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Monday, October 17, 2011

Headlines: Man kills self and 5 others in Talisay City

I was really stunned reading the headline today about a man killing his wife, 3 adult children, and their housemaid. The man then shot himself to end the carnage. It is really hard to fathom how a father can kill his children and his wife. The lack of information also led to many speculations and theories.

The man was an ex-seaman who was forced to retire due to a severe head injury while working. He retired ten years ago, after surviving a coma and having a head operation. A lot of people speculate that a severe injury like contusion can lead to some behavioral changes and aggression. Maybe, but it has been ten years and if he has something wrong in his head, then how in the world did he own a gun? I am sure people will say it is easy to get a licensed firearm as long as you have the money. If that's the case, should we ban guns totally?

Guns have been in the news recently. First, there was Byron Garcia who was accused of brandishing a high-powered rifle in another village in the same city. Then there was a cabinet secretary, who has an AK-47. Now this! Guns are good weapons for self defense but it is a better weapon for attacking. The assault rifles were never made for defense. The word assault speaks for itself. The .45 pistol became mythical for its stopping power when it  was used by the Americans against Moro rebels during the occupation of the Philippines in the early 1900's. The Moros never had a chance then. The victims never had chance now.

People can say that the massacre in Talisay was an isolated event; but, I believe that politicians should take a look at the law if something can be done to prevent similar incidents. With the way the licenses are being given, we can be a "Wild, Wild, Wild West" soon. It doesn't help also that we have a president that is a gun enthusiast. Politicians here are most likely pro-gun mainly because of the nature of the politics in the country. I am hoping they can somehow create a legislation that will protect the unarmed public more and deter armed elements (licensed or not) to use guns against weapon-less individuals.

Some suggestions:
1. Regulate high-powered firearms and make it criminal to bring it out of the house.
2. Strictly implement psych tests and other exams for owning a gun. An unqualified gun owner is more dangerous than a fake dentist. ;)
3. Update records on gun ownership. It should be computerized and verification should be instant.
4. Increase punishment for illegal possession of firearms.
5. Increase punishment for crimes involving guns. It should be an additional mitigating circumstance in handling judgment of cases.
6. It should be a crime to point a gun (loaded or not) at an unarmed person.

Some people trust their guns more than policemen and I cannot blame them as well. Those dreaming of a gunless society are dreaming an impossible dream. It is time to for our leaders and experts to find the right middle ground.

Related Links:

Want to win a gun? (Fun Run) - It is funny that even fun runs offer guns as a price at one time. One of the victims of the recent crime was an avid runner. It would have been odd if she won the Armscor Run.
 May the souls of those who perished rest in peace.