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LA Times takes a dim view of gun ownership in India

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LA Times takes a dim view of gun ownership in India

Postby mundaire » Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:07 pm

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Re: LA Times takes a dim view of gun ownership in India

Postby Hammerhead » Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:03 pm

Gun culture spreads in India
Indians own about 40 million guns, second only to the U.S. Rising incomes, along with crime and fear of terrorist attacks, have fueled firearms purchases.

By Mark Magnier, Los Angeles Times

February 20, 2012, 5:46 p.m.
Reporting from Chandigarh, India-

Vikramjit Singh stands in the parking lot of a posh club in Chandigarh discussing one of his favorite subjects: guns. He owns 10 or so; he can't remember exactly. They may come in handy if the old family feud resurfaces.

In a Hatfield-versus-McCoy saga that haunts the 25-year-old student, his grandfather was shot to death here in the western state of Punjab and his father imprisoned for a retaliatory murder. Although the two clans signed a truce a few years back, Singh isn't taking any chances.

"Having a gun 24/7 is a necessity," he says. "You don't know if their relatives will crop up again. And an expensive weapon is a status symbol. You can't flash just any old gun around."

India, the land of Mohandas Gandhi, known for its Hindu belief in the sanctity of life, is anything but gun-shy. Rising incomes have made high-end weapons a new form of bling, and rising crime and memories of Mumbai's 2008 terrorist attack have left Indians eager to be armed and dangerous.

Government worker Deep Sidhu sits in his living room feeling the weight of the family's Luger, a German World War II-era pistol, in his hands. Guns are in the blood, he says beneath a painting of a man toting a shotgun.

"This forgiveness-peace idea will only make Pakistanis think we're soft targets," he says.

"All that Gandhi stuff is for tourists," adds his father, Raja K.S. Sidhu. "They should go off to Varanasi, see the holy cows."

Despite tough controls on weapons, Indians own about 40 million guns, the second-highest number in the world. Of those, 85% are unregistered Saturday-night specials involved in 90% of firearm homicides. That said, there are only 3 guns for every 100 people in India, compared with 89 guns per 100 Americans, the world leaders, according to gunpolicy.org.

India recorded 80,000 violations of its Arms Act in 2009, involving owning, making and transporting illegal weapons, an 8% increase from 2007, according to India's National Crimes Records Bureau. Despite the increase, most homicides here still involve knives, machetes and other weapons, with guns accounting for just 14% of killings.

India also remains a far less violent society than the U.S., at 2.78 homicides per 100,000 people, compared with 4.96 Americans per 100,000. Indian gun lovers remain convinced, however, that the country needs more firearms given its low police-to-population ratio, among the world's worst.

As gun culture spreads, local governments have offered to fast-track firearms licenses if men have vasectomies. Families include firearms in dowries. And authorities have discouraged celebratory gunfire at weddings after several accidents, including the recent death of a bridegroom when his uncle's revelry shots went terribly wrong.

Newspaper headlines detail numerous fatalities, many involving petty disputes: a toll collector killed with a homemade "country pistol," India's term for a Saturday-night special, over 50 cents; a 22-year-old man shot dead after a fight about urinating; a twentysomething man killed after jostling in line for water dispensed from a truck. On Jan. 28, five people were killed in election-related violence in the northeastern state of Manipur after the shooting deaths of at least two a day earlier.

"Are we not paying for the rising gun violence in India?" asks antigun activist Binalakshmi Nepram, secretary-general of Control Arms Foundation of India. "It is a wrong perception that one needs a gun for security."

In an attempt to curtail the violence, New Delhi recently started rigidly enforcing its already tough gun licensing rules, which had been easy to bypass through bribes or personal connections. The rules include police checks, strict limits on ammunition and a need to prove that one's life is endangered.

Security guard Kuldeep Kumar, 30, lounges in front of an HDFC Bank branch with his far-from-new 12-gauge shotgun. Obtaining a license took ages and heaps of red tape, he says, proudly showing the thick booklet with multiple approval stamps and detailed rules.

