Like the Alfred Nobel's dynamite, the gun was invented to cause body harm. It was never meant to be used to promote peace. However, the Philippine government accepts the fact that they can never guarantee protection to the civilian population, hence they allow people to own licensed firearms.
So after checking some trade books at the book fair on the 5th floor of SM Megamall, I transferred to the gun show next door, after our good friend JC paid our Php 80 entrance fee per person. It was my second time to see a gun show, and I was surprised on the huge turnout, the number of guns, accessories, and related products.
There were so many people (mostly men of course) ogling, trying, and bargaining for the guns on display. Its like people are preparing for an invasion, as there are so many types of guns on display. There were pistols and rifles of varying brands and calibers, different types and sizes of bullets and cartridges, telescopes and infrared attachments, holsters and gun bags, airsoft game uniforms, magazines and ammos, and various gun accessories.
Some antique and collector guns are on display.
Other prototypes and modified setup of guns below.
New brands were also introduced by gun manufacturers and importers, like the Caracal gun below which caught my interest, because of its comfortable grip and lower price than the popular Glock.
Airsoft guns on display, the least expensive "toys" on the show.
The guns and their accessories are usually discounted between 5% to 20% during the gun show. Gun dealer offers to arrange your gun license which start at Php 5k, as well as permit-to-carry (ptc) at Php 10k, after the buyer provides them the necessary documents. The buyer only need to pay about 20% of the gun's price plus the license fee, to reserve the chosen gun and arrange it for ballistic test, as required in the gun license.
Buyer will pay the balance upon claiming the gun after 30-60 days from the dealer. The newly-bought gun has 7 days of permit-to-transport (ptt), to allow the new owner enough time to bring the gun home, or take practice shots in PNP-accredited shooting ranges. Joining a local gun club is recommended for those who like to practice regularly, as they also facilitate the processing of ptt in the shooting ranges, valid for 1 year period.
The show also has continuous free short seminars, including gun safety which should not be missed by new gun owners, as well as those who are seriously planning to buy guns like me.
Ideally, our society should not be allowed to own or carry guns. But with so many unlicensed firearms on the hands of criminals and organized syndicates, I cannot blame those people who like to buy guns for their personal safety. In fact, its the main reason why I went to the gun show. A colleague once told me a news item before of a man who died protecting his family from robbers. Better have a gun which you won't be able to use, than not having a gun when you need one.
Personal protection is usually the major reason for owning a gun. However, the owner's aim accuracy, and the gun itself must also be maintained in good condition, so practice shooting is highly recommended. Eventually, the sporting aspect becomes the next popular reason for gun ownership, and I share the same reasons.
I remember the thrill when being able to hit your targets, whether its a bird, an empty can, or a paper target. I have signed up before in the university's rifle & pistol team, passed the tryout, but eventually got rejected because they don't allow fraternity members in their club.
My last target shooting was in year 2006 at Star City in Pasay with a caliber 0.22 rifle gun. Despite having no practice, I was in cloud nine when they showed me the paper target with the cluster of hits on the center. They looked for my ID card and asked me to sign on this sheet of paper along with other names that has military rank as prefix. Then, they gave me one of their biggest stuff toy as my prize, with their apologetic words like "Sir, sorry but you can only shoot here again after 30 days, as its a company policy." :)