Tuesday, April 06, 2010

The status of ownership of arms in India

Ministers in Madhya Pradesh love their guns and love to flaunt them. Nearly half the ministers in chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan's cabinet own a gun. The chief minister himself is no exception...Not surprisingly, out of his 31 Cabinet colleagues 17 own firearms with some of them owning more than one guns.

"Owning a gun here is considered to be a matter of prestige," we are told, "where it is equated with a person's status in society."
Remember the Hollywood weenies who bitch and moan that guns need to be banned/registered/restricted while they have private ranges on their ranches and land? The politicians who don't want peasants to have arms while THEY and their friends can get permits? Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

[L]egislation was...formulated based on the Indian Government's innate distrust its own citizens [and] 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.

...Limits on the quantity and type of arms that could be produced by private manufacturers were placed...A citizen wishing to purchase a decent firearm depended solely on imports...

[T]he Government, citing domestic insurgency as the reason, put a complete stop to all small arms imports...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...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..
And that's worked out just as well as the idiot laws in Chicago and DC:
"Delhi lives in terror as gun crimes rise," Rajeshree Sisodia of The National tells us.

But what about the pricing and licensing impediments?

[T]he problem stemmed from a rise in the number of guns, both licensed and unlicensed, flooding the Indian market, many of which are smuggled in from Pakistan and Myanmar...India is the second most heavily armed country in the world after the United States for both licensed and illicit weapons with an estimated 46 million unlicensed guns in circulation, research by the Geneva-based Graduate Institute of International Studies (CAFI) has shown.

So let's work this out...You can do everything legally, submit yourself to a permission process that may deny you, then pay an exorbitant sum for a registered piece of junk with ammunition purchase limits, or...

Say, if you're a criminal or terrorist, there's really not much to stop you from getting what you want and doing what you will with it, is there?
Just like gangs and other thugs have no problem getting guns illegally, while honest citizens are disarmed by the law.

1 comment:

K said...

North Korea executing finance officials. No word on punishment for the omnipotent god-leader who oversaw their appointments though...