May 2013: Thus far the bloodiest month of the year.

As widely anticipated, the month of May 2013 turned out to be the bloodiest thus far of this year. Expectedly, the 13 May elections and the period early in the month immediately leading up to the event, raised the bar for violence as never before in Philippine election history: Incidents: 491, Injuries: 333, Killed: 405. Sadly, these figures were missed by the mainstream media and were picked up only by the smaller news agencies.

In stark contrast, war torn Iraq listed the following deaths for March 2013: 33 deaths, and for February 2013: 22 deaths. Source: http://www.iraqbodycount.org/database/. Of course, Iraq is a failed state where violence, crime, and terrorism is rampant, whereas the Philippines claims to be a democratic country ruled by a constitutional government and the rule of law. Considering the foregoing comparison, it makes one wonder which is a better and safer place to live?

Election time in the Philippines has historically brought about the worst in violence. However, analyzing our crime statistics, it appears that not only had election related violence continued during this comelec election gun ban, but also regular common crimes such as homicide, robberies, thefts, rapes, and physical injuries continued unabated. The comelec gun ban, though in place, did nothing to stop the criminals from continuing to commit crimes. And it should be noted likewise that the vast majority of these crimes that were committed were not only prevented, but remained unsolved: the perpetrators were never brought to justice.

If anything, the valuable lesson taught againt during this gun ban period is that laws and gun bans do not deter criminals from committting crimes. Rather what deters criminals is the knowlledge or certainty that they would be caught, or the law enforced, or that they would end up dead themselves if they choose to continue in the commission of crimes.