Issue of March 4, 2018
     
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The guns of Aling Cion

If you make a quick computation of the money earned by gun store owners over the past two decades, and more so the fortunes made by gun runners and arms dealers on a wholesale scale, you can nearly equate the sum total with the number of people killed over that same period of time.

If the bombings do not stop and the rebels keep on fighting, Syria will be wiped off the face of the Earth in no time at all, now fast becoming a no man’s land.

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But Florida is not Syria. It is supposed to be a peaceful state even with its drug problems and other illegal activities, where kids going to school are safe and out of harms’ way.

Until a crazy guy with guns galore started shooting them dead. Seventeen innocent lives snuffed out just like that.

Never mind if the authorities failed to act on tips about the gunman, never mind if his state of mind was subnormal. Never mind if his psychological profile showed that he was a menace to society.

The fact is he was armed and dangerous, prime to kill. And all because he had the guns to carry out his plans.

Is life so cheap that it is only worth a dollar or so, the cost of one bullet?

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In opposing gun control, the National Rifle Association (NRA) of the United States anchors its position on two grounds, one more foolish than the other.

Firstly, the NRA asserts it is not the guns that kills, it is the one who pulls the trigger who does. Duh?

Secondly, gun control runs counter to the constitutional right of every citizen to bear arms for purposes of self defense.

Funny, but I had always thought that no matter how furious or insanely blind a person is, he can only let off steam by raving and ranting, or if he is the violent kind, physically assault his adversary with fists, or take hold of a blunt instrument or bladed weapon to maim or kill another, but if the latter is quick enough, he can avoid injury by scampering away.

But what chance does he have against a loaded gun – not unless his would-be assailant can’t shoot straight.

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Responsible gun ownership you say?

Let me tell you about an incident that happened some years back which would belie supposed claims of “responsible gun ownership.”

It was the 1st day of November, and the All Saints Day traffic mess was getting into the nerves of motorists out driving that day, cursing everyone except themselves.

Vainly trying to free their cars from the bottleneck, two vehicles nearly collided, with both drivers getting out from their SUVs. Heated words are exchanged but the young man with his pregnant wife as lone passenger, gets back inside his car and drives away.

* * * * * * * * * *

The other driver, a respected and well-off professional, a member of several civic organizations, his temper reaching a boiling point, takes out his gun and starts shooting at the fleeing vehicle.

Guess who gets hit? No, not the driver, but his wife – pregnant with their first child – slumps in her seat, the first volley hitting her at the back.

If the responsible gun owner didn’t have a gun, the young driver would not have been widowed, and would have become a proud father.

More? Fighting over parking space, a military officer shoots his fellow PMA mistah dead. “I didn’t know,” he later pleads, but alas he had a gun.

I know the shooter personally, and I have not known him to be violent, but again, the gun did him in.

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Aling Cion does not sell guns, she sells fruits for a living. Her wares come in shades of yellow, orange, green, even red, but none in dark blue or deep black, the color of steel, the kind of metal that you see in handguns and rifles.

Aling Cion is deathly afraid of guns, and quickly moves to the other side of the road when an armed group is in her path, this despite her creaking bones and advanced age.

But Aling Cion is more scared for her children, and falls down on her knees when her kids are not yet home by nightfall.

She then fishes for her rosary – her principal weapon – pleading with the Blessed Mother to keep her brood safe.

“My Rosary is my gun,” she says, “and while unable to ward off bullets, it wards off danger.”

I do not laugh. There is something about prayers that makes you grow old and keeps you healthy, meaning you can still walk and do other physical activities, like clasping the rosary or Bible, if not a deck of cards on lazy afternoons.

If we all pray together, maybe our voices will wake up the Almighty Father from His slumber. He will be shocked to know that the Devil is about to take over His Kingdom.

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On a more lighter note, U.S. President Donald Trump says he would have waded in even without a gun if he had been around during the Florida high school shooting.

I am sure Vice President Mike Pence would have wanted that, and so too half the American public.

Shot in the head not for his courage or bravery, but for his foolish braggadocio.

Now Trump’s tough talk will inspire more shootings, if only to find out if he will be true to his word.

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By the way, Aling Cion says she still has the salt in her, and has a big crush on Nandy Pacheco, whose “no guns” advocacy we should all support.

Just think, gun dealers sell guns to all, including criminal elements, and tells the public to also buy guns to protect themselves against the criminally inclined.

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