occur to them that those ‘pow pow pow’s’ really were gunshots.

Within 8 minutes, cop cars were everywhere. I mean: Everywhere.

I threw on a coat and ran outside.

Just down the street the police were setting up police tape – I got there soon enough that I was inside the tape, but I hung far back from the scene.

The scene:

Very nice looking beige van, parked.

Passenger door wide open.

Man (middle aged? caucasian? slightly overweight?) lying dead, face up, on the sidewalk, feet by the passenger door. Blood soaked all over the right side of his chest.

Women with blood on her coat too, weeping.

It was a ‘targetted’ killing. Presumably, he owed drug money.

I ‘get’ why people become addicts, and how that would totally trash a life.

But I don’t really ‘get’ why people become drug dealers — most of the dealers barely earn minimum wage. Then as you survive it for a while and maybe move up — you can buy a van, I guess, and maybe a reasonably nice home? But the price of participating in the ‘industry’ must be so apparent: chronically hiding from the law, the complexity of laundering the money, and the constant fear for your life.

Christ once asked the piercing question: What does it profit you, if you gain the whole world, but lose your own soul?

I just wonder. Why did that man get into the business? Did he get caught into it? Or was he attracted by … by what?

About the Author

Imagine if Canadians were known for being all over their money. Engaged. Proactive. Getting out of debt. Savvy. Saving. Generous. Nancy wants to help. Nancy started her own journey with money over 15 years ago, and formed her company “Your Money by Design” in 2004 to help others along the same path. It’s not the usual financial advising/investment stuff. It’s about taking control of day-to-day finances –managing monthly cashflow effectively, spending appropriately, getting out of debt, saving. If you're ready to take control over your finances, pop by her business site, YourMoneybyDesign.com


  1. Traciatim

    Are you sure it was targeted because of drugs or is that just speculation? What if it was targeted because the guy was sleeping with the shooter’s wife? Not as likely sure, but it’s not always drugs.

    Drugs, like prostitution and most other illegal vices, would be a far smaller problem if they were not illegal. You should watch the Penn and Teller show BullSh*t on the subjects. It’s interesting that as soon as you remove the legal problems, most of the issues go away. Sure you deal with idiot addicts in any vice, but I’m not about to ban all gas stations or glue factories because people can use them to get high off of.


    Feb 16, 2008
  2. I don’t know… how does one become a drug dealer? Don’t you have to be a user yourself to get into the “scene”? Perhaps as functional addicts, they too are caught in the lifestyle and just can’t escape the environment. Or am I being naive once again?


    Feb 17, 2008
  3. Traciatim

    I think you’re being naive. When I was a party kid a few years back (98-2002 or so) most of the people I knew had rules about using their own products except for testing purposes. Others would have some close friends use some of a new shipment to test the validity of their product before sales (since if they sell crap, they get no more business).

    It’s much like any other business, you source product, you do quality control, you manage money, you run from the police; pretty much the same as all corporations. Everything is legal until you get caught 😉

    I’m no expert on the drug trade, but I’ve seen a fair share of deals done. Want to get in to the drug trade? Just hang around people that do it, opportunity will knock if people know you want the cash, but you’ll have to go out of your way looking for it. No one will come knocking on your door forcing you to run drugs like the media would have you think.

    Once I found a serious GF, had some kids, and bought a house all that stuff is in the past now. Sometimes you just have to grow up and get on with your life. Some people never will . . . I guess that’s what natural selection is all about.


    Feb 18, 2008
  4. Wow, that is not something I’d like to witness 🙁


    Feb 18, 2008
  5. @CanadianSaver – yeah, it’s pretty intense. I grew up in Yellowknife, and stuff like this just.didn’t.happen. (for one thing, there was no escape route – only one highway out of town, and a police detachment in a small village about 1 hour out, just in case!) It’s surreal.
    @traciatim – generally with you on the ‘legalize, already’ certainly about pot, but not as convinced about crack etc. I’ll make a point of watching BullS**t – tx for the recommendation. And back at you: if you haven’t read any of the Darwin Awards books, you’ll love them – they feature criminals whose stupidity takes them out of the gene pool (a recent real-life example in vancouver is a guy who blew up a Taco shop and ran out the street with severe burns so he had to grab a taxi and get himself to the hospital to save his own life)
    @mariam – it’s not a world most of us, me included, know much about. I know there are functional users, but that seems unbelievable to me, since I see every day what drug use can do to a human. It’s so…revolting (the effect, not the human that was)…


    Feb 18, 2008

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