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Have gun will travel… just not to the Philippines

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“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.

Handgun

Handgun

Throwaway Ticket Service - The Business that works while you sleep

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.

20 Gauge Shotgun

20 Gauge Shotgun

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.

Interesting comparison

Interesting comparison

My hope is that this article helps the readers understand why the Philippines does not allow foreigners firearms.

Posted in , ,

Jay Stainback

Jay Stainback lives in Raleigh, NC, USA and is hoping/planning to retire to Bohol in about 10 years. He is married to his beautiful Filipina wife Juliet whom he met on-line. They were married 12/7/02 and have two boys’ ages 9 years old and 5 years old. Jay has visited the Philippines 4 times the first time 1 week, the 2nd time 2 weeks, the 3rd time for 3 weeks, the 4th time 4 weeks spending most of their time in Bohol.

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Alex Kennedy
Alex Kennedy
4 years ago

Good article and good history lesson. A lot of bad guys have guns here. Illegal firearms are manufactured here, even for export. I guess the only legal solution for self protection for foreigners is to have a Filipino with a legal firearm in the house.

Jay Stainback
Jay Stainback
4 years ago
Reply to  Alex Kennedy

Hi Alex,

Thanks for the comment and compliment! A Filipino citizen can own a firearm and if a person is in a life or death situation involving the safety of their family. I think we all would do what we had to do and accept consequences later.

Peace

Jay

Gary Neil Dadds
Gary Neil Dadds
4 years ago
Reply to  Alex Kennedy

I have heard that if the wife has a weapon it will be assumed that the foriegner was the user and treated accordingly.

Jay Stainback
Jay Stainback
4 years ago

Hi Gary,

I have heard the same. I think you are correct. Thanks!

Peace

Jay

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
4 years ago

Jay; Well said and I agree, as a former military man I am schooled in the use and safe handling of firearms up to a 5inch Naval Gun. The Colt 911 45 was the standard weapon we used while standing watch on the ship. (Albeit now it a 9 mm sidearm is used). We had 12 acre of land on Cape Cod, where we spent every summer of our life. We had guns and my Dad trained me long before the Navy did, in gun safety. But in Boston my brothers and I never saw a gun, as in a… Read more »

Jay Stainback
Jay Stainback
4 years ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

Hi Paul,

Thanks for the comment and compliment! I think on most things related to the general topic of this blog we are in agreement. The Philippines is a sovereign country. Filipino are allowed to have laws that are different than our home country. We have to respect their laws whether or not we agree or not. If we find too much we disagree with then we need to not go to the Philippines.

Peace

Jay

Greg Brawley
Greg Brawley
4 years ago

Nicely written article! I appreciated the tone of moderation and information that the you directed towards the subject. Although I have a Filipina wife and a little boy, and been a long-time resident, I remain an American citizen and patriot. However, I am still a guest in this country and unless I decide to take up Philippine citizenship, I will continue to be a guest. Because I live as a guest in “someone else’s house”, I respect the culture and laws of my host. They, in turn, do not deport my ass!!! For what it is worth, I applaud other… Read more »

Jay Stainback
Jay Stainback
4 years ago
Reply to  Greg Brawley

Hi Greg,

Thank you for your comment and compliment! I got to go to work, but I agree with your attitude.

Peace

Jay

Paul Richard Robertson
Paul Richard Robertson
4 years ago

One thing that you should have mentioned a little stronger was that your Filippina wife can own one so what would be the difference? Also your numbers of Filippinos don’t add up to me any more than the Canadian Governments claim that very few citizens own pistols. I am here to tell you that a long way before 9/11 I worked in Canada and lived in Montana and smuggled back more guns than I can count to arm my poor Canadian brothers who with the leadership they have now may just require these guns to protect themselves and family looking… Read more »

