Arming India Against Terrorism

Relaxing gun control laws would be a good start

For three bloody days, just 10 determined killers held a city of 18 million hostage. The sheer ignominy of this fact has jolted Mumbaikars—and Indians—out of their fabled chalta hai (anything goes) attitude, and into a burst of citizen activism. Even Mumbai's business community has shed its habitual political timidity and filed an extraordinary public-interest lawsuit demanding that the government fulfill its constitutional obligation to protect its citizens.

But Indians shouldn't just stop there. They should also demand reform of the country's draconian gun laws—a holdover from British times—that prevent them from defending themselves. That would surely deliver far quicker results than waiting for India's slow-moving political classes to plug the vast lacunae in the country's security apparatus.

Read the rest in The Wall Street Journal.

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  • @||

    Good thinking. Won't happen.

  • Egosumabbas||

    Most likely they'll hit the "Easy Button" and create a surveillance state like Great Britain. And continue to get bombed like Great Britain.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Can't let the Wogs have guns, they'll revolt.

    Oh, wait. Wrong century.

  • Jordan||

    But, but freedom is scary! People might make mistakes!

    /lefty

  • Rex||

    It may be a start, but there is a lot that needs to happen (such as ability to own guns, training, allowing carry, and the mindset of Indian population about guns and self-defence) before an armed public can thwart potential terrorists.

    But in the mean time this will help all sort of other fighting sections - religious, caste, political factions - do their damage more efficiently and to level the playing field to some extent.

  • MAX HATS||

    We need more guns in nations full of ethnic strife.

  • Jordan||

    We need more guns in nations full of ethnic strife.



    Only terrorists and criminals should have guns in nations full of ethnic strife.

  • MAX HATS||

    Read up on the numerous riots in India over holy sites. Read up on Kashmir.

  • Joel||

    The people doing the killing already have lots of guns and bombs, Max. I'm pretty sure terrorism is already against Indian law.

    All the gun laws do is provide lots of trembling, helpless victims for the terrorists to kill on the nightly news.

  • MAX HATS||

    What about when you have communities fighting each other. I hear that happens.

    google for india+riots+hindu

    In Iraq every male is allowed on AK-47. Let me tell you how well everyone gets along there.

  • MAX HATS||

    Wait, so an armed society means a trained paramilitary group can't operate.

    Uh, okay.

    Those guys were kicking the ass of the Indian army, and the Indian special operations forces took some time to take them down. An average citizen with a concealed carry is not going to do a lot of good.

  • Joel||

    So then cowering in complete government-mandated helplessness is a much better option. Because the army is so useless.

    Uh, okay.

    Good argument there. I'd much rather die completely harmless and helpless, than take my chances merely outgunned, pound for pound, by the terrorists but with lots more of us than there are of them. Because the army is so useless. Yeah, I'm convinced. Thanks.

  • MAX HATS||

    Everytime I go to a gun shop in America it's full of fat guys with beards, but whenever I talk with gun enthusiasts online everyone is some sort of death-dealing superman. It's weird.

  • Jordan||

    Everytime I go to a gun shop in America it's full of fat guys with beards, but whenever I talk with gun enthusiasts online everyone is some sort of death-dealing superman. It's weird.



    Probably because you can't read. I don't give a shit if the terrorists are flying around in F-22s. Rights are rights. Fuck utilitarianism.

  • MAX HATS||

    So is carrying arms a fundamental human right or are we still talking about India? If we are talking about India, how does making you feel better about getting killed by terrorists - going down fighting and all that - outweigh the potential for even more deaths from religious clashes?

  • Jordan||

    So is carrying arms a fundamental human right or are we still talking about India?



    Both. Fundamental human rights apply to India too.

    If we are talking about India, how does making you feel better about getting killed by terrorists - going down fighting and all that - outweigh the potential for even more deaths from religious clashes?



    Citizens having the choice to defend themselves or cower in fear (currently the only option) is what makes me feel better. As for deaths from religious clashes, those inclined to murder over religion will do so no matter what. Might as well give their victims the option to fight back.

  • MAX HATS||

    How is the right to bear arms a fundamental human right?

  • Comrade Scott||

    "How is the right to bear arms a fundamental human right?"

    It's a natural extension of the natural right to self-defense.

    When seconds count...

  • MAX HATS||

    Why is this fundamental human right to bear arms so rarely enshrined in constitutions and declarations then? How is something peculiar to the American system of government somehow fundamental to the whole human race?

  • Tholan||

    Speaking as someone who has spent a lot of time in Mumbai recently, I will say that the people there wonderful human beings, but most of them are not calculating killers. Most of them are as close to opposite as a human being can be. Bearing arms with intent to kill another human is counter to the core of the cultural identity that keeps the Indian subcontinent from imploding. The people of Indian are riding an ocean of malcontent; the government and the wealthy dance a tightrope over the will and tolerance of the huddled masses. If it were any other people they would have revolted long ago, but the Indian people have a special ability to take abuse and regimentation. To the Western mind, the slums of Mumbai are the most incredible and tragic image in all of human endeavor. Read Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts for a glimpse into heart and soul of India.

  • ||

    Why is this fundamental human right to bear arms so rarely enshrined in constitutions and declarations then?

    It probably has to do with the nature and time that the American revolution took place in.

    At the time of the American revolution, there had been very few successful democracies. Almost all of them were over thrown and replace by a tyranny.

    The second ammendment was put in place to serve as a check against tyranny.

    As the success of the American experiment with 3 branches of government and divided powers became more evident, the 'founding fathers' of other countries weren't as fearful of tyrants, so they did not add a 2nd Amendment of their own.

  • Anand Rao||

    Hello,

    I am not so sure of this need to relax gun laws in India. I think the author is not very clued in to the scenario here on the ground in India. For instance, before writing about such a sensitive topic, I would suggest that the author verify simple facts. The Cafe Leopold and the Taj Mahal Palace are not a few miles away, they are just a block away. It is surprising that a reputed journal like the Wall Street Journal has not had this verified.

    While I am strong libertarian and free market supporter, I think that blind adherence to anything with a shard of 'call for liberty' articles are not the asnwer. This will only make us more protectionist because of our foolishness!

    Regards,
    Anand

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