Coming close on the heels of various news reports detailing the horrific deaths caused by gun violence in the United States and also in my home country of Philippines, I cannot but applaud Singapore authorities for having the enormous foresight to impose severe penalties for gun ownership and its use in the 1970s. As a result of that foresight the sense of security I feel when walking the streets is in absolute stark contrast to what I feel in my hometown; because I need not fear the indiscriminate firing of firearms or run the risk of being killed like what recently happened to hapless seven-year old Stephanie Nicole Ella (‘Filipinos seek stricter gun rules after carnage’ last Friday January 11, 2013) in my home country.
Gun violence is so very widespread in my nation and many attempts to curb the menace have become all but fruitless. Lawmakers are now under intense pressure to hold debates regarding stricter gun control proposals. Though the Philippines has enough laws to penalize perpetrators, there however, has been little enforcement of these laws, especially on those ‘loose firearms’ known otherwise as unlicensed arms, as correctly pointed out by Vice President Jejomar Binay. Some 100,000 of these unlicensed firearms are circulating today in the Philippines and as how the news report correctly said most of that stems from a plain failure to enforce tough anti-gun laws as how Singapore mapped out some 40 over years ago.