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Why blame all the licensed gun owners?


Every time a big shooting incident takes place, licensed gun owners become the scourge of society in the eyes of the public.

The public, especially antigun advocates, does not discriminate between responsible law-abiding citizens, who own guns, and criminals.

Imposing a total gun ban is like burning a house to get rid of the rats inside.

*   *   *

Yes, some licensed gun owners are irresponsible.

The barangay watchman who fired his gun in the air on New Year’s Eve in Caloocan City, whose bullet might have killed 7-year-old Stephanie Nicole Ella; and that wannabe barangay chairman in Kawit, Cavite province, who shot eight people dead and wounded 12 others in a  rampage, were licensed gun owners.

But why blame all licensed gun owners for the sins of the very few irresponsible ones, and criminals who carry unlicensed guns?

Again, pardon me for citing another metaphor: It’s like calling for the abolition of the Philippine National Police (PNP) because some of its members are abusive.

*   *   *

The public, especially the antigun advocates, misses the whole point: A gun does not kill, the person holding it does.

A knife, bolo or piece of wood could be lethal in the hands of a criminal.

Any other weapon for that matter—a blackjack stick, the hand of a karate expert, pepper spray, a rock—could become lethal in the wrong hands.

*   *   *

The solution to killings with the use of firearms is not to totally ban guns, but for the PNP’s firearms and explosives division (FED) to be very discriminating in issuing licenses to firearms applicants.

It should have all applicants undergo neuro-psychiatric and drug tests.

Ronald Bae, who shot and killed eight people and wounded 12 others in Kawit, Cavite, last week was reportedly a drug user.

Either Bae paid his way through the FED so he would not be examined for drugs, or the FED is not strict with its neuro-psychiatric and drug tests.

*   *   *

I don’t blame Pilar “Peluchi” Oringo for defending Davao Oriental Gov. Cora Malanyaon in the Inquirer’s letters to the editor page on Saturday.

Oringo, Malanyaon and my sisters Wanda and Tuchi were college instructors at the Ateneo de Davao University in the 1980s.

Oringo, Malanyaon and my sisters were very close friends until I identified Malanyaon as one of the alleged illegal loggers in the mountains of Baganga and Cateel towns recently.

If not for Supertyphoon “Pablo,” the continuing rape of the forests in those towns by Malanyaon and her alleged cohorts, Rep. Nelson Dayanghirang and her brother, Cateel Mayor Camilo Nunez, would not have been exposed.

The floods spawned by Pablo sent thousands of logs crashing into the swollen rivers and rampaged through the two towns bulldozing bridges and houses in the path of the raging floodwaters.

Thousands of people were killed as a result.

I can understand Peluchi Oringo’s feelings towards her beleaguered friend.

But I can’t understand why a former Ateneo teacher, who’s supposed to be “a (man) woman for others” (Ateneo motto), would be apathetic to the thousands of calamity victims in the two towns who suffered because of the misdeed.

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Tags: Davao Oriental , Firearms , gun owners , Illegal Logging , Philippines , shooting incident

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