The rules punish law-abiding citizens and encourage unlicensed ownership, gun lovers say. They also have Jugraj Singh, owner of Chandigarh's Singh Gun House, looking for another line of work. "Business used to be a lot better," he says beside 25 rifles and shotguns in a dusty rack.

Tighter regulations also prompted gun owners to found the 3,500-member National Assn. for Gun Rights India in 2010, modeled on America's National Rifle Assn., which lobbies the government to ease restrictions.

"Guns boost an individual's confidence," says a video by the group, titled "Guns For Peace." "Guns are force equalizers."

Rakshit Sharma, the group's secretary-general, says the Mumbai attack would have been cut short if Taj Mahal hotel guests had been carrying firearms. "The government has a very antiarms view," he says.

Even as the government tightens legal gun use, illegal firearms are proliferating, particularly in Jharkhand state, where Maoist guerrillas are waging a war against the government, and the populous northern states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

An illegal gun maker of 15 years from Meerut in Uttar Pradesh who identifies himself as Atul says it's easy money. "We buy some carbon steel," he says. "It takes three or four days to make one."

Prices range from $20 for a single-shot "country gun" to $1,000 for a proper pistol, he says. Demand has been strong in the run-up to this month's Uttar Pradesh election. "The illegal market is flourishing," he says. "Legal weapons are too cumbersome, and expensive."

The tradition among landowner families of passing shotguns down to their offspring after years of training has become twisted, some say, by quick money and a showoff culture that's seen youngsters competing over who can wave about the nicest $10,000 pistol.

At street gatherings in downtown Chandigarh and other wealthy cities, teenagers and twentysomethings compete over who's got the best gun as police look the other way, wary of offending offspring of powerful families, people say.

Head-turners include the Russian-made 7.62 Tokarev pistol and its Chinese knockoff selling for as much as $12,000 and the American Colt .45 pistol at $6,000 to $8,000, in addition to Italian-made weapons. Domestic guns are distinctly declasse, seen as low-quality and unreliable, which aficionados say is a legacy of India's protected markets and focus on nonviolence.

"People are richer, gain access to expensive weapons, which enhances their image," says Sidhu, the government worker. "Despite regulations, you can't stop a Punjabi from loving guns."

Many people dismiss fear that India could turn into the Wild West, but some Indians display a certain amount of Wild Bill Hickok.

Bank manager Jagdeep Singh likes to tuck his licensed pistol under his shirt on car trips over lonely roads, having used it successfully in the early 1990s to fight off several attackers.

"I have two good-looking daughters," he says, "another reason I keep a gun."

Copyright © 2012, Los Angeles Times
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. - Edmund Burke
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Re: LA Times takes a dim view of gun ownership in India

Postby Corjack » Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:23 pm

You guys need to consider that the LA Times is a very liberal, anti gun establishment. Not a true indicator of US sentiment towards Indians right to keep, and bear arms. A strong, happy Indian democracy, consisting of many law abiding, Indian gun owners, is in the best interest of the US.
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Re: LA Times takes a dim view of gun ownership in India

Postby lonetrigger » Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:46 pm

The report has narrowly restricted itself to one region, Punjab and Punjab's Gun culture. Family-fueds (worldwide) will be there with or without guns and lives are lost whether there are guns in the equation or not. There is nothing wrong or illegal when youngsters flaunting their pricey guns. They flaunt thier cars and pricey gadgets too, so what. What is conspicuously missing is any reference to any successfull self-defence by a more common citizen in India. An instance of how a common law-abiding citizen has saved his life and or his family's thanks to a legal gun would have equated the pro-gun and anti-gun debate.

As for the Illegal Arms, smuggling or production, Governments can do nothing about it, and our government absolutely nothing. If they could, they would have.

