It may come as a blessing for Filipinos that gun violence is not as strong as it is in the United States, with school and public shootings that leave several dead bodies and many injured. However, it does not mean that we should not be oblivious to this issue. Gun violence is a real thing in our country as well, and before we take a stand as to whether we support it or not, we must learn as much as we can on the issue to make educated assumptions and decisions.
According to GunPolicy.Org, there are about 600,000 government guns and almost 4 million privately owned firearms. In 2008, 7,000 people were killed by guns. This number, although outdated, has surely increased given President Rodrigo Duterte’s views on drugs and extrajudicial killings. In the Philippines, the things you need in order to acquire a gun are police clearance, proof of billing, certificate of employment, 2 valid IDs with a picture, ID pictures and a cedula. Often times, you may just pay off someone to fake a drug test and psychiatric exam. A gun may cost Php 30,000 and above, while licence renewal does not go above Php 500. The question now is, should you own a gun?
It is not customary for civilians in the Philippines to go to work with a gun tucked in their pants, or even a knife in their boot for that matter. But we must look out for our own safety, even in the comfort of our homes. We have the right to protect ourselves against potential threats, and that includes having a gun as the first defense. However, it is no longer a question of whether or not we should own it, but if we are mentally fit to have it. As a result, the government must revise the laws and regulations permitting gun possession by thoroughly investigating and testing those who want to own guns to see if they are fit to have one. By doing so, there will be less chances of enraged and unnecessary random violence caused by mental instability, or kidnappings and thefts due to poverty and desperation.