Sunday, November 08, 2009


The toy sections in department stores are choked with mock weapons of destruction. These replicas of high-powered firearms like Uzis and Ghalils look so real it is so difficult to distinguish between the toy from the real McCoy.

Wasn't there a campaign to ban the sale of these items to discourage the violence that these toys encourage among the young kids? It looks as if toy manufacturers and dealers like the giant Toy Kingdom have shot down this drive.

The Catholic Church was among the major backers of this campaign. So how come church people and lay groups have suddenly become silent on the matter? Or have they simply given up their efforts because government officials don't give a hoot?

In the United States, government and private citizens have joined hands to crack down on the manufacture and sale of these toys. This is part of a national concern over the mounting crime rate in that country due to lack of gun control.

Remember how we were jolted by the rising number of killings in the US and when a bright young Filipino lawyer was killed on a New York commuter train when a crazed gun-wielder shot down several pasengers? That lawyer was the daughter of the secretary-general of the Philippine Senate, and no less than the US ambassador went to this official to offer the condolences of his government. Many nodded in silent agreement when the Philippine official stressed that the United States is not really a safe place to live in any longer.

Perhaps it would be wise for parents not to buy their children these toy guns this Christmas - or any other Christmas. Statistics show that more than 50,000 robberies over the past 5 years have been committed with the use of toy guns. It was stressed that "many times our children feel that real guns are just like toys." This same advice should be heeded by Pinoy parents. In recent years, quite a number of young kids had been involved in fatal accidents using real guns. One of the most noted was that of a 5-year-old kid who fatally shot a housemaid with his father's gun after an argument over TV shows.

Time magazine reports that in the US alone, handguns owned by private citizens are at a whopping 67 million, and violent crimes committed with handguns are at an annual 640,000 cases, including an estimated cost of the economy over firearm injuries at US$14 billion.

Even the once active Gunless Society group of Nandy Pacheco has suddenly become muzzled. Not a peep has been heard from them for quite some time now. Looks like the Pacheco advocacy group has been shot down by powerful persons behind the pro-gun group, which includes top government officials and the military brass.

For them, it will always be Gun the Ban.

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