ANTI-gun lobbyists are busy toasting to themselves nowadays.

How victorious they must feel reading the congratulatory editorials of clueless pundits who reflect on peace from inside their air-con offices in buildings secured, at every floor and entrance, ironically by armed guards.

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All the while, criminals are having the time of their life. What better opportunity to scour the streets for prey than when everybody else is unarmed?

And—as a lot of people already know—this is exactly what the gun ban does. Stripped of all that ganja-inspired pseudo humanistic-existentialism, it disarms everybody else except the criminal.

Everybody, except for a very few close-minded individuals, realizes this and is bothered by it. It does not matter if the gun ban is only for the election season and will be lifted by June. It has already cost lives.

EXEMPTION. Trial court judges were the first to really raise the red flag. The Supreme Court interceded in their behalf and wrote the Commission on Elections who denied their plea.

The lawyers then took up the cudgels with the Integrated Bar of the Philippines passing a resolution asking the Comelec to rethink its position given the real danger judges face. They also asked that this be extended to cover lawyers handling sensitive cases.

Now, it’s the National Prosecution Service, that arm of the Department of Justice which is tasked to conduct inquest and preliminary investigation on criminal complaints as well as prosecute these cases in court.

The shooting community throws its support behind the judges, lawyers and prosecutors and appreciates their effort in bringing the very unpopular issue of liberalizing firearm carry laws out in the open.

The only voice of dissent I hear are from some pundits saying guns do not insure safety and suggesting instead that these lawyers, prosecutors and judges be more professional in the conduct of their work, which sounds to me like a back-handed insult.

As a Presbyterian Protestant, I was brought up to believe in the Good Book and I try my best to follow the commandment of loving thy neighbor. However, nowhere does it say that I should believe my neighbor loves me.

My point, a person’s goodness defines who he or she is.

Behavior, after all, is one indicator of character. But this goodness does not always influence the action of others.

How many “good” people have fallen to another man’s club, knife or gun since the ancient times? Too many, I imagine.

GRANTED. With that, I hope the judges, lawyers and prosecutors will be successful in their bid.

The good thing is that the Comelec seems to have relaxed its position on having a total gun ban.

I can announce now that the Comelec has, in fact, granted the Philippine Practical Shooting Association’s request for exemptions to members taking part in at least two of the nine Qualifier Matches gun clubs all over the country are alternately hosting this month, next month and May.

PPSA secretary Norman Doromal, who was in Cebu last Sunday, said the organization’s active members can apply to be given one through their respective gun clubs.

The fees are minimal; P1,000 as permit fee paid to PNP, a PPSA processing fee of P200 and the pre-registration fee of P2,000 total for the two matches that all permit applicants are required to shoot in.

One of the qualifier matches will be held here in Cebu, hosted by the Talisay Aqua City Gun Club, on April 24 and 25.

The exemptions allow the holder the privilege of transporting their guns from their home to a gun club every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from the date of issuance up to the date the gun ban is lifted.

This gives the holder plenty of time for range practice, definitely a necessity in these uncertain times.

(knrama@gmail.com)