Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
Last August 30, a senior high school student of Colegio San Agustin in Dasmariñas Village, Makati was allegedly confronted by the parent of his classmate that he got into a fight with after he had enough of being bullied. The shocking thing about this confrontation was that right inside the school; the irate father allegedly pointed a loaded gun at the forehead of the student, Jesus Manuel Garcia, and threatened to shoot him. Charges have recently been filed against the gun-toting dad, Allan Canete Bantiles, but because the government has not yet stepped in, we can assume that the license for his firearm as well as his Permit To Carry Firearm Outside Of Residence (if it exists), remain valid.
Last Friday, a shootout between a security guard and a motorist took place a few meters from the gate of the University of St. La Salle. The investigation conducted by the police indicates that Antonio Villanueva Jr. shot at security guard Jose Pelegro but his gun malfunctioned, allowing Pelegro to shoot back and hit him in the abdomen. The police believe that the incident was triggered by a simple traffic altercation. The police have recovered the .38 caliber service firearm of the security guard while the licensed .45 caliber pistol of Villanueva was not seized.
In both cases, licensed firearms were used improperly in or horrifyingly near schools, in the presence of numerous witnesses. However, both deadly weapons were not confiscated nor were the licenses and permits to carry swiftly revoked even if it was clear that the firearms were used improperly and dangerously by the irresponsible owners.
Both cases underlined a glaring need for proper screening procedures in the issuance of firearms licenses and permits to carry as well as the need for a mechanism for those firearms permits and licenses to be expeditiously revoked, including the mandatory confiscation of the weapons involved when any gun owner is found to have used his firearm improperly. People who point guns at unarmed teenagers inside schools or engage in shootouts over a simple traffic altercation should never be allowed to own or carry firearms in this country. Will our government and police officials ever do something about this dangerous class of gun owners?*