Archive for the ‘Gun Control’ Tag

How Gun Control Laws Contributed To the Mumbai Slaughter

An interesting article, from October, 2005, provided by http://www.gunowners.org:

Gun Control And Self-defense Against Terrorism In India
by Abhijeet Singh
Colonial Roots of Gun-Control

I live in India and I am a proud firearm owner — but I am the exception not the norm, an odd situation in a country with a proud martial heritage and a long history of firearm innovation. This is not because the people of India are averse to gun ownership, but instead due to Draconian anti-gun legislation going back to colonial times.

To trace the roots of India’s anti-gun legislation we need to step back to the latter half of the 19th century. The British had recently fought off a major Indian rebellion (the mutiny of 1857) and were busy putting in place measures to ensure that the events of 1857 were never repeated. These measures included a major restructuring of administration and the colonial British Indian Army along with improvements in communications and transportation. Meanwhile the Indian masses were systematically being disarmed and the means of local firearm production destroyed, to ensure that they (the Indian masses) would never again have the means to rise in rebellion against their colonial masters. Towards this end the colonial government, under Lord Lytton as Viceroy (1874 -1880), brought into existence the Indian Arms Act, 1878 (11 of 1878); an act which, exempted Europeans and ensured that no Indian could possess a weapon of any description unless the British masters considered him a “loyal” subject of the British Empire.

An example of British thinking in colonial times:

“No kingdom can be secured otherwise than by arming the people. The possession of arms is the distinction between a freeman and a slave. He, who has nothing, and who himself belongs to another, must be defended by him, whose property he is, and needs no arms. But he, who thinks he is his own master, and has what he can call his own, ought to have arms to defend himself, and what he possesses; else he lives precariously, and at discretion.” –James Burgh (Political Disquisitions: Or, an Enquiry into Public Errors, Defects, and Abuses) [London, 1774-1775]

And thoughts (on this subject) of the man who wanted to rule the world:

“The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed the subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the supply of arms to the underdogs is a sine qua non for the overthrow of any sovereignty.” — Adolf Hitler (H.R. Trevor-Roper, Hitler’s Table Talks 1941-1944)

The leaders of our freedom struggle recognised this, even Gandhi the foremost practitioner of passive resistance and non-violence had this to say about the British policy of gun-control in India:

“Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest.” — Mahatma Gandhi (An Autobiography OR The story of my experiments with truth, by M.K. Gandhi, p.238)
Post Independence

India became independent in 1947, but it still took 12 years before this act was finally repealed. In 1959 the British era Indian Arms Act, 1878 (11 of 1878.) was finally consigned to history and a new act, the Arms Act, 1959 was enacted. This was later supplemented by the Arms Rules, 1962. Unfortunately this new legislation was also formulated based on the Indian Government’s innate distrust its own citizens. Though somewhat better than the British act, this legislation gave vast arbitrary powers to the “Licensing Authorities”, in effect ensuring that it is often difficult and sometimes impossible for an ordinary law abiding Indian citizen to procure an arms license.

“A system of licensing and registration is the perfect device to deny gun ownership to the bourgeoisie.” — Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

Also the policy of throttling private arms manufacturing was continued even after independence. Limits on the quantity and type of arms that could be produced by private manufacturers were placed — ensuring that the industry could never hope to be globally competitive and was instead consigned to producing cheap shotguns, of mostly indifferent quality, in small quantities. A citizen wishing to purchase a decent firearm depended solely on imports, which were a bit more expensive but vastly superior in quality.
More Recently

This changed towards the mid to late 1980s, when the Government, citing domestic insurgency as the reason, put a complete stop to all small arms imports. The fact that there is no documented evidence of any terrorists ever having used licensed weapons to commit an act of terror on Indian soil seems to be of no consequence to our Government. The prices of (legal & licensed) imported weapons have been on an upward spiral ever since — beating the share market and gold in terms of pure return on investment. Even the shoddy domestically produced guns suddenly seem to have found a market. Also since the Government now had a near monopoly on (even half-way decent) arms & ammunition for the civilian market, they started turning the screws by pricing their crude public sector products (ammunition, rifles, shotguns & small quantities of handguns) at ridiculously high rates — products that frankly, given a choice no one would ever purchase.

