The Palace’s assurance that it will not declare martial law in the country in the wake of last Friday’s tragedy at the Resorts World Manila that claimed more than 30 lives is predicated on the findings of the police and management that it wasn’t a terrorist attack.
Regardless of the claims by Isis that it ordered the attack without any evidence to back it up whatsoever, last Friday’s incident highlighted the lax security imposed by the security detail that allowed one man, whose identity remains unknown, to barge in with weapons and gasoline to set the place on fire.
In fact, the deaths weren’t caused by shooting the victims but the resulting smoke that trapped the hapless patrons inside and prevented their escape.
The man responsible also died, making it no less difficult for families to find justice, much less closure for their collective tragedy.
The Resorts World Manila incident came amid proposals to allow armed civilians and police to enter and exit hotels, resorts and commercial establishments freely without being prohibited by the security detail, something that is supported by Cebu’s local officials.
Here is where the issue gets debatable and tricky. Despite the argument that those to be allowed to carry firearms inside are assumed to be responsible or level headed, can the hotel/resort management afford to take a chance on the safety of their clientele based on that presumption?
The argument that armed persons can make terrorists or armed criminals think twice before causing havoc in a public place or area is debatable at best.
It sets up what gun control advocates would claim to be a “Wild West” scenario where anyone with a license to carry firearms would be allowed to shoot anyone he or she deems to be a threat to security.
Is there a 100 percent or even greater than 50 percent chance that all those who bear arms will be responsible and accountable for their actions should they see the occasion to use their guns with the intention to disable the assailant rather than kill them?
The power coming from the barrel of a gun or rifle can be both reassuring and intoxicating at the same time.
The right to bear arms had been a taxing and hot button issue especially in the US where there are pro-arms groups that lobby and count allies in Congress.
More importantly, allowing people to bear and carry arms would negate and relegate the police and other law enforcement agencies to the role of regulators rather than primary protectors of the citizenry.
By also allowing the citizenry to bear arms, it would even encourage terrorists to escalate the violence by buying more firearms.
No, a vigilant citizenry that can detect and feed information to the police and military who would then crack down and defeat these criminals and extremists is the better solution.
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