Gun Culture: A Dying Breed

Guns, the epitome of violence, as described by many people but how much do we really know about guns? Many gun enthusiasts fear that this way of thinking may have contributed to the ‘endangerment’ of the Gun Culture. The cause, as stated by many, is that these “weapons” are only seen at a negative light and many refuse to see it on a more positive light.

The Myths:

With all the movies, TV series and even new reports, many misconceptions of firearms have spread like wild fire and this has impacted the public negatively and most of the time, these misconceptions antagonize firearms further. A few examples are:

Pierce Brosnan (James Bond)

Firearm Misconceptions: An example of firearm misconceptions in movies. Notice the lack of trigger discipline as well as the emphasis on silencer. Photo from:

Despite the overwhelming number of firearm-related crimes, gun enthusiasts have made measures to address the problems behind undisciplined use of firearms. One such example is the training courses done by Firearms Training Instructors, Chris Costa and Travis Haley. Chris Costa states in his video why he trains men & women in firearms. His reasoning focuses more on the practical use of firearms and more on protecting the people you love. While Travis Haley’s reasons focuses more on the emotional aspect of protecting someone.  In line with this, the ‘Gun community’ has created a set of rules for firearm owners to strictly follow just as Christians must strictly follow the 10 commandments.

The Eulogy of Firearms

Firearms are always the main scope in many news stories, most portraying them as the item used to commit a crime. However, there are a number of ‘unpopular’ news stories that depict firearms in a more positive light. A few examples are:

  • A man using his firearm to protect an elderly man.
  • A robbery foiled by a firearm owning resident.
  • A concealed carrier protecting himself from a mugger.
  • Another concealed carrier saving the lives of several people, including children.
  • Three Detroit residents defending themselves with firearms.
  • And a Mother protecting her children from home invaders.
  • The Concealed Carrier who stopped a carjacker in Utah.
Iron Cross Special Operators Airsoft Team

The Iron Cross Special Operators Airsoft Team:
Airsoft fosters camaraderie and sportsmanship.
Photo by Paul Ng

Also, gun enthusiasts have begun to introduce the art of shooting to youths and increase awareness & appreciation for firearms. One such example is the friendly sport of Airsoft, which is a simulation of military battles/operations and requires teamwork. Just like any other sport, Airsoft builds camaraderie and sportsmanship in players. And it builds honesty in players because they must call themselves out when they are ‘hit’ and no one else can do it.  Another is the fine art of sports shooting, where players compete for accuracy instead of overall proficiency. Unlike in Airsoft, players are not subjected to stressful environments  and merely focus on the accuracy of their weapons however, like Airsoft, they foster camaraderie and sportsmanship.

Despite the overwhelming negative annotations on firearms, it is unfair to generalize all firearms and firearm owners as evil. As with everything in this world, all are capable of both good and evil, it will always fall upon the person on how he/she will use the object. Firearm owners are not the ‘mindless gun nuts’ that many people perceive them to be. They are human and like us, they want to be able to protect themselves and their families. The Debate between Pro-gun and Anti-gun will continue with either side refusing to submit to the other however, it would be much more civil and productive if both sides were to analyze the opinions & points given by the other and try to think of a compromise instead of debating that their side is better. As stated by Aung San Suu Kyi, “If you want to bring an end to long-standing conflict, you have to be prepared to compromise.”



Weapons For Concealed Carry; Where is The Line?

PHILIPPINES – There has always been that endless debate as to whether a Concealed Carry Weapon (firearms), or an Alternative Weapon (knives, pepper spray, stun guns, etc.) are the best tools for self-defense. In the modern setting, Alternative Weapons such as small blunt objects and cutters are the best bet for a defensive confrontation with an opponent. Cutters are the closest items to knives that are completely legal in the eyes of the law. They are the front-line tools of the trade, followed by knives and firearms, depending on the situation.

