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Timesman: Our country is still a safe place to live in

CHICAGO, Illinois –The two minor suspects in the second mass school shooting in the country appeared in court a day after they allegedly opened fire at STEM School Highlands Ranch in Denver, Ohio, killing one student and wounding eight others.

This is supposed to be my 2-1/2 weeks here but sad to say two incidents of school shootings have already been reported just within a week when a man with a pistol shot six people on the last day of spring classes at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, killing two.

Last month, hundreds of the schools in the Denver area were closed as law enforcement searched for a Florida woman who they said had made threats ahead of the 20th anniversary of the deadly shooting that claimed 13 lives of Columbine High School which is about seven miles from the site of STEM school shooting.

I can’t remember school shooting incidents have ever been happened in the Philippines despite reports that ours is a dangerous place to live in, similar to war-torn countries in the middle-east. In fact some European countries and even Australia keep on issuing advisories to their respective citizens living in our country to always be on alert and not go to places especially Mindanao.

While I do acknowledge that there were also incidents of killings in the Philippines especially now under the Duterte administration, many of those killed were criminals who were suspected involved in the illegal drug trade. And while there were innocent civilians also killed, they were considered collateral damage as they were in the company of the law enforcers’ target of operations.

But here, I am really horrified and disappointed that the victims were mostly innocent people inside schools of learning where they are supposed to be secured.

And I believe that these unfortunate killings in this country may be caused by the proliferation of guns where most residents own one, two or more firearms in their houses. And while the government may be also strict in screening those who would like to own guns, there are some, especially the moneyed people, who were able to acquire these legally or illegally as the cost of a handgun here is $1,000, or more depending on the kind and model of the firearms that is easy for the rich families to buy.

The latest incident of school shooting in Denver followed police raid in suburb residences in Los Angeles that netted more than a hundred short and long barrel firearms as shown in CNN the other day.

And while the government here is into an all-out drive to minimize firearms in the hands of private individuals, in Brazil new rules relaxing gun-control law took effect on Wednesday, boosting access to foreign- made firearms and ammunition, raising limits on how much ammunition a gun enthusiasts carry loaded weapons to shooting clubs which cause for gun lovers to celebrate. Pambihira!

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This lawyer is thorough…

The attorney tells the accused, “I have some good news and some bad news.”

“What is the bad news?” asked the accused.

“The bad news is your blood is all over the crime scene, and the DNA tests prove you did it.”
“What is the good news?”

“Your cholesterol is 130.” (From Readers’ Digest}
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I just received this e-mail from Tony Ajero. The message was sent by the “General,” a namesake and Pare Tony wanted me to share this to the world.

“Ton, we are coming up with a movement to reform Philippine sports. We hope you can help us with this advocacy. Please feel free to share this, not just with our athletes and friends in sports, but to the Filipino people who deserve better. Thanks, Tony!”

Mine is outdoor sports – hunting and fishing and not basketball or any indoor sports. Nonetheless these are still sports and Pare Tony, hindi ka mapapahiya sa akin.

Pare Tony is editor in chief of Edge Davao, a Davao-based daily community paper. He used to be manager of UMBN Radyo Ukay before he transferred to actual newspapering with another company.

He was my underground writer at the time when I was alone running the then weekly TIMES. We have many things in common, but the one I like most is our being mahilig sa chics! No problem, pare. Biyudo na tayong pareho. Hehe!

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How’s the result of the midterm elections down there?

If ever I got the update, this will be my next topic in this corner.

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