Firearms Not Allowed

Firearms Not Allowed

Category : Other

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I hadn’t been out and about in Manila more than 10 minutes before I started to worry. Ducking into a nearby supermarket for water and snacks, I was astonished by the security procedures just to get through the door. Armed guards watched as I was patted down and the contents of my bag inspected, then my bag was x-rayed, airport style, whilst I went through a metal detector. A sniffer dog stood by.  It swiftly became clear that every commercial place I entered required the same manoeuvres, and every time I arrived at my hotel in a taxi, the underside and trunk of the vehicle were searched as well.

After this experience, I began to see guns everywhere. Quite apart from the police on duty, security guards clustered at every bank, hotel and mall – even small stores had them. But what about the guns I could not see? A quick spot of research revealed that probably 4 million firearms are also held by civilians, with a licence to carry concealed weapons fairly easy to obtain.

Which is why these signs cropped up all over town. I have to say that luckily I did not spot any guns other than those carried by uniformed guards, but the whole issue made me a lot more cautious than I usually am when visiting somewhere new. I’m sure there is a lot to like about Manila, but it does not top my list for a return visit.