Source: Stock Photo by Matt Villapol

Everyday Carry Weapons – There are Concealed Carry Weapons (firearm; upper left) as well as Alternative Weapons (tactical flashlight; middle, and karambit knife; upper right). Source: Stock Photo by Matt Villapol

Defining The Line

Recently, self-defense has evolved due to the technology available. These developments have led people to use Everyday Carry, or EDC. Everyday Carry is a common concept among self-defense enthusiasts, focused on the tools one would carry everyday, according to their lifestyle. This may include self-defense items, as well as essential items for survival. Many people who use EDC would feel safer with a firearm than with an alternative weapon, while other EDC users prefer to go with the traditional method. Many newer advocates of defense, however, prefer to make use of the best of both tools. Each side has its benefits, but one thing that is frequently overlooked is the legal definition of self-defense. Here in the Philippines, both tools types are linked with the recent RA 10591 as well as the Philippine Constitution. These are the defining factors that determine the tools of modern day self-defense enthusiast. In the case of the Philippines, thanks to the new firearm law and the constitutional law on knives, the treatment is that people should be equally armed or unarmed. If the opponent has a knife, then it is okay to use a knife. In a recent interview with Tagaytay Police Chief Superintendent Quirante, he emphasized that the law favors fighting on an equal ground, as opposed to bringing a gun to a knife fight. He claimed that the only time one can safely use their firearm is when someone else points at them or fires at them. In this case, that is the only time a gun can be used as a first line of defense. The same applies when using a knife. The laws do not, however, take into account the use of pepper spray, stun guns, cutters, or tactical flashlights.


Alternative Defense Weapons – Tactical Flashlights such as the Nitecore P10 are completely legal in the Philippines. The crowned bezel is designed as a ‘force multiplier’, increasing the tool’s capacity to damage. Source:

The Pro’s and Con’s

The common pro’s and con’s with regards to CCW (Concealed Carry Weapons) or Alternative Weapons are always being debated on. There are always points coming from the Alternative Weapons side, as well as points coming from the CCW side.

Generally, the PRO’S of a CCW are;

Source: Stock Photo by Matt Villapol

CCW Firearm – The M1911A1 is a classic pistol that many self defense enthusiasts love and rely on for CCW. It is known to withstand the test of time, being used since 1911. Source: Stock Photo by Matt Villapol

  • Can do damage from a distance, with multiple enemies
  • Can do a lot more damage
  • Lowers the risk of a confrontation
  • Evens out the playing field against gun wielding criminals.

The CON’S of CCW are;

  • Limited ammunition
  • Can easily be disarmed
  • Is more difficult to carry around.

For the Alternative Weapons’ PRO’S;

  • They are mostly easy to carry
  • Are difficult to disarm
  • Are efficient against a handful of close opponents
  • Have no ammunition.

The CON’S are;

  • Cannot damage from a distance
  • Are difficult to use against multiple attackers
  • Cannot be used efficiently against a firearm
  • Cannot do as much damage to the opponent.

To put things into perspective, here is a list of the pro’s and con’s of using guns vs knives, coming from one of the defensive community forums.

The Finish Line

In summation, both CCW and Alternative Weapons are important tools in any defensive situation, whether at home or on the go. Each tool has their own specifications and legalities. Only a handful of Alternative Weapons do not have limits in the Philippine laws. In terms of Everyday Carry the Alternative Weapons category tends to eliminate two opponents with one blow. Tactical flashlights serve both as a defense tool, as well as a utility item. The same applies for cutters, knives, and others.

Source: Mace®.com

Alternative Defense Weapons – Mace® is a popular brand for pepper spray and other non-lethal self-defense tools.

As much as it is favorable to carry both types around, the legal constraints limit their use. The best front-line for a self-defense situation would be to use an Alternative Weapon that is legal, and has little to no restrictions. It has become a matter of adapting to one’s skills and environment, with the tools at hand. Self-defense will always involve everybody, especially when taking Murphy’s Law into account. As the people from would put it: “In order for what you do to be self-defense, your actions must stay within legal standards and boundaries.