RE-VISITING THE ISSUE OF THE COMELEC GUN BAN

Today marks the Barangay Elections of 2010. It also marks the one month period since the latest Comelec Gun latest gun ban has been implemented. Practically 99.9% of all citizens, including gun owners, do not have anything to do with the barangay elections. The streets are plastered with nameless faces and people we never even met or know. Very few of us are directly involved in these elections, as in any other election. Frankly, most of us couldn't care less who would win or lose. And yet, we the gun owners and ordinary citizens bear the brunt of the oppressive rules such as the gun ban. For this current barangay election, all of us (not just candidates) are restricted from carrying our firearms outside of our residence for the period of one month prior to the elections and for 15 days thereafter or a total period of 45 days.

For the citizenry, whether there is an election or not, life goes on. For those of us under threat to our lives and security, the criminals couldn't care less if there is an election or not. Crime does not respect or follow any election gun ban. And criminality continues unabated 24/7, regardless of whether there are elections or not. As expected, killings, assassinations, and murders have continued this election. As per the PROGUN statistics, as of today there have been 85 violent incidents, 103 injuries, and 78 people killed during this election gun ban alone. The statistics are here: 

http://progun.ph/2010-barangay-sk-election-gun-ban-statistics

Most alarming is that the Comelec has now issued selective gun carrying exemptions to judges and prosecutors and those working in the judiciary. This is downright discriminatory, since the vast majority of crime victims as reported in the foregoing crime statistics tally ARE NOT JUDGES AND PROSECUTORS. The victims are ordinary citizens. Politics and favoritism has once again reared its ugly head by the rules being bent to serve the interests of one particular group, as opposed to the welfare of the majority, the people. In the end, it is the people who suffer from such policies.

As was proven by the PROGUN crime statistics project during the 2010 presidential and senatorial elections, the Comelec gun ban has been proven to be a policy failure of the government. In spite of the "total gun ban", i.e., no exemptions, 970 people were shot - of which 576 were killed and the rest injured (http://progun.ph/gun-ban-crimes). Clearly, the gun ban and all the massive checkpoints failed to prevent gun related violence. Likewise, these incidents proved that criminals do not respect any such gun ban and the police were powerless to prevent such incidents from happening. Consequently, it is high time to re-visit this failed policy of the government.

Past moves to question the gun ban have not really touched upon the proper and important legal and Constitutional issues of this policy. Thus, we are currently studying legal and other options available to re-visit this issue of the gun ban, which we consider to be one of the most worthless rules ever promulgated.