MAPLE -- Prime Minister Paul Martin is a "jackass" if he thinks that banning handguns will "choke off" the deadly weaponry of Toronto street gangs, says a man whose son was slain.
"For this so-called prime minister of ours to come into the low-income areas of this city and make a statement banning guns ... I look at him as a jackass ... and I'll never vote Liberal again as long as I live," said Theodore Huxtable, whose eldest son Jason, 18, was killed on Aug. 30.
And Huxtable gave a stern warning that if justice is not served in his son's death, he will seek his own vengeance.
"I'll be part of your news ... I've told police the same thing ... they say 'Mr. Huxtable, you shouldn't make these statements' ... they can't say I didn't warn them," he said.
Huxtable said his family's grief is so overwhelming that he just doesn't care.
His eldest son, Jason Huxtable, a loving, friendly, gentle, hard-working churchgoer, was slain in his car at a Magellan Rd. townhouse complex, near Jane St. and Shepherd Ave., in broad daylight as he drove there to give a female friend a ride.
He was not a criminal and did not have gang links. His parents believe he was shot out of envy.
His alleged killer is a 15-year-old boy who is charged with second-degree murder. Under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, his name cannot be published.
Martin made his controversial handgun ban statement Thursday during a campaign stop at a community centre in the violence-plagued Jane-Finch area.
His proposal would impose a national ban on handguns and double minimum sentences for trafficking and smuggling guns or carrying loaded guns.
Huxtable said teen gangs will ignore Martin's proposed law in much the same way they ignore the current law.
"This man goes into the ghetto and says he wants to ban guns -- they are laughing at him," he said yesterday.
Bitterly angry at his son's murder and the relative lack of response to more than 50 gun-related murders in Toronto so far this year, Huxtable said desperate measures are necessary.
He is furious youths are treated with kid gloves and he accused politicians and other leaders of racial bias.
"Black on black ... who gives a rat's ass," he said with sarcasm.
"No white kids are getting killed."
He also lamented how high-profile leaders expressed such outrage over the desecration of headstones at a Jewish cemetery earlier this year, while the gang issue is largely ignored.
Huxtable said the only politician who has contacted him about his son's death is Toronto Councillor Jane Pitfield, a mayoral hopeful.
Once steadfast Liberals, Huxtable and his wife Yvette, both Jamaican immigrants, now say Liberal crime policies help create teen gang violence.
Sitting in the comfortable living room of their Maple home yesterday, the couple noted they once lived in the Driftwood "ghetto" where Martin announced he would ban guns.
A few years ago, when the Huxtables had put together enough savings -- Theodore from his job with Lufthansa and Yvette from Shopper's Drug Mart -- they moved their sons Jason and his younger brother Justin, now 15, to Maple.
They note the much- maligned Driftwood area has produced doctors, engineers and Olympic athletes.
Poor parenting, a lack of core values, inappropriate role models and few, if any, consequences, due to soft youth laws, fuel the gun violence, Huxtable said.
Building more community centres in the "ghetto" areas is not the answer, Huxtable said, because it will only create more "headquarters for criminals."
Existing centres need more staff, programs and security, he said.