A ban against carrying firearms took effect this week in accordance to the forthcoming national elections in May. This comes after weeks of public debate on whether it's about time that we institute stricter gun laws following a series of shooting deaths.
If you're not the news-y type of guy, here's a recap: There's the New Year's Eve blind shooting incident that killed 7-year-old Stephanie Nicole Ella; four days later a drug-induced shooting spree took place in Cavite; then, last week, 13 alleged gun-for-hires were killed after they reportedly fired on policemen and soldiers manning a checkpoint in Atimonan, Quezon.
Gun-owners or not, we say we should all take part in this discussion. So, is it high time for the government to tweak the laws on firearm possession? That and five other questions come to mind. Read on and see if we share the same sentiments.
1. The recently employed election gun ban covers all private citizens, bodyguards, and all government officials, but President Aquino, himself a gun enthusiast and still non-committal to the implementation of a total gun ban, has been spared. Deputy Presidential Spokeperson Abigail Valte stated that the president just "needs more time" to think about the issue. Is Aquino being pigeonholed in this dilemma or are critics correct in claiming that the president and the government are promoting gun culture?
2. Gunless Society founder Nandy Pacheco reiterates that the mere carrying of guns in public places should be made a criminal offense to prevent violence. But Pro Gun Philippines Secretary General Ernesto Tabujara says that the existing firearm laws are already good as it is; it just lacks implementation. Should we shift our focus on our existing gun control laws instead of lobbying for a new total gun ban law?