Thursday, January 10, 2013

Ban All Private Guns in the Philippines

Calling the proposal for a total gun ban a "knee jerk reaction", President Benigno Aquino III on Wednesday said he would prefer a new law increasing the penalties against gun violators.

"Magandang headline -- total gun ban, pero may knee-jerk reaction eh. Hindi ko ugaling mambola. Maghanap tayo ng paraan na talagang maso-solve 'yung isyu at hindi nagpapa-cute lang," the President said in an interview with Palace reporters at the sidelines of the oath taking ceremony of newly appointed officials.

"Sang-ayon tayo (kung) may mga mungkahi na taasan ang mga penalty, okay 'yon," he noted.

By definition, Aquino said, "lahat itong gumagawa ng krimen -- outlaw. So a law that seeks to reform the outlaws will not work, so you need 'yung law that will sanction them further and to prove as the deterrence."

"So I think a lot of us will agree with the basic premise na 'yung outlaw will be one of the first or the first groups that will say, 'thank you na madidisarmahan 'yung law abiding citizen dahil mas madali na silang mabiktima,'" he noted.

The President, a known gun enthusiast, also took exception to calls for him to refrain from practicing target shooting to prove his seriousness in addressing the problem of loose firearms in the country.

"I think I lead by example by conforming to the law. You will acknowledge that I was a victim of a violence in this aspect in 1987 and both by Church and the law recognizes my right to self defense. Self defense is a skill and it's a skill that has to be practiced to have any value," he stressed.

Instead of imposing total gun ban, President Aquino said laws penalizing gun owners who violate the privilege should be strictly enforced and dismantling of private armed groups should be pursued vigorously.

"Total gun ban, it sounds nice, but the total does not happen because the outlaw will not. So we will not stop in our pursuit to (apprehend) these people who are outside of the law and get them before the bars of justice," he said.

No comments: