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Guns, Crime, and International Travel

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Swedish K, Jun 8, 2016.

  1. Swedish K

    Swedish K SW Washington Moderator Staff Member

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    @nammac

    After starting to respond to the post below I was getting off topic from that thread so started this one instead -
    When traveling in foreign lands what differences have you seen in crime, how its dealt with, and what guns have you seen while out of the country?


    nammac said:
    Fully understand that. My wife is from Peru and appreciates the opportunities and freedoms we have. Not much opportunity there for financial success. It's just a cleaner and healthier environment here in the States...

    She's much more in tune this election season and has made comments about the political corruption here is not much different then Peru... Politicians are corrupt the world around...

    Hopefully we have better controls, checks and balances in place to keep the government at bay...
    Click to expand...

    Peru is an interesting place to visit - wonder if its calmed down since I was there about 17 years ago - the day we flew in a car bomb was set off at the police station 4 blocks from the hotel in Lima. I will say that when they had Fujimori running the show he at least made attempts to stop street crime (bad for tourism). At one point he had a dozen or two of the local street thugs known for robbing tourists lined up and shot on the sidewalk - they were left over the weekend before being removed as a warning. After that it was better but locals would still remove any expensive jewelry/watches etc when in public places to prevent being robbed.
    A few things I noticed in Peru include that the metal detectors in the airport didn't work (or at least didn't go off taking a video camera through it) but the sniffer dogs were through the entire airport about every 30 minutes and all the guards were carrying Uzis, AKs, or Urus as well as a side arm. In the nicer part of Lima (Mira Flores) any of the shops with expensive merchandise had guards in and outside of the door carrying mostly Uzis. When at Machu Picchu most of the guards would tuck their guns behind their backs when tourists posed for pictures with them - most of those guys had AK74s. I did notice that the Coca Cola plant on the way into town from the airport had a 15' high wall around the entire facility with guard towers every 30 yards or so and the entrance had a sandbag bunker behind the gate with a belt fed 50 on a tripod (M2) in case anyone tried to attack the plant (at the time the shining path was pretty active and had a record of going after any American based company).
    Nammac - any idea if things have gotten better since I was down there?

    When in Chile I saw several of the Carbineros - essentially a quick response special police unit. They rode around on enduro motorcycles with Uzis strapped to their legs. I heard that one of their guys was shot trying to stop a bank robbery while off duty, the robbers hijacked a city bus for the getaway and upon hearing their fellow Carbinero was shot they caught up with the buss and opened fire killing all of the robbers with only a few hostages getting minor injuries. Several of the guards in Chile also carried FALs - the only downside I see to this is 308 FMJ has a good chance of over penetration that might hit innocent bystanders in a populated area.

    Any
     
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  2. nammac

    nammac I-5 Corridor - West of Portland Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

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    My first trip to Peru was in early 2004. The national police at the airport, as I recall were only armed with sidearms. Those sidearms were clearly .38's or perhaps .357's with a couple of reloads on their belts. Didn't note any military type of automatic or semi-automatic weapons. One curiosity noted was the presence of US Army helicopters at rest at the airport in Lima...

    You are correct, retail establishments with valuable goods, shopping malls and all banks have Peruvian police inside and out. I did notice a heavy police presence, but not much actual policing happening, meant as a deterrent at best.

    Locals even then, did not display fine jewelry or electronics nor carry anything of much value. Backpacks were commonly worn on the front, rather than the back, for security. Women cliched purses to prevent them from being stolen.

    My wife advised me to not be flashy in any manner, including dress, watches/jewelry and certainly not to flash cash. Street robbery was commonplace and tourists were great targets, as well as flashy locals...

    So, back then in '04 it certainly mirrored as you've described. Having gone back just last year, there has been a vast change in Lima proper. There's a public bus line, similar to what we have here. Taxis are now more stringently regulated, miraflores has become a tourist Mecca with bilingual Peruvian police clearly out in force, not anything like I remember.

    They're also building a light rail system that'll help ease congestion in Lima and connect some of the outlying areas as well.

