STATEMENT ON THE RECENT SHOOTINGS IN LAGUNA We join all peaceful and law-abiding citizens in condemning in the strongest possible terms the recent string of shooting crimes committed in Laguna. These heinous crimes having been committed by criminals using unlicensed firearms, must be meted out with swift justice and given the maximum penalties imposable under the law. We likewise condole with the families and loved ones of the victims of these incidents and join them in seeking justice against the perpetrators. The prevalence of criminality of such nature is a public safety and security problem which must be addressed by law enforcement. Guns being inanimate objects do not cause such crimes. Rather, it is the criminals who misuse unlicensed guns which create crimes of this nature, and who are the ones who must be brought to justice. The public however should be cautioned against the usual knee jerk reactions of groups that are out to ban the right of law abiding citizens to keep and hold licensed firearms for protection and personal security. The records of the PNP show that in 2007 of the total number of firearms involved in crimes, 5,525 or more than 99% of firearms were used by lawless elements, and were unlicensed. We believe that gun bans are not the solution to such problems, but rather may even exacerbate the problem of criminality by rendering the law abiding public defenseless against such insensible attacks by criminals. As we have witnessed, the police are not around always to protect each and every citizen from criminal violence. Let us not add more tragedies to the already long list of citizens who have been victims of violent crime. Had the victims been armed and trained in the use of firearms, lives could have been saved. Each and every person has the inalienable right under the law to defend himself and his family from criminals. A gun ban will not curb crime, as we witness in our elections. In spite of the so-called Comelec Gun ban, numerous innocent people fall victim to criminal election violence. In the end, criminals are the only ones who benefit from a gun ban, since they prey more easily on their hapless victims. Let us address and solve criminality through more effective law enforcement bolstered by public cooperation. In this regard, we are always supportive of law enforcement in whatever way we can to prevent such tragedies from happening again. Atty. Jay Jay Mendoza Progun President Wanna kill these ads? We can help!