PROGUN denounces Gun Ban in Zamboanga City

Yesterday, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse Robredo yesterday ordered the cancellation of Mission Orders (MO) and Memorandum Receipts (MR) of military and police assets, civilians and other agents of the law, as well as ordered for the strict enforcement of the gun ban in the city. Robredo’s orders came after meeting with Mayor Celso Lobregat, Isabela City Mayor Cherry Akbar and Basilan Gov. Jum Akbar at the City Hall Conference Room to discuss, assess, thresh out and agree on what to do to quell terroristic acts especially after the bomb blast at the Atilano Pension House that killed three people and injuring 27 others. He suspects someone is behind or manipulating the series of bomb attacks to discredit the administration, thus the need to look deeper into this perception. 

Robredo said standard checkpoints, mobile and random checkpoints will be established in strategic places of the city to strictly implement the gun ban.

Gun Ban? Who committed those bombings in Zamboanga City anyway? Was it the legitmate and licensed owners of guns? Or was it the acts of terrorists or outlaws?

Gun bans such as this are what are known as "knee jerk" reactions or automatic, albeit illogical, responses to criminal incidents to make up for the inability of the police or government authorities to investigate, apprehend, and charge the perpetrators of the crime committed. We have seen this type of illogical behavior before by the police and government authorities on several occasions, (which apparently is becoming a bad habit) that when a high profile crime strikes, which the police cannot solve immediately or catch the perpetrators, a gun ban of licensed gun owners is implemented. This happened before in the cities of Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo, and absurdly in Maguindanao after the infamous massacre there by a government-backed and armed warlord family, the Ampatuan Clan.

The problem with kneejerk reactions is that they clearly a cover-up of the inability of the police or government authorties to solve crime. Clearly, the legitimate and licensed gun owners are being made scapegoats for the acts of criminals. Since the police cannot catch the criminals or solve the crime, then a gun ban on licensed gun owners is called to give the public the FALSE PERCEPTION that the crime is being resolved and somthing is being done. In reality, however, nothing is being done since the licensed gun owners who had no participation whatsoever in the commission of the crime, are being indirectly and falsely made to blame. Let us be clear however that rising criminality is due to the acts of criminals who do not respect nor follow the law, whereas licensed gun owners arm themselves to protect themselves against criminals whom the police and government cannot control, or protect honest citizens from.

The illogical nature of a gun ban in crime infested areas simply make the job of criminals easier. A gun free community where there is an incompetent and corrupt police force (often complict with criminals in committing crimes), is an easy target for criminals and terrorists. In effect, the honest-to-goodness citizens are made sitting ducks and helpless prey to criminals, or those who purport to protect them.

A gun ban in Zamboanga is not the answer to terrorist bombings. Rather than cancel or suspend the legitimate carrying of guns, the police and authorities should concentrate on PROPER INVESTIGATION AND APPREHENSION OF THE TERRORISTS AND CRIMINALS WHO COMMITTED SUCH ACTS. Licensed gun owners who had nothing to do with the crime should be allowed to defend themselves against lawless elements, if seemingly the authorites are unable to provide such protection.