Jay Stainback
Jay Stainback
4 years ago

Hi Paul, Thanks for your comment and the point you bring up about the numbers of guns per capita. The numbers were not mine and they may or may not be accurate to be honest I am too lazy and don’t really care to check. I do think that among the top 5% of wage earners in the Philippines gun ownership is about the same as in the USA. I don’t really know. I have spent almost 0% of my limited time in the Philippines with Filipinos in the top 5% of wage earners. The poor cannot afford firearms and… Read more »

Tim
Tim
4 years ago
Reply to  Jay Stainback

Jay I agree completely, my fiancee comes from a family of poor to middle class people her immediate family are not well off at all they live in the relocation areas of Cagayan de Oro having lost everything in Typhoon Sendong. They certainly don’t own guns and neither do their neighbours, in fact the concept of owning a weapon is positively alien to them the concept horrifies them and their wealthier relatives don’t own guns either. Most westerners would have you believe that all residents of Mindanao are armed and all parts of Mindanao are dangerous but as I am… Read more »

Jay Stainback
Jay Stainback
4 years ago
Reply to  Tim

Hi Tim,

Thanks for adding your experience to mine which I confess is pretty much limited to a poor fishing village in Bohol. I have not been to Mindanao, but my wife used to live in the troubled part. She has relatives there. I suspect there are more guns there.

Peace

Jay

gcl65
gcl65
4 years ago

Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it even in the Philippines! I have run into one anti-American (anti-foreigner?) here in Ormoc. He was mean spirited as hell. I was buying a small half HP AC for a bedroom and the persons neighbor came out complaining to her because she was selling the AC to me. Hateful! I did feel very uncomfortable but not to the point I needed a gun. I stayed very calm and the guy calmed down too. He was even helping us test the AC. Security wise, I… Read more »

Jay Stainback
Jay Stainback
4 years ago
Reply to  gcl65

Hi gc165,

I would not want to put my family in a situation where their survival would depend on me winning a gun battle. I completely agree with your comment and thanks for taking the time to make it!

I suspect in a gun battle my performance would be more like Barney Fife than Dirty Harry. As Clint Eastwood said, “A man has got to know his limitations.” Also excellent advice on staying calm.

Peace

Jay

Tim
Tim
4 years ago

It’s so American of you when you say “maybe it is time for the Philippine government to allow foreigners to own and carry firearms.” most people in the world are saying maybe it’s time for the US Government to stop American citizens from owning and carrying firearms… Your history of why the 2nd Amendment exists is a great argument for repealing the 2nd Amendment. I’m not trying to impose my view on US Citizens as you rightly point out US law is a matter for US citizens just like Philippines law is a matter for Filipinos but I just find… Read more »

Jay Stainback
Jay Stainback
4 years ago
Reply to  Tim

Hi Tim,

I actually agree with you on your points to an extent. I do support increasing limitations on how many rounds per second and rounds before reloading a gun can legally fire. I am also for stricter background checks on who can legally purchase a weapon. I totally agree with sovereignty. Each countries people should make and have their own laws. Thanks for your comment!

Peace

Jay

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
4 years ago
Reply to  Jay Stainback

Jay;
In Puerto Rico, I had a 38 caliber but found it to be to large and unwieldy. So I bought a small 25 Caliber which was the perfect size. My friends told me that the 25 is only good if the malefactor was close to me! But then why would I want to shoot someone on the other side of the street. where my life would not be endanger?

Jay Stainback
Jay Stainback
4 years ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

Hi Paul,

I do believe that a gun is a tool. An AK 47 or an RPG is a tool for war. Since no citizen is allowed to go to war I do think certain firearms should not be available to the general public. If a person is shooting more bullets than they can actually aim I think that is a problem, because they are not firing at a specific target. I am talking about the shooting in Las Vegas recently when the man fired into a crowd at a distance.

Peace

Jay

PapaDuck
PapaDuck
4 years ago
Reply to  Jay Stainback

Jay,
You can ban every gun or do stricter background checks on everybody. But what about all the high powered rifles and other guns that are already in circulation? If someone really wants to get a gun he will get it, legally or not. If not a gun what about a using a car or a bomb as a weapon? As we see now cars are being used effectively as a terrorist weapon.