"You guys need to consider that the LA Times is a very liberal, anti gun establishment. Not a true indicator of US sentiment towards Indians right to keep, and bear arms". Even if the entire US sentiment was against Indians' RKBA what difference will it make here in India? We are struggling for our rights anyways (not just RKBA) and we will continue to do so.
"The greatest enemy will hide in the last place you look".
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Re: LA Times takes a dim view of gun ownership in India

Postby Corjack » Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:03 pm

We are tending toward a more global society. Indians success, or failure to secure gun rights will impact the gun owners in more countries besides India. The LA Times recognizes that, and are attempting to muddle things up, put international pressures on your lawmakers, rather than take a chance on you guys getting done, what you are attempting to do. We are all connected, in one way or another, like it or not.
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Re: LA Times takes a dim view of gun ownership in India

Postby boris » Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:17 pm

There is a certain name in the newspaper that makes me vomit everytime I see/hear that name.
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Re: LA Times takes a dim view of gun ownership in India

Postby xl_target » Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:43 pm

Not to be taken too seriously. This is the LA Times after all. Unfortunately the US constitution stands in the way of their goal of universal disarmament. Since no one takes them seriously when they discuss guns (or much of anything else) in the US, I guess its time to pick on a softer target like India. After speaking to and quoting less than ten people in one state in India, they feel qualified to come to conclusions about the "gun culture" in India.

Anyone who has studied the gun situation in India with any seriousness knows that the "40 million guns in India" is a total fabrication which has no verifiable source. So when I read an article that starts with that "fact", they've lost all credibility by the time I've finished reading the first paragraph.
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Re: LA Times takes a dim view of gun ownership in India

Postby spin_drift » Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:55 pm

Corjack wrote:We are tending toward a more global society. Indians success, or failure to secure gun rights will impact the gun owners in more countries besides India. The LA Times recognizes that, and are attempting to muddle things up, put international pressures on your lawmakers, rather than take a chance on you guys getting done, what you are attempting to do. We are all connected, in one way or another, like it or not.


I'll have to agree with Corjack.. we all need to work together... as the anti-gun lobbies around the world are working together

boris wrote:There is a certain name in the newspaper that makes me vomit everytime I see/hear that name.


she is a retard :mrgreen:
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Re: LA Times takes a dim view of gun ownership in India

Postby winnie_the_pooh » Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:43 pm

The '40 million guns in civilian hands' is a fiction.You may wonder how it came about.This is how

A fellow took the total number of illegal arms confiscated in a particular year,mind you,this number included those confiscated in places like Kashmir,as his starting point.He/she/it then decided that the police confiscated a certain percentage of total illegal arms in the country in that particular year.Thereafter it was a simple process to multiply the number of arms confiscated with the imagined number and you have this figure of 40 million.

You can do the process in reverse also.Start with a figure that will attract attention and then work from there.
Last edited by winnie_the_pooh on Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: LA Times takes a dim view of gun ownership in India

Postby timmy » Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:55 pm

I note this statement:

India also remains a far less violent society than the U.S., at 2.78 homicides per 100,000 people, compared with 4.96 Americans per 100,000.


And compare this to the fact that, in the USA, there are 15.5 deaths per 100,000 people due to automobiles (source: http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_m ... cle-deaths) Yet, nobody is afraid to drive their car to the grocery store for fear that a goon will run them over. The gun is easy to demonize because it is something that "the other fellow" has, does, or owns. However, everyone uses the automobile, so nobody wants stricter laws that protect public safety to impair their own freedoms. Why, drunk driving fatalities alone are 3.3 per 100,000 (source: http://www.centurycouncil.org/drunk-driving/statistics), but since drunk driving is quite common here in the USA, people want to ignore this fact -- they realize that stricter measures against bad driving or even drunk driving could mean a curtailment of their own behavior. This makes gun ownership a more effective way for muckrakers like the LA Times, who face a severe decline in their readership, to market their fish wrappers.


As far as:

Despite tough controls on weapons, Indians own about 40 million guns, the second-highest number in the world. Of those, 85% are unregistered Saturday-night specials involved in 90% of firearm homicides.