“That rifle on the wall of the labourer’s cottage or working class flat is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there.” — George Orwell, the author of Animal Farm and 1984, himself a socialist
Why Citizens Need to be Armed

Curtailing gun ownership, to curb violent crime, through denying licenses or making legal arms & ammunition ridiculously expensive is based on flawed reasoning. The fact is that licensed firearms are found to be used in a statistically insignificant number of violent crimes, motorcycles & cars are far more dangerous. The certainty that a potential victim is unarmed is an encouragement to armed criminals. Less guns, more crime. Most violent crimes involving firearms are committed using untraceable illegal guns. Terrorists or the mafia are not going to be deterred by gun-control laws, they will be willing and able to procure arms of their choice and use them to commit crimes irrespective of any laws. Ironically in India it is cheaper (by several times) to buy the same gun in the black market than it is to buy it legally!

“Gun control? It’s the best thing you can do for crooks and gangsters. I want you to have nothing. If I’m a bad guy, I’m always gonna have a gun. Safety locks? You’ll pull the trigger with a lock on, and I’ll pull the trigger. We’ll see who wins.” — Sammy “The Bull” Gravano, Mafia hit man

“The supposed quietude of a good man allures the ruffian; while on the other hand, arms, like laws, discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute of arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside…. Horrid mischief would ensue were one half the world deprived of the use of them….” — Thomas Paine, Thoughts on Defensive War in 1775

And from the world’s gentlest human being:

“If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.” — The Dalai Lama, (May 15, 2001, The Seattle Times) speaking at the “Educating Heart Summit” in Portland, Oregon, when asked by a girl how to react when a shooter takes aim at a classmate

It is, of course, no coincidence that the right to have guns is one of the earlier freedoms outlined in U.S.A.’s Bill of Rights. Without guns in the hands of the people, all the other freedoms are easily negated by the State. If you disagree with that statement, ask yourself if the Nazis could have gassed millions of Jews, had the Jews been armed with rifles and pistols — there weren’t enough SS troops to do the job. Lest we forget, in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1944, a couple of hundred Jews armed with rifles and homemade explosive devices held off two fully-equipped German divisions (actually about 8,000 men) for nearly two months.

Closer home take the case of the Godhra carnage and the anti-Sikh riots of 1984. Would wanton mobs have slaughtered so many innocent people with such disregard to consequences if their potential victims had been armed and ready to defend themselves? A serious consideration should be given to an armed civilian population as a solution to religious and racial riots as well as other crimes. Since all criminals are instinctively driven by self-preservation allowing legal ownership of firearms by law abiding citizens would act as a serious deterrent. This will make sure that if the Govt. fails to do its duty to protect the life and liberty of its citizens (as it has so often done in India’s recent past), citizens will be able to protect themselves. I’ll take some potential objections and try to answer them:
Arguments & Counter-Arguments

Q1. Won’t legal owners of arms use the firearms to kill and murder others?
Ans. When a man holds a rifle, he becomes almost godlike: suddenly, he has the ability to deal death and injury to another over a considerable distance — to send, as it were, a thunderbolt of Zeus. For some men, unquestionably, this power is going to be abused, just as some men will always drive a fast car at reckless speeds. For the vast majority of men, however, this power produces precisely the opposite effect: they are humbled by the power they hold, and they become more responsible in its use. That is why, in a nation like the United States with well over seventy million gun owners, only a tiny fraction, less than half a tenth of one percent, use a gun to commit a crime each year. Also since the firearms would be registered with the Govt. along with the owners address, the type of the firearm, its serial number etc. Those (the criminals) who want to commit crimes will not and DO NOT bother to purchase firearms legally and register them. They can and do buy them from the black market (at a fraction of the cost of a legal firearm, I might add). Legal ownership will allow law abiding citizens to protect their and others life and property.

Q2. Won’t there be a free for all during riots?
Ans. By definition riots ARE free for all. However, very few people will participate in riots knowing that a large number of law abiding citizens own firearms in the area. This will actually prevent riots. Riots are mostly started by miscreants (unscrupulous politicians?) who want to benefit from the chaos of riots. However, the risk (loss of life or limb) for the miscreant in starting and/ or participating in such riots, when a large number of the general civilian population owns legal firearms, is significant. Therefore in most cases miscreants will not dare to start riots in the first place.

Q3.What about domestic violence and firearms?
Ans. Domestic violence has nothing to do with firearm ownership. Firearms are merely a tool — not the cause of violence, to quote a famous NRA slogan “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people”. Women in India face domestic violence even today with very limited legal gun ownership. If anything, legal firearms in the hands of women might help even the odds — by removing the physical weakness of women from the equation.

