General Admission

Guns for priests

By Al S. Mendoza


EVERY adult Filipino can own a gun.

That is provided for in our Constitution.

But not in Japan.  Over there, private citizens are prohibited to own guns.

In fact, even Japanese policemen do not carry firearms.

That is why not too long ago, I had this memorable experience.

I was with a Japanese executive on a trip to San Fernando, La Union’s plush Thunderbird.

A dear friend of mine, a Filipino, was with us.  He is a gun enthusiast.

On our way home to Manila, my Filipino pal took us by surprise to a place in the outskirts of the city.

“Let us have some fun before we head back to the city jungle that is Manila,” he said, smiling.

He drove us to a shooting range—far from the so-called madding crowd.

“This is my favorite hideaway,” he said.

Immediately upon arrival, he pulled out from the trunk of his SUV a huge duffel bag.

“Here are a number of my favorite guns,” he said.

There were about six of them.

He laid them down on the table.

“Here, put them on,” he said.  “Let’s have some fun.”

He handed to us three (yes, there was another Filipino pal of mine) ear mufflers.

I didn’t use mine.

“Why?” said our host to me.

“I will just watch you, guys,” I said to him.

Our Japanese visitor was the most active of the three.

He fired at will, like a jubilant kid riding his dream bicycle for the first time.

In the car, on our way home, the Japanese said:  “Firing a gun was my foremost dream.”

He said that just holding the six or so guns gave him a high like no other.

“I used to just enjoy looking at guns in a gun magazine,” he said.  “Finally, I even had the experience of actually firing a gun.”

It didn’t matter that his aim was consistently out of target, atrociously fired way out of the bull’s-eye.

He had fired almost a box of bullets but my Filipino pal, being a true sport, took it all in stride.

“I also admire you, Al,” he said to me. “You even gave to him your quota of 12 bullets.”

Weeks later, I met my Filipino pal again.

“I have something for you,” he said.  “A gun.”

“I don’t need it, thanks,” I said to him, politely.

“But it’s all done,” he said.  “It is licensed under your name.  My birthday gift to you.  For your protection.”

I had to receive it, if only not to disappoint him.  I’ve known him for decades. He is such a nice feller.

I’m not a gun lover but a goat lover (pun intended; papaitan the best!).

And so, months before my gun license would expire, I gifted it to my nephew.

I do not wish to kill.  I follow God’s counsel:  Thou shall not kill.

From June 2017 to June 2018, police said there are about 188 or so Catholic priests that applied for gun licenses.

Aren’t priests supposed to be the first to heed God’s rule not to kill?

Are they absolved when they kill in self defense?

One who lives by the gun dies by the gun.

What do you think?

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