Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Joy Bullets?

StrategyPage has an article about people wounded from fireworks and from bullets falling to the ground after someone shot into the air to celebrate. This is a world wide problem, but they note that the gov't is trying to put a stop to it here in the Philippines:

New Year’s Eve is expected to be worse, as it usually is. With the economy improving and many people grateful to be alive after a major typhoon hit the islands in November many people don’t mind shooting off $5-10 worth of ammo to enhance holiday celebrations. An AK-47 will do that in a few seconds, but most people use hunting rifles or even some World War II era weapons that are still working. At the same time the Philippines recognized that fireworks actually cause more casualties, and fatalities than falling bullets. But firearms, while harder to obtain and much more expensive than fireworks are a danger year round, especially since so many of them are unregistered and illegal.

note that part about WWII era weapons? Lolo used to keep a submachine gun in his closet (until he had a stroke and his son destroyed it. we now keep a machete in our bedroom. That and all the dogs are what we use for protection).

And note that most of the guns are unregistered and illegal? Marcos confiscated guns years ago, which means people just hid them. Which means the criminals have guns, but people might not have any, or the guns are locked away and might not be available in case of emergency.

Nor is it only guns: After one local political murder, when the guy behind the hit visited the wake, one of the relatives threw a grenade at him. However, most grenades and dynamite here are actually used for (illegal) fishing.

In the US, people tend to follow the laws, but as the laws get more and more absurd, I suspect many will simply do what is done here in the third world: ignore them.

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