John Pope: shooter, ‘victim’-A A +A
Thursday, January 24, 2013
WHAT drove Canadian national John Pope to shoot last Tuesday a doctor, his lawyer, a woman prosecutor, and himself in the MBF Hall of Justice at the Cebu Capitol compound?
He apparently wanted to dramatize the injustice he felt he was getting. In the process, he destroyed people who did not deserve the fate.
At least, Pope gunned down only those he thought had wronged him. Random shooting in a roomful of lawyers and clients would've killed more people. And thank God, he wasn't in US or homeland Canada where he could've used a high-speed, multi-round assault rifle.
Pope's mind, we're told, snapped, suddenly or in a slow descent to the dark world of madness. Obviously, his was out of synch: most people don't shoot other people who sue for a petty crime like malicious mischief.
Psychiatrists and criminal mind experts could study how and why it happened. A more immediate concern is public safety in government buildings and how issues raised by Pope's case may be addressed.
A Supreme Court official talked about pressing the security contractor to install metal detectors and hiring more guards. The Cebu City mayor talked of installing CCTVs at City Hall (but not without sniping at the hostile City Council).
Prosecutors wanted to carry guns even during the campaign period.
Standard responses but not much can be expected from any bureaucracy.
And there's the matter of allegedly unmet demand for justice. Was Pope a victim of a flawed system he wasn't used to but most Filipinos endure only in silent, gun-less rage?
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 24, 2013.