Page Title
Editor's corner/ Over a cup of tea
Heidi M. Pascual*
Publisher & Editor
* 2006 Journalist of the
Year for the State of
Wisconsin (U.S.-SBA)

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Gun control and community fear
By Heidi M. Pascual
Incidents like this sow fear in the community we all live in. We’re now afraid we’ll be gunned down anytime while we
are enjoying a music fest in our cities, or simply shopping inside a crowded mall.

We ought to restart the gun control debate! We ought to re-regulate issuance of gun licenses, making sure number and
type of guns are extremely necessary to protect people and property. High-powered guns and weapons of mass
destruction should ONLY be for our military, in case of wars, and not for ordinary people who, while financially able to
purchase the same, DO NOT really need them for “protection.” Wealthy folks whose hobbies include gun collection
must also be looked at. Nobody should be exempt from re-regulating gun ownership to avoid a repeat of the Las Vegas

The National Rifle Association (NRA) claims that since America is dangerous, Americans should own a gun to protect
themselves. The truth is, statistics have shown that more fatal accidents happen in the home of gun owners! Where’s
the protection there?

Let us stop thinking politics here. We really need a gun-control law that would save Americans from fear and being
In the Philippines
In the Philippines, the use of guns by riders in tandem executing so-called “extra judicial killings” is a daily occurrence,
making early news as soon as you wake up and turn on the radio. People are afraid that they would be gunned down
anytime, or that their young sons could be executed by the police, like the teenagers who were claimed to have
committed drug pushing or robbery. President Duterte’s war on drugs – while may be unintended – brushed aside the
courts, wiping out drug suspects in droves. When results of a survey revealed that majority of Filipinos believe that the
right of suspects held  by the Philippine National Police on drug charges is disregarded, the PNP Chief called the
critics “Ingrato” (thankless), adding that they benefit from the peace and order now being experienced by the country.
What “peace and order” are we talking about here? Well, the dead is at peace per the order of...

In fairness to President Duterte though, I am impressed by his tough stance against illegal drugs and his focus on
cleansing corrupt offices of the government. Filipinos truly need a very very strong man as leader, otherwise, nothing
will happen, nothing will change. However, he cannot completely control his law enforcers, though some of them have
In the U.S.
Most recently, we Americans found ourselves watching the news on the deadliest mass
shooting in U.S. history which happened in Las Vegas, where 59 people were killed and
more than 500 injured. The shooter targeted an outdoor concert crowd, using high-powered
guns perched on his hotel’s broken windows on the 32nd floor. Right away, I
thought about other mass shootings that shook our country this decade: Virginia Tech, Sandy
Hook Elementary School, Pulse Nightclub, and asked myself, “Why is this happening?”
The tendency is to look for the motives or believe that the shooter must be out of his mind, a
mental case. The focus seems to be distracted that the main reason all those mass
shootings happened is not given enough attention—guns.

Apparently, the Las Vegas shooter legally purchased his arsenal of weapons of mass
destruction, and NO ONE raised a red flag! Not even my
kababayan (countryman), the
Filipina girlfriend of the shooter (Stephen Paddock) who must have known about her partner’s
arms collection, nor the gun stores where Paddock bought various killing machines.
been sacked for their crimes. People are
scared because a lot of scalawags are still
out there powered with badges and guns.
Additionally, none so far of the riding-in-
tandem gunners has been apprehended,
when they have killed hundreds of people
already in various communities.

In this case, no gun control law is being
followed by the gunners.  There’s no such
thing as gun control here, sorry. There’s a
law but no one follows it, not even by some
law enforcers! I said “some” because there
are still lots of law enforcers who are doing
their best at their jobs. However, the rotten
eggs make the whole police force look bad.

Recently, Duterte removed the main
responsibility on drug war from the police
and placed it on the Phil. Drug Enforcement
Agency (PDEA), hoping the action would
decrease drug-related deaths on a daily
basis. We’re hoping the same...and also,
that the police would now focus on the
riding-in-tandem killers on the streets.