MANILA, Philippines – Several days after the death of 7-year old Stephanie Nicole Ella in Caloocan City and eight others in Kawit, Cavite during a shooting rampage, attention has been drawn towards the implementation of stricter gun-control measures.
However, gun enthusiasts said that while they have nothing against a gun ban, the government would be better to go after those who possess and manufacture illegal firearms.
Armscor general manager Bob Sajot said it would perhaps be better to think more on what can be done about illegally owned and manufactured guns than calling for a total gun ban.
He also said the country profits from the legal manufacturing of guns and should therefore not be stifled with such measure.
"Ang daming dolyar na ipinapasok niyan sa bansa so unahin muna natin 'yung mga ilegal," he told ABS-CBN news.
Sajot also added that stiffer laws and penalties against gun-related crimes would instill responsibility for gun owners.
He also emphasized that guns are used for the protection of one's self and not as a way to greet a new year or hurt others.
"Hindi namin pinahihintulan 'yung ganong pagiisip, 'yung illegitimate shooting sa bagong taon. Hindi dapat gamitin ang baril para iputok sa ere kasi pagbagsak ng bala may tatamaan pa rin 'yan. So meron lang tamang paraan ng pag gamit ng baril," Sajot said.
He also said that gun-related deaths make up only a fragment of the total deaths in the country.
"Kung statistics ang paguusapan natin, isang porsyento lang ng pagkamatay ang manggagaling sa baril. Napakaraming pagkamatay ang manggagaling sa mga driver na iresponsable, na nagmamaneho ng lasing. Marami silang napapatay. Eto lang kasi nagiging sensational lang dahil baril," he said.
Sajot stressed that what is missing is the proper implementation of laws as regards gun ownership.
Should the government go after manufacturers of illegal firearms, he said the public could expect less gun-related deaths as the possession of guns will now be directed to only those who are mentally fit for "self-defense" weapons. - Report from Raffy Bosano, ABS-CBN News