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Bullet points

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“The problem, then, is perception
and lack of understanding.”

As a woman who abhors rancor and violence of any kind, I disagree with the idea of arming barangay leaders and priests for self-protection.

Putting weapons into the hands of man is a surefire way to propagate more violence.

And I mean man, as in male, with all the raging testosterone and sometimes undue pride that lead them to act without thinking.

“Think of testosterone and you probably think of lust, violence and machismo. Indeed, testosterone is often labelled ‘the aggression hormone’ due to its presumed relationships with such negative, antisocial and principally male qualities,” states UK psychologists Nick Neave and Daryl B. O’Connor in their study of the male hormones (or maybe they should call it HOTmones).

What brought this on — this talk of arming men who are supposed to promote peace in our neighborhoods?
The rise in the incidence of violence against priests brought this on. Priests gunned down inside a chapel; priests shot in their small towns.

The problem, obviously, is not the lack of self-defense; it is “what appears to be a growing animosity” against priests, as one report says.

The problem, then, is perception and lack of understanding.

And if it is, indeed, the rise is gun for hire in the country, then we are in deeper trouble than we would care to admit!
Because if it is true that there is a growing “market” for murders and murderers, then our society is the real problem.

So, yes, if President Rodrigo Duterte, who recently said he really prefers to work with men rather than women, floated the idea of arming barangay captains, I completely understand why. He is male, after all.

I just don’t think it is the wisest move.

Guns? Really? Don’t we have too much violence already?
I know how it feels to want to inflict violence on certain people — the ones who abuse their children, the ones who neglect their children, the ones who harm animals for fun, the ones who spread drugs, the ones who try to make money of other people’s misery and so on.
And if I, a peace-loving person who cannot stomach even a temper tantrum, can sometimes feel these moments of deep rage, what more those who are in less control of their emotions?
And what about those with god tendencies — the ones who begin to believe they are above it all and above everyone even if they are given just a bit of power?
Don’t we already have enough abusive officials in our midst? The solution should be to kick out these people who abuse power and worsen the people’s conditions because they do not do their jobs.

How many thousands of barangays suffer from neglect all these years even as their leaders suddenly display such wealth? How many streets remain dark and seedy, with dirt and garbage piling up and yet you would still see the names of these local officials emblazoned on cemented structures that probably cost the community a load of money.

Also, fears of possibly creating private armies for political kingpins in cities, provinces and municipalities, as a congressman opined about the idea of arming barangay leaders, are valid. It’s not a wild idea, we know, which in a way is truly disturbing.

What should be done, obviously, is not to put guns in the hands of untrained local leaders. The solution lies in putting more effort in improving the ranks and skills of law enforcers.

There was an incident not too long ago, in which some barangay tanods had an encounter with suspected criminals, who turned out to be the wrong targets. It just went to show that proper training on handling violent situations is just as important as knowing how to handle a gun.

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