Crime Control

Manila Bulletin, January 30, 2013 | Go to article overview

Crime Control


With the recent unfortunate shooting incidents both here and abroad, the anti-gun lobbyists have been given the golden opportunity to once again push for their agenda of removing guns from the hands of law abiding citizens. Listening to these politicians and anti-gun lobbyists talk, it would seem that by simply legislating or instituting stricter gun laws or even banning them would stop criminals from using guns as if by some kind of magic. Even some media personalities have gotten in on the act by misleading the general public with their one sided commentaries and the demonization of gun ownership.

Let us step back a bit and look at things from a more objective perspective. With the exception of criminals, all of us want to have a peaceful society where we can all live in security and prosperity. There is no argument there even amongst all legitimate firearm license holders. This is proven by the Philippine National Police statistics that show the increasing trend of crimes being committed by unlicensed firearms. In 2006, 98.9% of the 3,540 crimes committed involved unregistered firearms. In 2007, this went up to 99.1% of the 5,228 crimes and in 2008, 99.5% of the 5,999 crimes were committed with the use of unlicensed firearms.

It is therefore totally illogical to have even more restrictive rules on gun ownership, making it even more difficult and expensive for the law abiding citizens to comply with firearms licensing, ownership and carrying or transport of these guns for legitimate purposes. I think the general public is being mislead into thinking and accepting that gun control is equal to crime control. Well, the truth of the matter is that this is simply a lie.

Criminals use unlicensed firearms so whenever they commit a crime, it would be difficult for the law enforcement agencies to trace the weapon back to them. Requiring stricter controls on ownership, licensing, and the carrying or transport of firearms will have absolutely no effect on the use of firearms by criminals. Remember that the reason why they are called criminals is that they do not follow the law. Even with the implementation of the gun ban on January 13, 2013, I do not recall a day where a crime had not been committed with the use of guns. …

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