Guns major cause of crime — survey
By Ellalyn B. De Vera
Manila, Philippines --- Nearly 7 of 10 Filipinos consider guns and their proliferation to be a major cause of crime and violence in the country with almost the same number willing to support a gun control policy, the latest Pulse Asia survey results showed.
The nationwide survey found that 67 percent of Filipinos believe that guns and their proliferation are among the key reasons crime and violence occur in the country. It also showed that 78 percent of Filipinos favor a law allowing only law enforcers and licensed private security guards to carry firearms in public places.
Despite this, Malaca?ang said it will stick to the current gun control policy in place.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said guns usually used in committing a crime are illegally acquired.
“We do have gun control regulations in place which is why we have licensing procedures,” Valte said.
The survey released Tuesday used face-to-face interviews of 1,800 respondents last March 16-23.
Only 13 percent of Filipinos disagrees with this view while 21 percent were undecided on the issue.
Pulse Asia said the ambivalence on the gun issue is more evident in the rest of Luzon (with 20 percent undecided), Visayas and Mindanao (26 percent) than in Metro Manila (9 percent).
It also noted that overall levels of agreement and indecision remain essentially unchanged between October 2000 and March 2013. However, the overall level of disagreement decreased by 6 percentage points during this period.
Across geographic areas, most Filipinos agreed that guns cause crimes and violence in the country with figures ranging from 57 percent in Mindanao to 80 percent in Metro Manila.
Likewise, the levels of agreement across socio-economic classes were from 61 percent in Class E (poorest) to 69 percent in Class D (masa).
The survey also showed that 75 percent support a policy of gun control in the Philippines.
The levels of support for such a policy range from 66 to 87 percent across geographic areas and from 72 to 81 percent across socio-economic classes.
Pulse Asia noted that Metro Manila residents are more inclined to support a gun control policy than their counterparts in Mindanao and the Visayas (87 percent versus 66 to 70 percent).
Meanwhile, only 7 percent of Filipinos are against such a policy while 18 percent are unable to say whether or not they are in favor of the implementation of a gun control policy in the country.
Between a law which allows only law enforcers and licensed private security guards to carry firearms in public places and one that allows all holders of licensed firearms to carry such weapons anywhere they please, most Filipinos prefer the former than the latter (78 percent versus 22 percent).
Preference for the first law is expressed by majorities in every geographic area and socio-economic class (70 to 83 percent and 77 to 80 percent, respectively).
The levels of support for the second law across geographic areas vary from 17 percent in the rest of Luzon to 30 percent in Mindanao
Likewise, the same figures were recorded in the different socio-economic groupings (20 to 23 percent).
During the period December 2000 to March 2013, the overall level of preference for the first law declined by five percentage points.
Consequently, there is a 6-percentage point increase in the national level of support for the second law. (With a report from Madel S. Namit)