Fatal shootings prompt calls for gun control

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Photo by Jong Manlapaz/Radyo INQUIRER

MANILA, Philippines—The New Year’s Eve revelry firing that killed Stephanie Nicole Ella and more recently, the shooting rampage that left at least eight people dead in Cavite, have drawn attention to a number of gun control measures that have been rotting in Congress.

Among them is the proposed Citizen’s Protection Act of 2010, petition filed by prolife groups and signed by 86 Catholic bishops, including former Senators Ramon Magsaysay Jr., Aquilino Pimentel Jr., and Wigberto Tañada.

Filed as an “indirect initiative,” the bill seeks to limit possession of firearms in public places to “those directly and primarily engaged in police, military, and security matters.”

“Possession by civilians or private persons of such deadly weapons is not a matter of right,” it said. “It assumes the predominance in our society of the law of the jungle tacitly encouraging a ‘war of all against all’ and ‘every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost,’ rather than indicating trust in the government and our duly constituted authorities.”

“Society can take no shorter route to anarchy than this road,” the proposal added.

But two years since the measure was filed, Congress was yet to take action, said JC de los Reyes, president of Ang Kapatiran Party, which was among the petitioners.

“Culture always cascades from the top and when you have a gun collector for a president, can you expect a culture of roses?” he told the Inquirer, referring to President Aquino, a gun enthusiast.

In a letter to the President the following year, the petitioners asked Mr. Aquino to certify the bill as urgent so it could be immediately approved both by the Senate and the House of Representatives.

“The bill will make the harmless act of carrying a gun in public places a criminal offense (mala prohibita) before such harmless act turns into a violent crime,” the President was told.

“Mr. President, we look to your leadership to help us realize our collective dream of genuine peace,” the signatories added.

A wayward bullet killed Ella, 7, who was watching fireworks outside her family’s house in Malaria District, Caloocan. Four days later in Kawit, Cavite, Ronald Bae ran amuck and began shooting anyone that crossed his path. Besides the seven fatalities, eight other people were wounded.

A related bill was filed by Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her son, Camarines Sur Representative Diosdado “Dato” Arroyo.

Their proposed “Child Safety Firearms Act” seeks to “reduce if not eliminate injuries and deaths caused by accidental firearm shootings by children by making safety devices in firearms a condition before they can be sold or imported.”

A firearm, for instance, should include a device or mechanism preventing a “child of less than 7 years of age from discharging the firearm by reason of the amount of strength, dexterity, cognitive skill, or other ability required to cause a discharge.”

The device should also keep a “removable magazine from discharging when the magazine has been removed.”

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  • Ommm

    Guns only have one purpose and that is to kill…

    Target shooting is fun but it’s based on the fantasy of defending in a real situation. That real situation arises when others have guns and you must meet violence with violence.

    Forget the “right to bear arms” as in the USA, murder capital of the world…. we have all seen the recent events happening there and they are starting to echo here as copycat crimes do.

    There is no need to suppress our target shooting fantasies, or ban violent video games but we do need to draw the line at real firearms in any public situation, being mature enough to realize that the only purpose for real guns is to kill real people…. 

  • Your_King

    Aquino loves his guns and his shooting buddies and because of that nothing will happen to this call for gun bans. Aquino doesn’t do things that go against his desires and what his KKK desires even if it is best for the country. That has been proven time and time again the past 3 years.

  • disqusted0fu

    It will be hard for Pnoy to give up his guns! Just like smoking, that could also be his stress reliever. It is hard to constantly harass your political enemies, he needs something to relieve him from all that stress. Shooting is one of them.

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