Fire away!-A A +A
Saturday, January 5, 2013
WHENEVER gun owners point their guns up in the air and blast away, something, somewhere is going to get hit.
It’s irresponsible, dangerous and stupid – but it’s also really fun, if you happen to own a gun, you’ll know what I’m talking about, but if you don’t, then you’re probably one of those people that say we should outright ban guns during New Year’s Eve.
It can’t be done. Let’s say for a second that the government passes such a law – a law that disallows the use of firearms on New Year’s Eve. The government would need to search each and every home of each and every licensed firearm owner to plug their weapons and enforce law, and even then they’d need search warrants for all those people. It’s not realistic.
But, still, stray bullets are always dangerous and, as such, measures should be taken to prevent a loss of life or the loss of important body parts during the New Year’s thousand gun salute.
First of all, you have to understand why gun owners fire into the air in the first place. It’s fun – and the especially trigger-happy gun owners out there take every chance they get to fire their weapons, because it’s not every day that you get to be invaded by an armed robber.
One of the overlooked solutions to this problem is actually pretty obvious. Allow gun owners to use their weapons but allow them to fire only blanks – a blank, for those of you who don’t know, is a bullet with powder, but no projectile, which means it’s absolutely not lethal. You could shoot literally a thousand rounds point blank at a person and nothing would happen to him.
I don’t understand for the life of me why nobody sells blanks. During New Year, the Department of Health wouldn’t have to worry about any injuries from blanks because these types of bullets are pretty safe to use. Current Philippine firearm laws state that blanks may only be used by film companies – and the Armscor firearms manufacturing company only allows it to be bought in the thousands.
In my humble opinion, the Philippine government should allow everyone to buy blanks and blank firing adaptors (the gun part needed to fire blanks) – it’ll reduce deaths and injuries, and shooters will still be able to shoot.
Another alternative to a harmless bang-bang would be to simply use a boga instead of a real firearm. Now, a boga is basically a bunch of paint cans strapped together or a PVC pipe with denatured alcohol as an explosive ingredient. You can make one yourself (instructions online) or you can buy one if the firework vendors are selling.
It makes a loud boom but nothing comes out of the barrel. It fires at a rate of 6 shots per minute, but it’s relatively safe because nothing that comes out of the “business end” can hurt anyone, even if you’re the type that likes to put tin cans and stuff in there, that’ll be more annoying than painful.
However, if you honest-to-goodness don’t want to hurt anyone or anything by discharging your weapon, then don’t discharge your weapon at all. It’s safer that way.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on January 06, 2013.