Jay Stainback
Jay Stainback
4 years ago
Reply to  PapaDuck

Hi Randy, Thank you for your comment and sharing your thoughts! I am actually very Pro-Second Amendment in the USA. When people argue that the Second Amendment is not about individuals rights to bear arms and it being about state militias they are ignoring history at the founding of the USA most people were farmers and owned guns not for entertainment, but to hunt animals for food. The Founding Fathers had no intention of taking away part of the peoples ability to provide for their families food needs by hunting. I support individuals owning guns in the USA for hunting,… Read more »

PapaDuck
PapaDuck
4 years ago
Reply to  Tim

Tim,
How do you know most people in the world are saying maybe it’s time for the US Government to stop American Citizens from owning and carrying firearms? You sound like a liberal trying to impose your agenda on everyone.

Tim Kempton
Tim Kempton
4 years ago
Reply to  PapaDuck

Did you read my post? I clearly said that decisions in gun ownership in the US is something for US citizens to decide, in what way is that imposing my view in other people?!!

Jay Stainback
Jay Stainback
4 years ago
Reply to  Tim Kempton

Hi Tim,

After some thought, I think that my article would be more an argument for the US to stop spending so much money on National Defense. To me that is part of the reason for the Founding Fathers to pass it so that it would be unnecessary to spend a lot of money on defense, because with a well armed citizenry no country would dare invade the USA.

Peace

Jay

Jay Stainback
Jay Stainback
4 years ago
Reply to  PapaDuck

Hi Randy,

To me Tim is expressing his opinion as is his right whether he is liberal or conservative makes no difference.

Peace

Jay

Bob - Expat Answer Man
Reply to  Jay Stainback

Everybody has the right to their opinion, and Randy was expressing his opinion in response to Tim’s opinion. Both sides get to have opinions, right?

Jay Stainback
Jay Stainback
4 years ago

Hi Bob,

I welcome opinions that agree or disagree. I think my problem with Randy is the part where he said Tim’s opinion was an agenda and he called him a liberal in a way that made it sound like if he were a liberal which I really don’t know if he is then his opinion is not as valid as a conservative. He can say what he wants only you can censor the site because you are the owner and editor. This is your right.

Peace

Jay

Bob - Expat Answer Man
Reply to  Jay Stainback

I just feel that both sides expressed their opinion, and that is not a problem.

JeffinFerndale
JeffinFerndale
4 years ago

My wife is dual citizen US/Filipino. She has a concealed carry permit that is valid in many US states. I only say that to show that she knows how to handle firearms, and understand that permit means nothing in the Philippines. Is there any reason that she should not buy a legal firearm in the Philippines? From what I have read so far, even if she owned a firearm,it probably would not be a good idea for me to use it even if it was in legitimate self defense, so maybe that in itself is a reason she should not… Read more »

Jay Stainback
Jay Stainback
4 years ago
Reply to  JeffinFerndale

Hi Jeff, For me if I had to violate a law to protect my family I would and they can put me up against a wall later. I am not saying you should violate the law, but if you actually end up in a life or death situation. I think a person will naturally do what they have to do protect their family. I really think these hypothetical situations are unlikely and as I stated before I would try an avoid being in a situation where the lives of my family would depend on me winning a gun battle. Thanks… Read more »

Mike
Mike
4 years ago

I am not sure I agree with the premise that it is the history of the use of guns against the Filipino Nation which causes present-day non-citizens not to be allowed guns (these were military attacks by the armies of foreign nations and not a scattered population of foreigners from many different countries with no central purpose to bear arms against the nation hosting them) – I think it is a wider issue of “This is our land and foreigners must have far less rights than we have”. A sort of inferiority complex. It appears in many areas, including the… Read more »

