Gun ban crimes project FAQ
Why is PROGUN opposed to the gun ban?
To date, there have been no cases anywhere in the world where gun control has prevented criminals from obtaining firearms. All implementations of gun bans have consistently shown that they only serve to leave people vulnerable to the predators of society.
Why did you start this project?
PROGUN would like to challenge the PNP's claims that the ban was a success. We believe that most of those arrested were simply ordinary people who would have been able to legally carry a firearm, were it not for the ban. Meanwhile, violence from the real targets, such as criminals, gangs and armed militia continued unabated. Unfortunately, since we in the Philippines lack independent sources to verify official reports, it was necessary for us to compile our own data.
How is your data different from other statistics?
This project is an independent database openly available to the public and compiled by the PROGUN community. Unlike other statistics which simply give the final total, each of our incident reports are available for review and may be disputed by our audience. In addition, our numbers are updated as reports are added or removed from the database. This should therefore give the most impartial statistics available.
Where do you source your data?
The incidents in our database come from actual reports from the media, such as online newspapers, TV or radio. The date, source and if possible, text of the report is copied so that the incident can be verified by the public.
This approach of using the media for gathering statistics is tried and tested. Iraq Body Count has successfully used this method for several years to compile independent data on civilian deaths since the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
How accurate are these statistics?
If anything, these statistics would be an underestimation of the actual figures. This is because the database consists only of media reports that our small team of volunteer researchers have found in their spare time. The project started on May 4, 2010 (approximately three weeks prior to the time of writing this FAQ) so there are undoubtably many reports that we have missed. Furthermore, only incidents that have been reported in the media, and therefore independently corroborated, are included.
How do you deal with deaths in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)?
We avoid including reports about obvious 'war zone' clashes between military and militia in the ARMM. A valid argument for including them is that they are still deaths that were not prevented by the gun ban. Nevertheless, we feel that their inclusion may just open up the figures to the criticism of being skewed.
Incidents that are crime related, have been perpetrated on civilians or on off-duty soldiers are included.
If you would like to debate this point, please visit our forum discussion on this topic.
Why have you included non-firearms related incidents?
To only record gun related incidents, as the PNP seems to be doing, misses the bigger picture. In the wider context of keeping the public safe from violent crime, the firearm is the most effective tool that the individual can use for self-defense. By forbidding people from using this tool, they are more vulnerable to predators. After all, a firearm is not the only object that can cause harm, but it is the most practical tool that even the old and weak can use for self-defense.
Our data therefore includes incidents where a firearm would have given the victim a chance, even if the offensive weapon was not another firearm.
How do I contribute to this project?
Simply create an account on PROGUN and then login to the site. Under the left menu, you will see a 'Create content' > 'Incident report option.
Please only add incidents that match the following criteria:
- They were the result of a crime during the 2010 gun ban.
- A firearm was used to perpetrate the crime or
- Access to a firearm may have prevented or mitigated the casualties, either through direct use or as a deterrent.
- The incidents have been verified in the media e.g. by a newspaper, TV or radio report.
- You have a source for the report e.g. web address, publication details, or date and time or radio or news coverage.
- The incidents have not already been added.
How do I dispute an incident?
If you feel that an incident was inappropriately added, please add your comment below the incident report. PROGUN volunteers monitor the comments and will take action by removing the figures from the total if the dispute is correct.