Q4. What about accidents?
Ans. More people in India get killed in automobile accidents than firearm accidents. In countries where gun ownership rates are high like the United States (which has a firearm to population ratio of approx 96:100, i.e., almost 1 firearm for every man woman & child), Switzerland, New Zealand etc. several times more people die in road accidents than from firearm accidents. Firearm accidents can be further minimised by making a gun-safety course mandatory before a permit is issued — so long as this is not used as another excuse to delay or deny permits.

Q5. What about firearm assisted suicides?
Ans. A suicidal person has many different available ways to end his/ her life. Firearms are just another means for him/ her. Statistically suicide rates have little correlation with firearm ownership patterns. Many countries with strict anti-gun legislation have high suicide rates and vice versa.

Q6. Are there any working systems and what are the results?
Ans. Yes, for example in U.S.A., Switzerland, New Zealand. One must note here that different states in US have different degrees of gun ownership and firearm restrictions. Interestingly the states with more restrictions on gun ownerships have a higher crime rate than those that are less restrictive.

I do not condone violence or a violent solution to problems, but there can be no justification for not letting people be prepared to defend their own and their families’ lives and property. When one is surrounded by mobs bent on setting you on fire and the like, in a country where policing is non-existent, owning firearms by people will have a great deterrent effect on mobs. Of course, if I could sue the police for not giving me complete protection, then I might feel differently (but don’t count on it). But by law the State cannot be at fault for not protecting its citizens — so if the cops take 25 minutes (or several hours) to respond to your call, and in those 25 minutes a criminal kicks open your door, shoots you and your wife, rapes your 11-year-old daughter, and beats your baby to death, that’s just tough luck. What about incidents like 1984 and Godhra, where the local administration and police wilfully neglected their duty to protect the citizens of this country?

Please also read the entertaining Parable of the Sheep for an explanation so simple that even a child can understand it.

As the Indian Law stands today a citizen of this country cannot even own a stick without inviting a penalty of 7 years in prison. We live in a country where we have still not cast off the yoke of antiquated laws made by our colonial masters to keep us oppressed and at the mercy of the government, notwithstanding the lofty vision of the first page of our constitution.

Harping on the few who unfortunately misuse firearms unfairly ignores those millions of us spread all over the world who own and use them responsibly. Dreaming romantically about a world where everything has been made perfectly safe “for the children” is just that, dreaming. I’ve tried visualising world peace until I’m about ready to have an out of body experience, but as soon as I open my eyes, they’re bombing civilians in the North East or gunning down innocents in Kashmir. Welcome to the real world.

“I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.”– George Mason

Cracking article by That Man Richard Munday in the Sunday Times

(http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/article5299010.ece)
The firearms massacres that have periodically caused shock and horror around the world have been dwarfed by the Mumbai shootings, in which a handful of gunmen left some 500 people killed or wounded.

For anybody who still believed in it, the Mumbai shootings exposed the myth of “gun control”. India had some of the strictest firearms laws in the world, going back to the Indian Arms Act of 1878, by which Britain had sought to prevent a recurrence of the Indian Mutiny.

The guns used in last week’s Bombay massacre were all “prohibited weapons” under Indian law, just as they are in Britain. In this country we have seen the irrelevance of such bans (handgun crime, for instance, doubled here within five years of the prohibition of legal pistol ownership), but the largely drug-related nature of most extreme violence here has left most of us with a sheltered awareness of the threat. We have not yet faced a determined and broad-based attack.

The Mumbai massacre also exposed the myth that arming the police force guarantees security. Sebastian D’Souza, a picture editor on the Mumbai Mirror who took some of the dramatic pictures of the assault on the Chhatrapati Shivaji railway station, was angered to find India’s armed police taking cover and apparently failing to engage the gunmen.

In Britain we might recall the prolonged failure of armed police to contain the Hungerford killer, whose rampage lasted more than four hours, and who in the end shot himself. In Dunblane, too, it was the killer who ended his own life: even at best, police response is almost always belated when gunmen are on the loose. One might think, too, of the McDonald’s massacre in San Ysidro, California, in 1984, where the Swat team waited for their leader (who was held up in a traffic jam) while 21 unarmed diners were murdered.

Rhetoric about standing firm against terrorists aside, in Britain we have no more legal deterrent to prevent an armed assault than did the people of Mumbai, and individually we would be just as helpless as victims. The Mumbai massacre could happen in London tomorrow; but probably it could not have happened to Londoners 100 years ago.