Jay Stainback
Jay Stainback
4 years ago
Reply to  Mike

Hi Mike, Thank you for your interesting and thoughtful comment! I tend to relate only with USA and Philippines, because I am from the USA. My initial thought on how the countries treat each other is that Filipinos noncitizens in the USA are not treated differently for the most part on their freedoms while in the USA. I mean they pretty much have freedom of speech and I think they are generally allowed gun privileges although I think there are some restrictions. After first reading your comment I tended to agree with your disagreement to my premise. Then I thought… Read more »

Mike
Mike
4 years ago
Reply to  Jay Stainback

Yes, Jay, I can see your point on Visas. But I am not sure why that means The Philippines theoretically can deport an alien for TRYING to avail of a Senior Citizen privilege (not sure if they have ever done it though) or not allow foreigners to own land. Also, even initial entry by Visa may be harder in the USA (and UK etc.), there are still Visa hurdles and complexities for those on long-term Visas in The Philippines, including regular renewals and new payments having to be made. In the UK, obtaining a Visa means eventually (used to be… Read more »

Jay Stainback
Jay Stainback
4 years ago
Reply to  Mike

Hi Mike,

You bring up a lot of good points! Thank you!

Peace

Jay

Jan Jensen
Jan Jensen
4 years ago

The Law here only talks about Permit, ask a Lawyer and you will know a signed MO by high Ranking PNP allows it even as foreigner.

Jay Stainback
Jay Stainback
4 years ago
Reply to  Jan Jensen

Hi Jan,

Thanks for commenting and adding your expertise to the discussion! If I only wrote about things I was an expert on well I wouldn’t do a whole lot of writing. I do like to learn from writing and getting responses. From what I have gathered from reading your comments on Bob’s article. You are saying a foreigner can get some kind of permission from a Filipino official in the PNP to carry a firearm if the foreigner has connections, but even then there is a lot of legal difficulty. What is a MO?

Peace

Jay

Cordillera Cowboy
Cordillera Cowboy
4 years ago

Hello Jay, Folks who really want to know can google Republic Act 10591, and read for themselves. Personally, I owned quite a few firearms when we were Stateside. Even so, I never felt threatened enough to carry on a regular basis. I can only count 2 times, outside of military duties, where I slept with a loaded firearm. One, I was camping in an area where feral dogs had attacked livestock and threatened people. The other, I was camping in an area with active bear sign. Over here, as I did Stateside, I trust mostly to situational awareness, good relations… Read more »

Jay Stainback
Jay Stainback
4 years ago

Hi Pete, I think you left out the highest potential for violence…fornication. I may write an article about how to make yourself the human target that some think they are in the Philippines. I can think of some scenarios where a firearm would be benefitial for safety. Like your dog eats your neighbors chickens and your neighbor decides to come after you with a bolo. The thing is most of the comments from people who really want to be armed in the Philippines is to protect from Abu Sayef kidnappings. These kidnappings usually involve 10-12 well armed men. A firearm… Read more »

Cordillera Cowboy
Cordillera Cowboy
4 years ago
Reply to  Jay Stainback

You’re right Jay, I forgot to include that one. An author named Perry Gamsby once wrote that the surest way to trouble in the Philippines was through the 3 G’s. Girls, Gambling, and Gold. I’m happy with my life as it is. I don’t need to fool with those things. Your dog scenario is where the prior good relations with the neighbors comes in. My neighbors are more likely to come to me, or the Barangay Captain with a complaint, rather than a raised bolo. A livestock killing dog has no place here in an agricultural society. I would sacrifice… Read more »

Jay Stainback
Jay Stainback
4 years ago

Hi Pete,

You are so right about the dog scenario, but not all would be as diplomatic. I agree with your points on not needing a gun if you exercise sound judgement. There are possible risks and rewards with each choice we make. We have to weigh them and make decisions. I would not make the decision to live in a country that I could not obey their laws.

Peace

Jay

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