The title was a distant cousin’s Facebook status the other day, and it broke my heart. I pointed out to him that more people were killed with hammers and clubs, and he responded that those wielding the hammers would have used a gun if they had one. He just couldn’t see that it changes nothing for the victim.
You’d think he could. You see, he lives in the Philippines where gun ownership is a fraction of what it is here in the United States and yet the gun violence is much higher.
According to www.gunpolicy.org, a site hosted by the University of Sydney’s School of Public Health in Australia, there are about 3.9 million guns — legal and illegal — held by civilians in the Philippines, or about 4.7 per 100 people.
That puts the Philippines 105th place on a list of 179 countries, tiny in comparison to the 88.8 per 100 in the United States and behind even Australia with 15 per 100.
While it is impossible to count the number of illegal guns in the Philippines, the national police estimate there are about 350,000, again paltry in comparative terms to Central and South American weapons hotspots like Guatemala, Honduras and Colombia.
Yet the Philippines suffers worryingly high gun-crime rates.
According to the latest available figures from the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, there were 8.9 homicides per 100,000 people in 2003, by far the worst in Asia and outstripping Europe. (www.unodc.org/unodc/en/data-and-analysis/homicide.html)
Bans have only driven people to the black market and left the innocent undefended.
Blaming the tool takes the responsibility off of the shoulders of those bent on evil. It gives them an out. All the while ignoring the evil that persists. My cousin is correct, those wielding the hammers would have likely used guns for evil, but what he fails to see is that since they didn’t have guns, they picked another tool. Evil will find a way. The only thing we can do is offer resistance. Evil cannot be stopped with laws. It can only be deterred or destroyed by superior force.