    There's still plenty of street crime to go around and being alert is the best defense, as well as staying away from crowds.

    Peru has seen tremendous change in the the last decade, there's clearly been ample investment in transportation infrastructure but also in development in general, lots of construction both commercial and residential. Real estate prices are significantly higher now.

    Of interest was a firearms shop that I visited in one of the shopping malls near Magdalena, imagine a gun shop in the shopping mall. I ask my fiancé (now
    my wife) if private firearm ownership was allowed, she said it was but the process and justification made it difficult. Not many average people owned firearms... Her dad had served in the Peruvian military and later in the Peruvian Police as an investigator.

    By the way, at that time, civilians were limited to .380 as the largest caliber they could own, or so I've been told...

    It's still a great place to visit, but one always needs to be aware of their surrounding, especially when in more crowded areas.
     
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  3. RicInOR

    RicInOR Washington County Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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  4. Swedish K

    Swedish K SW Washington Moderator Staff Member

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    I recall on the way to town from the airport that many of the houses were incomplete - mainly they would start another floor and leave it unfinished. Our guide told us that any "incomplete" residence was not taxed so every time they have another generation living in the house they finish the next floor and start an additional one that is left undone.
    The guide also mentioned not wearing any expensive jewelry, name brand sunglasses, or watches. He said that locals used to move any jewelry/watches to the arm that was away from the car window until the thugs started catching cars stuck at a light or stop sign and they would burn the persons arm with a cigar - when they reached to knock away the cigar the thug would swipe the watch / bracelet / rings and run off.

    I do recall the "signage" for road construction as being interesting to say the least - stick a big rock in the road with an X painted on it about 50 feet before the huge hole in the road.
    One thing they were not was big believers in people's rights. When watching the changing of the guard a teenage punk kid was walking behind the inspector mimicking him and making fun of him - the big boss ran him off once and told him to leave. A few minutes later the kid tried it again and got a beating with a lead sap. When the kid's father tried to intervene he was told he could have the kid when they were done and if he didn't step away he would get a beating too.
     
  5. PaulB47

    PaulB47 Hillsboro Well-Known Member

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    When I lived in Paris for a year back in 1980, it's clear there was less theft than in the US at the time. People would leave wallets sitting on desks without a problem. I had a checking account and everybody I used checks with never asked for ID, and every vendor took checks.

    Probably different these days... :rolleyes:

    A bunch of cops would show up here and there with SMGs, never figured out why but they weren't shy about it. Nobody I knew had any guns other than shotguns for bird hunting, etc.
     
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  6. raftman

    raftman Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    International travel is fascinating. I've been to the Soviet Union when that was still a thing (and also to the Russian Federation more recently). The USSR was interesting, up until the late 1980's it was very safe... there were far fewer criminal gangs in the entire Soviet Union than exist in Los Angeles alone (bad example, I know). At the same time, they achieved this by doing away with due process, protections against unlawful search and seizure, presumption of innocence or other rights of the accused, no freedom of speech, etc. It's not a price any sensible person should be willing to pay and anyone who who disagrees almost certainly never experienced it. As to what guns I saw, nothing exotic, AK's and Makarovs is pretty much it.

    Been to North Korea and the China as well. I think of those places every time someone tries to make the old "Why would anyone NEED an AR-15?" argument. It's a flawed question, it presumes someone is allowed to decide for me what I do and don't need, and then use that as the basis for what I am or am not allowed to own. The aforementioned societies are what result when you follow that rationale to its natural conclusion. Don't recall having seen any guns in China, but I wasn't sober for most my time there. Saw quite a few guns in North Korea, their military is pretty much omnipresent throughout the country. DShK's, Degtyarevs, they had a museum that had quite a few American guns from the war (M1 carbines and the like), of course tons of AK's (including gaudy silver-plated ceremonial types), CZ-75-clones. Oddly enough, I think I saw almost exclusively 20-rd mags on their AK's; maybe they save the 30's for the parades and propaganda photo shoots?
     
