As TTAG predicted, the Philippine government is moving to extend its temporary, election-related gun ban to infinity—and beyond! The state-dominated media is, surprise, lining up behind the idea. “We believe that the enforcement of the proposed gun ban would help correct the culture of violence and lawlessness and pave the way to peace and law and order in our country,” the inquirer.net‘s editorialist opines with Pollyanna purposefulness. And for those who consider a gun ban a method for an oppressive regime to limit opposition at the expense of political freedom and personal safety, the national paper offers some not-entirely-reassuring words. “Actually, what is being proposed is not a total gun ban but gun control, as explained by PNP [Philippine National Police] Director-General Jesus Verzosa and Pacheco himself. Verzosa said some persons will still be allowed to carry guns but under strict controls and conditions.” And now, death by stats . . .
The statistics in two past elections tell the story of the effectiveness of gun control. In 2003, the crime rate for index crimes per 100,000 population was 52.1 percent, whereas in 2004, an election year, the crime rate decreased by 1 percentage point to 51.1 percent. In 2006, the crime rate for index crimes was 47.8 percent whereas in 2007, an election year, it decreased by 6 percentage points to 41.8 percent. A Comelec gun ban is imposed during the election period. (Index crimes include crimes against persons such as murder, homicide, physical injury and rape and crimes against property such as robbery and theft.)
The PNP said that the last elections were “the most peaceful” compared to the 2004 and 2007 elections (although 18 persons were killed). Many of the election-related attacks took place in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, an area historically notorious for election violence and mayhem.
So that’s alright then. This story is a perfect parable for American pressure groups who believe that democracy and gun control are a perfect combination. Mark my words: when only the police have guns, bad things happen.
BTW: The U.S. government sent $96.04 million of your tax money to the Philippine government in 2009 via US AID Philippines.
UPDATE: “Pro-gun advocate Perry Punla, president of Gun Enthusiasts Confederation of the Philippines, said in a statement that lawmakers should make sure that individuals had the right and not just the privilege to carry guns.”