AL-KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia – Filipino workers in Al-Khobar expressed their opposing views on the issue of a total gun ban in the Philippines.
Vangie Lait, a teacher at the International Philippine School in Al-Khobar (IPSA), is not in favor of a total gun ban because it will not solve the crime problem and it would not deter criminals from acquiring guns.
Lait said that the law should be strengthened and the offenders should be slapped with stiffer punishment.
“Mas matutuwa po ang mga criminal at mga masasamang loob na gumawa ng kalokohan sa kapwa nila kung wala na silang kinatatakutang armas na kagaya nito. Nararapat lang po na mag-set ng proper rules and strict guidelines kung sino ang dapat na pagkalooban na magkaroon ng lisensya,” Lait said.
Lait’s colleague, Darwin Majid, does not also support the total gun ban. It will only encourage criminals to commit more crimes, he said.
“Maging malakas lang ang loob ng mga mamamayan na gumawa ng maraming karahasan. Datapwat ang mas mainam po magbigay po tayo ng malinaw na reporma at patakaran sa mga mamamayan na humahawak ng armas,” Majid said.
On the other hand, there are also OFWs who are pro-gun advocates like Romy Quizon of AlKhobar. He believes that a gun is needed in order to protect oneself and his family in the Philippines. Some use it to protect their business and properties.
“Sa panahon ngayon ay alam mo na ang buhay sa atin, marami ang nalolooban at delikado ang sitwasyon kaya kailangan mayroon kang proteksyon sa sarili at sa pamilya,” Quizon said.
He supports the initiative of the government in their campaign against loose firearms especially that election period is coming.
Likewise, he believes that possessing a gun comes with responsibility and that everyone should have a license.
However, there are also Pinoys who advocate a gun-less society like Leo Cefre, an Architect in AlKhobar. He is in favor of a total gun ban and the initiative should come from the president and other highest officials in the government.
“Pabor ako sa total gun ban. However, yung initiative should come from the top, I mean yung matataas na opisyales dapat sa kanila manggaling ang initiative na ‘to para mas madali sa mga maliliit na sumang-ayon dito sa total gun ban,” Cefre said.
He longs for a peaceful society where he and his family can live without fear of being shot or robbed at gunpoint.
He also noted that Stephanie Nicole Ella, the 7-year-old girl who died after she was hit by a stray bullet last New Year, and the eight victims of Ronald Bae who ran amok in Kawit, Cavite on January 4, would have not died if there was a total gun ban.
Moreover, he urged the government and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to be strict in implementing the election gun ban especially in areas tagged as hotspots.