In January 1909 two such anarchists, lately come from an attempt to blow up the president of France, tried to commit a robbery in north London, armed with automatic pistols. Edwardian Londoners, however, shot back – and the anarchists were pursued through the streets by a spontaneous hue-and-cry. The police, who could not find the key to their own gun cupboard, borrowed at least four pistols from passers-by, while other citizens armed with revolvers and shotguns preferred to use their weapons themselves to bring the assailants down.

Today we are probably more shocked at the idea of so many ordinary Londoners carrying guns in the street than we are at the idea of an armed robbery. But the world of Conan Doyle’s Dr Watson, pocketing his revolver before he walked the London streets, was real. The arming of the populace guaranteed rather than disturbed the peace.

That armed England existed within living memory; but it is now so alien to our expectations that it has become a foreign country. Our image of an armed society is conditioned instead by America: or by what we imagine we know about America. It is a skewed image, because (despite the Second Amendment) until recently in much of the US it has been illegal to bear arms outside the home or workplace; and therefore only people willing to defy the law have carried weapons.

In the past two decades the enactment of “right to carry” legislation in the majority of states, and the issue of permits for the carrying of concealed firearms to citizens of good repute, has brought a radical change. Opponents of the right to bear arms predicted that right to carry would cause blood to flow in the streets, but the reverse has been true: violent crime in America has plummeted.

There are exceptions: Virginia Tech, the site of the 2007 massacre of 32 people, was one local “gun-free zone” that forbade the bearing of arms even to those with a licence to carry.

In Britain we are not yet ready to recall the final liberty of the subject listed by William Blackstone in his Commentaries on the Laws of England as underpinning all others: “The right of having and using arms for self-preservation and defence.” We would still not be ready to do so were the Mumbai massacre to happen in London tomorrow.

“Among the many misdeeds of British rule in India,” Mahatma Gandhi said, “history will look upon the act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest.” The Mumbai massacre is a bitter postscript to Gandhi’s comment. D’Souza now laments his own helplessness in the face of the killers: “I only wish I had had a gun rather than a camera.”

Richard Munday is the co-author and editor of Guns & Violence: The Debate Before Lord Cullen

Gun Control; History

Courtesy: onemanthoughts
http://onemansthoughts.wordpress.com/2008/12/08/a-little-gun-history-lesson/

In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, a total of 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated.

China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Guatemala established gun control in 1964. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Cambodia established gun control in 1956. From 1975 to 1977, one million ‘educated’ people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Defenseless people rounded up and exterminated in the 20th Century because of gun control: 56 million.

It has now been 12 months since gun owners in Australia were forced by new law to surrender 640,381 personal firearms to be destroyed by their own government, a program costing Australia taxpayers more than $500 million dollars. The first year results are now in:

Australia-wide, homicides are up 3.2 percent

Australia-wide, assaults are up 8.6 percent

Australia-wide, armed robberies are up 44 percent (yes, 44 percent)!

In the state of Victoria alone, homicides with firearms are now up 300 percent. Note that while the law-abiding citizens turned them in, the criminals did not, and criminals still possess their guns!

It will never happen here? I bet the Aussies said that too!

While figures over the previous 25 years showed a steady decrease in armed robbery with firearms, this has changed drastically upward in the past 12 months, since criminals now are guaranteed that their prey is unarmed.

There has also been a dramatic increase in break-ins and assaults of the ELDERLY.

Australian politicians are at a loss to explain how public safety has decreased, after such monumental effort and expense was expended in successfully ridding Australian society of guns. The Australian experience and the other historical facts above prove it.

You won’t see this data on the US evening news, or hear politicians disseminating this information.

Guns in the hands of honest citizens save lives and property and, yes, gun-control laws adversely affect only the law-abiding citizens.

Take note my fellow Americans, before it’s too late!

The next time someone talks in favor of gun control, please remind him of this history lesson.

With Guns…………We Are ‘Citizens’.

Without Them……..We Are ‘Subjects’.

During W.W.II, the Japanese decided not to invade America because they knew most Americans were ARMED!

Note: Admiral Yamamoto who crafted the attack on Pearl Harbor had attended Harvard U 1919-1921 & was Naval Attaché to the U. S. 1925-28. Most of our Navy was destroyed at Pearl Harbor & our Army had been deprived of funding & was ill prepared to defend the country.

It was reported that when asked why Japan did not follow up the Pearl Harbor attack with an invasion of the U.S. Mainland, his reply was that he had lived in the U. S. & knew that almost all households had guns.

If you value your freedom, please spread this anti-gun control message to all your friends!