  7. L84Cabo

    L84Cabo Orcas Island, WA Well-Known Member

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    I've lost track of how many countries I've been to. Some 40+ at this point. Nice places and third world shhhh...crap holes. Seen a pretty wide variety of stuff. Way too much to list all of it. But I'll share a few things that stand out to me...

    Many places have a much greater military presence in the day-to-day than we do here. The only time you really see our military here is either when you're near/on a base or you run into the odd service person in uniform out in public. But in a lot of places, the military supplements the local law enforcement. And the military guys are almost always pretty well armed. Seen a lot of AK's in their natural environment along with a host of other weaponry.

    Crime is manged in varying degrees from practically not at all to zero tolerance. One of the zero tolerance examples that struck and has stayed with me are the warning signs as you got off the plane in South East Asia (Singapore), that drug possession is punishable by death. Safe to say they don't mess around in some countries.

    I also lived in London in 92 and 93...at the height of the IRA bombings. It was an interesting situation to say the least. Most police were not carrying at that point. Yet crap was blowing up across the city. London was basically at the mercy of the IRA. They could pretty much bomb at will. There were at least 3 or 4 times where I'd get home from work, turn on the news and see that the Tube stop I was at just 5 or 10 minutes ago blew up. These were smaller bombs but most certainly destructive and deadly.

    Then there were the bigger bombs. At the time I was working in the financial district. I remember not going into work for a few days because the IRA set off a huge bomb in the middle of the district. Fortunately it happened on a Saturday when the district was pretty empty. It was known as the Bishopsgate Bombing. When they finally let people back in, it was pretty surreal. Looked exactly like this picture here...

    1993 Bishopsgate bombing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1993_Bishopsgate_bombing)
     
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  8. Caveman Jim

    Caveman Jim West of Oly Springer Slayer 2016 Volunteer

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    I'm content with traveling around the good ole US of A. Y'all have fun out there.
     
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  9. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I'm with Jim on this one! And, I prefer to drive cause I'm packin' then!:D Been to enough third world country's!
     
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  10. Swedish K

    Swedish K SW Washington Moderator Staff Member

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    Not surprising.

    Back in the 90s I knew a guy who was in the US to go to school from Japan. His father was some type of Yakusa loan shark (or so he said). Considering the way he threw around money I tend to believe him - he had a new Camaro in the garage and decided to rent a Caddy for a weekend trip to Los Angeles, every time he got bored with the furniture he would replace it all, stuff like that.
    He told me that while drugs were illegal in Japan, drug use was pretty uncommon as the shame to the family stigma prevented most from even considering it. The flip side though is that the average cop didn't even know what they were looking for or smelling - he said you could walk down the street smoking weed and no one would bat an eye as they didn't know what it was. He did say that for the most part the only people who had guns were cops and connected criminals.
     
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  11. Caveman Jim

    Caveman Jim West of Oly Springer Slayer 2016 Volunteer

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    I know this thread is about international travel but love being able to take me CC Weapon in checked baggage in the US.;)
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2016
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  12. Swedish K

    Swedish K SW Washington Moderator Staff Member

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    Just so long as you don't get an unexpected layover in NJ.
     
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  13. Caveman Jim

    Caveman Jim West of Oly Springer Slayer 2016 Volunteer

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    Or NYC (git a rope)... actually layovers are not a problem because you do not have access to your check baggage.;)
    But yeah, NJ eewwww!!!:eek:
     
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  14. Swedish K

    Swedish K SW Washington Moderator Staff Member

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    Agree - actually have a shotgun that was made on Broadway in NYC - tells you how old that one is.
    I was referring to the poor guy who had a connection in Jersey and either had a flight delayed and missed his connection there or the connecting flight had mechanical problems - airline gave them all their luggage and sent them to hotels for the night - following day when he went to check back in they arrested him for illegally having a gun without proper permit in Jersey... took ages to get that one fixed and over a year to reclaim his firearm iirc.
     
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  15. Caveman Jim

    Caveman Jim West of Oly Springer Slayer 2016 Volunteer

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    Ok, that has some pucker factors built in.....:eek::eek::eek:
    That would suck.
     
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