Saturday, January 05, 2013

Tragedy in Kawit

As if to emphasize the deadly threat posed by guns, another tragic incident occurred yesterday, as a former barangay councilman in Kawit, Cavite, went on what is suspected to be a drug-induced and alcohol-powered amok rampage, which resulted in the death of seven people, including two children and a pregnant woman, as well as eight others who remain in critical condition. The amok himself was killed in a gunfight when police came to arrest him.

Apparently, the gunman was despondent over his wife supposedly left him. He went on a drinking binge with a companion, and then, afterwards, went on his fatal rampage.

Following the Newtown tragedy, I will continue the practice of not naming the gunman, and focus on the victims and the event itself. Doubtless the media will give enough information about the gunman.

The tragedy occurs just after seven-year old Nicole Ella succumbed to a gunshot wound to the head, and I expect the media to play up any shooting incident that occurs within a week or two of these two tragic events.

As I'd mentioned before, the police need to crack down on illegal gun owners and make sure that legal gun owners are properly vetted; while the process for legally acquiring a gun is tedious and probably thorough, in our country, those with the means can easily circumvent the process. Remember that the horrific Maguindanao Massacre was done because the then-mighty Ampatuans had subverted the police into assisting their heinous crime. If such a tragedy was engineered on such a scale, it should be easy for a single gun owner to slip through the lengthy process of buying and registering a gun.

What is needed is political will to go after those with illegal firearms, especially if such owners are those in power. As it is, it's been noted that private armies still exist, three years after the Maguindanao Massacre. Perhaps the President and his so-called kabarilan can focus their attention on dealing with these issues, else more shootings and rampages occur.

I'd like to take a moment to remember those slain by the Kawit gunman, and pray for the victims' families, that they may have the courage and strength to deal with this tragic event.

Kawit fatalities:

Rhea de Vera, 34 (pregnant)
Jan Monica de Vera, 5
Alberto Fernandez, 55
Gilbert Toledo, 44
Irene Funelas (age not given)
Micaella Andrea Caimol, 7 (her two siblings, Ken Cedric, 3, and Michelle, 2, were injured)

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