“Grandpa, can we shoot your guns today?”, pleaded my bored 9-year old son as we visited my father. Dad is a lifelong sportsman, who grew up on a farm hunting and fishing for recreation. I grew up in a house with 10 to 12 guns visible in cases. I shot bb guns and occasionally hunted rabbit and quail with Dad. Dad and I took my two boys at the time 13 and 9 years of age out to the family tobacco farm to shoot safely. We took 3 weapons: a 20-gauge shotgun, a .22 rifle, and a Colt .45 handgun. Dad had used the shotgun to hunt rabbit, squirrels, and birds. The .22 rifle was used to kill hogs for slaughter. The Colt .45 was the most interesting weapon. Dad bought it from a fellow Airborne Ranger in the early 1960’s for $15. I have seen an identical looking firearm in a WWII museum. Dad kept the Colt .45 near his bed where he could get to it quickly should someone invade the sanctity of his home. The Colt .45 was never used, but its job was to kill human intruders if necessary for self-defense. Dad never owned a deer rifle, high powered high caliber rifle, because he never had enough desire to hunt deer to buy one. Dad taught his kids that guns are tools. A hammer drives nails. A screwdriver turns screws. A gun kills animals to be cooked and eaten. Nine out of ten animals prefer to be killed before being cooked and eaten.
The Second Amendment, in my opinion, and more importantly the opinion of the US Supreme Court, protects the right of US citizens like my Dad to own firearms for hunting and self-defense. This protection is only for US citizens. If the US government wanted to ban firearms for non-US citizens in the US I do not believe that would conflict with the Second Amendment. My understanding is that most countries in the world do not allow foreigners to own and possess guns in their borders and some like Japan and the United Kingdom do not allow their citizens to have and carry firearms. The Philippine government does not allow non-Filipino citizens to possess firearms on Filipino soil. The purpose of this article is to explain why this law made sense for the Philippines when they made the law due to their history.
When the USA first declared independence from Great Britain, most Americans were farmers and owned guns for hunting and self-defense. The US Founding Fathers knew the fledgling US Army was no match for European powers. The Founding Fathers bet the survival of the country on the theory that armed rustic rural red-blooded Patriots fighting to defend their farms could defeat Red Coats fighting for Queen and Country. The Founding Fathers were right. The War of 1812 showed the importance of “a well-regulated militia” of armed US citizens. The USA has never been occupied by a foreigner power and I do not believe the USA will thanks to the Second Amendment.
The Philippines had a much different history. Ferdinand Magellan’s stop on his voyage to circumnavigate Planet Earth in Cebu and got involved in Filipino politics. King Lapu Lapu led 3,000 Filipino warriors armed with bolos, Filipino machetes, to defend an attack by Magellan and 49 conquistadors armed with muskets. Bolos won over guns that day, but more Spaniards with guns came later. Spain ruled the Philippines for a couple hundred years. The Spaniards used their guns to mistreat and disrespect the Filipino people. After the Spanish American War, the USA reneged on its promise to allow Filipino independence. This led to the Philippine American War which was bloodier than the Spanish American War, but not often the subject of US History classes. Gun-toting foreigners, Americans, ruled over Filipinos who for the most part only had bolos once again. Then came the Japanese invasion of the Philippines on December 7, 1941, again foreigners with guns ruled the Filipino people. After World War II, the USA finally made good on its promise and gave the Philippines their independence. When the Filipinos set up their government they decided that foreigners would not be allowed to carry firearms in the Philippines. Based on their history I understand why.
World War II was over 70 years ago and the Philippines have been a sovereign nation for over 70 years maybe it is time for the Philippine government to allow foreigners to own and carry firearms. I did a little research and in the USA, there are 75 guns for every 100 people, while in the Philippines there are less than 5 guns for every 100 people with such a small number of guns per person I think it unlikely the Philippine will change the law. I believe God could cause a foot of snow to fall in Cebu, Philippines where I met my wife and Magellan met his Maker. I also believe the Filipino people could change their law on foreigners possessing guns, but I think both things are about as likely as each other to happen in my lifetime. So, for now, if you want to build a snowman or carry a gun do not go to the Philippines. I am not opposed to changing the law so that foreigners can carry guns in the Philippines, but whether or not it is legal is not up to me or other foreigners to decide.
My hope is that this article helps the readers understand why the Philippines does not allow foreigners firearms.