Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Idiots do not learn, nor do they care, from other people’s experiences. This is why idiots are also known as nitwits (with wits the size of lice), peabrained (with brains the size of peas), pinheads (with brains the size of pins), airheads (with not even a brain in their heads), and so on.
Idiots with guns are some of the worst because their mental capacity cannot make the connection between their act of indiscriminately firing dangerous weapons and the harm their acts can bring about. As evidenced by the continued deaths and injuries from stray bullets (especially by young children) – new year after new year - stray bullets do not make idiots stop and think and refrain from indiscriminately firing guns to celebrate the coming year.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for stupidity.
But while we cannot cure, it doesn’t mean we cannot prevent. Or at least try.
Presently, indiscriminate firing is punished under Art. 155 of the Revised Penal Code as follows:
Art. 155. Alarms and scandals. — The penalty of arresto menor or a fine not exceeding P200 pesos shall be imposed upon:
1. Any person who within any town or public place, shall discharge any firearm, rocket, firecracker, or other explosives calculated to cause alarm or danger;
Imposing a fine of P200 or the penalty of arresto menor (i.e., imprisonment for 1 day to 30 days) for discharging a firearm does seem to indicate any firm desire to stop harmful behavior.
Ready, Aim, File!
There is a pending bill (House Bill No. 6819) – even citing the 2013 new year’s eve still unsolved death of 7-year old Stephanie Nicole Ella from a stray bullet – that seeks to increase the penalty from arresto menor to prision correccional in its maximum period (i.e., 4 years to 6 years); and if the perpetrator is a member of the PNP or AFP or a law enforcement officer and the discharge is not in the performance of official duties, the penalty is reclusion temporal in its maximum period (i.e., 17 years to 20 years). The penalties, of course, will change if the facts constitute a crime with a higher imposable penalty. And if the indiscriminate firing causes death, the penalty is reclusion perpetua (i.e., 30 years).
We only wonder why this is not yet law.
Rats are most welcome
Apart from pushing for this bill to become law, we can also choose to exercise our civic (if not humanitarian) duties by reporting any indiscriminate firing we witness and by providing any helpful information to prevent indiscriminate firing or in order to nab the perpetrators.
Gun registration amnesty?
Perhaps we may be able to put more guns in the registry - we assume there is a computerized one - by allowing a one-time free registration for all delinquent gun owners. Then, spent bullets may be easier to trace.
SOCO and NBI may need CSI upgrade
Maybe our law enforcers can also upgrade their techniques and equipment to be able to check all possible angles and trajectories bullets take to be able to find the source.
By themselves, guns don’t kill, bullets don’t kill, humans don’t kill. Combined, they can be lethal. So we have to do all we can to make humans handle lethal weapons responsibly. And when they don’t, we must do all we can to make them responsible for the consequences of their acts.
Were it only possible that all bullets fired so carelessly be returned to sender.