In the Philippines, they vote with their trigger fingers. Elections mean big business for backyard gunsmiths, who are looking forward to 2013 mid-term polls.
With election-related violence commonplace, the Philippines imposes a ban on the carrying of guns for six months, from campaigning to the proclamation of winners.
With legal access denied, Filipinos simply turn to the many illegal gunsmiths who ply their trade in back alleys and on the edge of rice fields despite government crackdowns.
In Danao City, in the northeast of central Cebu island, they are already anticipating a windfall.
“There’s actually huge demand for guns, especially now and because of the elections next year,” said a 33-year-old gunsmith, who asked to be named only as Remo, as he hammered away at bits of scrap metal in a makeshift factory in Danao.
Loud music drowned out the noise of Remo’s workshop on the edge of a dry creek, hidden from view by thick bamboo groves, as he and two assistants hammered, filed and drilled away.
“We are actually having some difficulty in keeping up with the orders because it usually takes at least two weeks to make one .45 caliber pistol, even if I work 16 hours a day,” he said.
“THE WORLD OF OUR FATHERS”
As the pro- and anti-gun lobbies in the United States agonize over how to respond to yet another massacre of innocents, in the Philippines many want even more liberal gun laws to boost production of a small but growing legal industry.
Guns have long been part of everyday life in the Philippines, especially since the end of World War Two.