Why Punish Responsible Owners of Guns?

Let’s start with the figures. In contrast to the 1:500 ratio (1 police officer to every 500 Filipinos) desired by the government, the current ratio is 1:662 nationwide. Of course, that’s not evenly distributed, with the ratio spiking to 1:1,224 in Calabarzon. The Philippine National Police (PNP) is the first to admit that it is undermanned.

The reality on the ground is different. Take away the cops who are assigned in malls, buildings and other government installations. Take away the cops who are assigned as security escorts of politicians and other government officers. Take away the cops on crowd control duty during rallies. Take away the cops used to augment security preparations for visiting politicians and dignitaries. Take away the cops who are doing office work. How many are left for actual street patrol?

Now, let’s say a criminal is in your house — with an unlicensed gun, of course — and you call the police for assistance. Do you know what number to call? And if you happen to know the emergency number, how long will the police authorities respond? Again, the police is seriously undermanned.

If a licensed gun is used in a crime, the police can readily identify the owner because there’s a  database. The same cannot be said of unlicensed firearms. If the gun involved in the death of Stephanie Nicole Ella is licensed, the PNP could easily trace it. If the slug cannot be found in the database, then most likely it was fired from an unlicensed gun.

Then why are we blaming licensed owners of guns? Why not go after unlicensed firearms, estimated at 600,000? If a total gun ban is imposed, does that mean that ALL the UNLICENSED firearms are also taken off the streets? Maybe the proponents of total gun ban can ENSURE a police response time of under 3 minutes? Why punish law-abiding and responsible owners of guns?

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