Point 1 -- The number of 40 million guns owned ranks India as the second-highest nation in gun ownership. A population of 1 billion makes India the second highest in population. Would not one expect the second most populous nation to have the second most guns? Why, then, is the 40 million a significant statistic? The article certainly fails to explain that significance. The mentality behind the statement is that ownership alone is directly proportional to some sort of demonic nature in the owners of the guns, legal or not -- hardly an attitude that confirms the article's penetrating discovery of facts, is it?

Point 2 -- Making the laws more strict for legal gun owners is certainly curbing violent activities of illegal owners, isn't it?

Regarding this:

We are tending toward a more global society. Indians success, or failure to secure gun rights will impact the gun owners in more countries besides India. The LA Times recognizes that...


I see the global society being quite successfully influencing North Korea and Iran (note: sarcasm intended), just as it was 70 some years ago in the cases of Japanese aggression toward China and Italian aggression toward Ethiopia. This holds true for the LA Times, whose effect on Castro and Cuba has been as effective as the barking of a small Pekinese. Hardly something to worry about, in other words.

My take on this issue is that, at the bottom line, we have Binalakshmi Nepram, secretary-general of Control Arms Foundation of India saying:

It is a wrong perception that one needs a gun for security.


On the other hand, we have bank manager Jagdeep Singh, who likes to tuck his licensed pistol under his shirt on car trips over lonely roads, having used it successfully in the early 1990s to fight off several attackers, saying this:

"I have two good-looking daughters," he says, "another reason I keep a gun."


Mr. Nepram is clearly trying to sell a kettle of fish that is obviously false and unsupported, and even lacks relevance to the person who is threatened, like Mr. Singh. An effective policy will be to enact laws that deal effectively with antisocial elements, rather than forcing honest citizens wishing to protect themselves into the ranks of criminals.
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Re: LA Times takes a dim view of gun ownership in India

Postby Corjack » Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:16 am

Half the 4.96 per 100,000 homicides in the US, are bad people, killing other bad people, and should be factored in as a positive thing. The percentage of good people, killing other good people is very low, just as it would be in India, or anywhere else, that the majority of folks, are very good people.

An effective policy will be to enact laws that deal effectively with antisocial elements, rather than forcing honest citizens wishing to protect themselves into the ranks of criminals.


Passing more laws seldom has any effect on antisocial elements. Usually what happens is one antisocial element will remark to another, "you know, they passed a law against this type of behavior" and they then laugh so hard that their sides hurt. Laws are only for honest people. The only effective way a government can deal with antisocial elements, is harsher than what most societies can stomache these days, IE, public executions, hangings, crucifiction, ect. ect ect.
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Re: LA Times takes a dim view of gun ownership in India

Postby nagarifle » Wed Feb 22, 2012 4:43 pm

the more laws you have the more ineffective you become.
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Re: LA Times takes a dim view of gun ownership in India

Postby Vikram » Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:13 am

My problem is with seemingly intelligent people connecting the dots wrongly. The article itself clearly says that licensed guns contribute very little to actual crime and still they keep going on about need to restrict guns-they never talk about licensed or unlicensed. The supposedly learned people on this subject like Messrs.Nepram always invariably segue into the need to control licensed guns after blithely quoting that unverifiable number of 40 million illegal guns in India. Intellectual dishonesty and laziness coupled with professional interests= call for curtailing law abiding gun owners' rights. Meanwhile, the illegal gun trade flourishes unhindered and unmoaned.

Best-
Vikram

PS: I have no doubt that the so called anti-gun people are good people and with good intentions at heart.But, they are barking up the wrong tree.Licensed/legal gun owners are not criminals.
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Re: LA Times takes a dim view of gun ownership in India

Postby YogiBear » Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:47 am

Aloha,

I love to play with their weak minds by telling them if they think bad things of gun owners, it is

Because they themselves think of doing Bad things and feel the need to be controlled.

If you really think about it, it's because of How they think about others.
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Re: LA Times takes a dim view of gun ownership in India

Postby mundaire » Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:51 am

People like Ms. Nepram are only interested in getting their next round of funding, these are the so called "professional" crusaders. Cut the funding and lets see how many of them are still around standing up for their "so called" beliefs. :P

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