Killing softly with stray bullets-A A +A
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
CHARICE Opsima, 1, of Upper Lipata, Minglanilla, Cebu was hit with a stray bullet last June 10. There wasn't as much fuss about her tragedy as that over Stephanie Nicole Ella, 7, of Caloocan City who was also hit with a stray bullet last New Year's Eve.
Charice was reported as hospitalized. Stephanie died amid the noise over the holiday toll from firecrackers and guns.
If Charice was a victim of celebratory gunfire, it was isolated, off-holiday outburst in a Cebu sitio. Stephanie was among several victims of stray bullets, with eight wounded in Cebu alone.
Yet charges for gun celebrators would be only homicide or physical injuries through reckless imprudence.
Not murder, which is well-thought-out. When one fires his gun into the air, often in drunken joy, in theory he doesn't think of hurting anyone, not someone as innocent as baby Charice, a glass of Milo in her hand when felled.
How does one instruct a gun owner who already knows well that a bullet that goes up goes down, that while its velocity is reduced on its fall it can still wound or kill?
With full knowledge of what could happen, one who engages in celebratory gun firing is not just being reckless, he's being murderous.
The lesson is repeated after each holiday, though stronger this time as casualties from stray bullets compete with the number of those shot by wackos and by police in clashes with hoods.
Unleashed with a loud bang, stray bullets reach victims quietly, which doesn't make the death or injury less stupid.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 08, 2013.