Editorial: Worrisome pessimism-A A +A
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
REPORTS on the Jan. 4 killing rampage in Kawit, Cavite didn’t say that the killer aped Adam Lanza, who shot to death 26 people, 20 of them children, in a school in Connecticut, USA last month.
Ronald Bae’s mind must simply be drug-addled and depressed when he killed eight people and wounded many others in his own version of a shooting rampage in Cavite. And he may really have something against his neighbors because he lost in a barangay election years ago.
But given the wide coverage of the Connecticut and similar previous incidents in the US, one can say Bae may have known about these killings and had this in mind when he picked up his .45 pistol that morning.
After the incident, the Philippine National Police (PNP) has relieved the police chief of Kawit, Cavite for the failure of policemen to immediately respond to the incident resulting in the higher number of casualties. The PNP has also vowed to launch an intensified drive against loose guns.
Because of the incident, some sectors have questioned the practice of the media playing up reports on such killings, thus giving depressed or drug-addled people a model to follow in plotting their suicides.
That is missing the point, of course, which is that the brew of drug addiction mixed with the proliferation of loose firearms will sometimes produce the kind of violence seen in Cavite. And also that the failure of law enforcers to enforce related laws fuels it.
The PNP’s firearms and explosives office says that there are more than a million registered firearms in the Philippines. It estimated the unlicensed firearms in circulation at 600,000. The PNP estimates didn’t include the extent of the drug problem in the country.
The Cavite killings, together with the New Year’s Eve death of 7-year-old Stephanie Nicole Ella from a stray bullet in Pampanga, may prompt the PNP and Aquino administration to launch an intensified drive against loose firearms. But it is doubtful if that could make a dent on an illegal activity that, paired with the still lucrative illegal drugs trade, has made volatile the peace and order situation in the country.
The pessimism may be worrisome but it is understandable.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 08, 2013.