Guns and Money

It looks more like a sack of potatoes than anything else — the coarsely woven brown bag the skinny Thai corporal is hefting onto the rickety table with a grunt. The sack gapes open and dozens of guns clank out, covering the tabletop, several dropping onto the grimy concrete floor. We stare at the jumbled heap of handguns, which I know from Joe, the arms trader who has brought me, are either Brownings or Smith & Wessons. Some have seen long service, the butts chipped and scored. Joe ignores these, instead picking up a snub-nosed Browning, still shiny with gun oil....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!