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EDITORIAL - Baby killer

(The Philippine Star) - January 3, 2014 - 12:00am

Last year it was seven-year-old Stephanie Nicole Ella. This year the victim was much younger. Von Alexander Llangas, all of three months old, was asleep beside his father at their home in Caoayan town, Ilocos Sur when he began wailing on New Year’s Eve. Roused from sleep, the parents found blood in the baby’s head and rushed him to a hospital, where the boy died.

In San Nicolas, also in Ilocos Norte, a stray bullet hit two-year-old Rhanz Angelo Corpuz as he was sleeping at home hours before the New Year’s Eve revelry. The boy succumbed to a bullet wound in the head yesterday.

Stephanie Nicole’s killer remains unknown. In the latest cases, police reported picking up for questioning several persons who might have fired guns near the victims’ homes. Without a reliable database on guns in this country, however, it may be difficult to build a strong case against any suspect. Paraffin tests are unreliable in determining if someone has fired a gun.

The twin tragedies in the recent revelry, with the victims young children who weren’t even watching the New Year fireworks, once again highlight the need for efficient gun control. A total gun ban is unlikely in a nation whose president is a gun enthusiast along with many other members of the political leadership. It is also unlikely in a nation facing security threats on several fronts, with law enforcers unable to adequately protect the public from rebel, terrorist and organized crime groups that are heavily armed and ready to kill.

It shouldn’t be impossible, however, to improve the enforcement of gun laws. There are too many people who think firing a gun into the air is a harmless sport, with the bullet disintegrating at a certain altitude instead of falling back to Earth and hitting the head of a sleeping baby. These people must be stopped – but everyone said this already in the case of Stephanie Nicole Ella, and her bereaved relatives and friends are still waiting for justice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CAOAYAN ILOCOS NORTE ILOCOS SUR IN SAN NICOLAS NEW YEAR RHANZ ANGELO CORPUZ STEPHANIE NICOLE STEPHANIE NICOLE ELLA VON ALEXANDER LLANGAS
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