A total gun ban in the Philippines

April 9, 2010

In the hope of avoiding violence during the 2010 general elections, the Philippines was put under a nationwide total gun ban for the period between January 10 and June 9. The ban, according to Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief General Jesus Verzosa, has been such an effective crime deterrent that they are considering a permanent total gun ban.

His statement seems brush aside reports from the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) that the 2010 elections are turning out to be the most violent. As with other gun control adherents, he also ignores is the fact that there have been no cases anywhere in the world where a ban has effectively prevented criminals from obtaining weapons.

It is a fact that the gun ban failed to stop violent criminals from murdering hundreds of people during the 5 months since it started. Further, many of the much publicized arrests were made up of—had it not been for the ban—otherwise legal gun holders.

This development comes in the wake of a series of moves to tighten firearms controls, such as the ludicrous ban on inside-waistband carry and an attempt to reclassify airsoft replicas as firearms. As usual, the public is supposed to believe that these steps are all geared to make us safer.

Some of us, however, may find this trend somewhat suspicious, and rightly so; those who look at history know that one of the first steps of the aspiring autocrat is to disarm the population. The Philippines may not be at risk of another Ferdinand Marcos just yet, but someone is pulling our government’s strings.