Yesterday my son and I visited the Defense and Sporting Arms Show at Megatrade Hall 2-3 at SM Megamall. As a firearm and shooting enthusiast, and an advocate of responsible gun ownership, I was looking forward to seeing the various exhibits, since its been a while since I last attended a show of this sort.
I thought it would be a good idea to bring my son along as well, well, not to make a war freak or gun nut out of him (though some ultra-conservatives would never think of mixing guns and children together as a good idea), but to satisfy his curiosity and interest when it comes to firearms. The more he realizes the potential damage a firearm can inflict, the more he will come to respect guns and less likely to associate them with playthings.
If you asked me, I think violent movies are more dangerous to kids' perception of guns than taking them to gun shows like this one. Movies tend to desensitize naive minds to the death and destruction that guns bring, and give them the impression that its always okay to shoot "the bad guy". Of course, in the real world, one has to be more circumspect about using guns for causing injury. Its use should be resorted to only when absolutely necessary, in order to defend life or limb, and not for anything less.
In fact, I think it is wholly dangerous to keep kids in the dark about the true nature of firearms. Virtually all cases of child-related accidental shootings involve kids whose only exposure to firearms is what they see in the movies. They by chance find their parents' gun, and with their natural curiosity and playfulness wield it around like they see in films. The end result is an accidental discharge, sometimes leading to needless injury or death. Of course, as far as gun owners are concerned, its never a good idea to leave loaded guns where they can be found by children.
Given this scenario, I for one think its better to teach kids the reality of guns early on so they realize that guns aren't toys, that they are potentially dangerous, and that they have to treated with utmost respect.
There are some people who believe that guns should have no place in our society. While that would be ideal, that way of thinking is only valid until the day it isn't. Given the rise in criminality, I'd rather have a gun and know how to use it when an armed burglar steps in my home. And no amount of idealism would change that reality.
The bottomline is, guns don't kill people. People do.
Always exercise responsible gun ownership, and always observe the rules of gun safety.
Now with that lecture out of the way, here are some of the sights from the show:
Trust Trade exhibit. I bought my first gun from them several years ago. They carry all the major makes of pistols, revolvers and shotguns.
Taurus display. Taurus has gone a long way from being a second or third tier Beretta clone maker to a multi-awarded firearms manufacturer. It was 2005's NRA Handgun of the Year awardee with their state-of-the-art Taurus PT-24/7. Other award-winning guns include the Raging Bull .454 Casull and the PT-111 Titanium Millenium 9mm
The Taurus PT-915 as pictured above is the first gun I ever bought (see earlier post here). Of course, in 1998, it was much less expensive.
GLOCK guns. The original polymer frame handguns.
GLOCK 19C. 9mm, 4" barrel, ported, 17+1 round capacity. I almost bought one of these in 2000. I ended up getting a .45 cal. Colt M1991A1 Government Model instead.
High-powered weapons on display at the PNP SAF exhibit.
Various Armscor pistols. Armscor is the largest firearms and ammunition manufacturer in the Philippines, and even exports its products all over the world.
Various makes and models of rifles and shotguns.
What's a gun show without ammunition? These rounds can be pretty expensive though. Almost a shame to actually use them.
Vehicle armorers were also offering their services. Check out this armored door which has withstood the impact of various handgun and rifle rounds.