Indian Women's New Toy: Guns Not Boys

I have just returned from India where it is always two steps forward and one step backward for liberty. But in the forward direction is this story from the Times of India:

Giving more power to women to defend themselves and as a tribute to December 2012 gangrape victim Nirbhaya [meaning, fearless], the Indian Ordnance Factory, Kanpur, has manufactured Nirbheek, a .32 bore light weight revolver, India's first firearm designed for women.

Priced at Rs.1,22,360, Nirbheek was launched on January 6 and has already received around 80 formal enquiries and over 20 bookings. "At least 80% bookings are from women licensees," says Abdul Hameed, general manager of IOF. Described by arms experts as an Indian hybrid of a Webley & Scott and Smith & Wesson, for its simple mechanism and light frame, it is the smallest revolver made in India — an ideal to fit a purse or a small handbag.

Rs. 1,22,360 works out to about $2,000 — not exactly chump change even in America let alone in a country where average per capita income (adjusted for purchasing power parity) is about $3,650. Hence, it is unlikely that too many women of Nirbhaya’s social standing — her father was a loader for an airline company — will rush to the gun store to arm themselves.

But, odds are, gun prices will fall far faster than the country’s abysmal court system will start delivering justice to rape victims. After all, India is a country where until recently the police subjected victims to the degrading two-finger test to determine their level of sexual activity (because, you know, more sexually women can’t be raped) — and where the wheels of the newly-minted fast-track rape courts grind even more slowly than the snail-paced regular courts.

Private gun ownership might be the only viable option for women in countries whose justice system fails to protect them. So when anti-gun-nuts run NRA out of U.S., maybe it can set up shop in India. All it'll need to popularize its cause is get a Bollywood actress to vanquish her attacker with her shiny Nirbheek on screen. For Thom Hartmann, NRA is a terrorist organization. But, as they say, one (wo)man’s terrorist is another (wo)man’s hero.

H/T Neera Badhwar

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  • ||

    I wonder what happens to the first woman to shoot a potential attacker? Death penalty would be my guess.

  • Floridian||

    In choosing between rape and death, I choose death. At least you sent a scum bag to hell before the state got you.

  • Zeb||

    I'm pretty sure I'd choose rape. I don't know anyone who has been raped (and I know several including my wife) who says they would rather have died.

  • ||

    Me too. My college roommate was raped by a serial rapist. She's made a lot of her life. I'd pick rape.

  • ||

    More likely death by lynch mob.

  • Swiss Servator, Befehl!||

    Hopefully she would shoot many of them, too.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    Thus the need for high-cap weapons.

  • Zeb||

    Why is that your guess? Genuinely curious.

  • Floridian||

    Why not buy from the US? We make inexpensive, high quality firearms targeted towards women already. This couldn't be government getting in the way of the interest of its citizens, could it?

  • ||

    Every Indian I've ever talked to about guns doesn't see the appeal, and most of them think they should be illegal. It's good to see that this isn't universally true.

    But price aside, aren't the gun laws in India terrible?

  • Pro Libertate||

    This reminds me of Gandhi II for some reason.

  • ||

    +UHF (OK, I cheated. I couldn't remember.)

  • Pro Libertate||

    Announcer: Next week on U62...
    Announcer: He's back.
    Announcer: And this time
    Announcer: He's mad.

    Announcer: Gandhi II.

    Announcer: No more mister passive resistance.
    Announcer: He's out to kick some butt.
    Announcer: This is one bad mother you don't wanna mess with.

    Gandhi: Don't move, slimeball.

    Announcer: He's a one man wrecking crew
    Announcer: But he also knows how to party.

    Gandhi: Gimme a steak, medium rare.

    Gangster: Hey, Baldy!

    Announcer: There is only one law--
    Announcer: His law.

    Announcer: Gandhi II.

  • rts||

    So, besides the price, what other barriers are there to gun ownership in India? Licenses, laws against carrying, types of firearms allowed... ? Google is letting me down here.

  • rts||

    Here we go: India

    Seems the price tag is the least of the barriers.

  • Floridian||

    They have concealed carry. But I thought only hillbilly fly over states had carry laws.

  • rts||

    True, that's a plus, I hadn't got down to the "Carry" section when I posted that.

    I guess *once obtained* you're more free in India than Canada, for example, with respect to carrying.

  • ||

    Reading between the lines, it seems like concealed carry is effectively only for the bodyguards of rich people and criminals. So third world standard.

  • Zeb||

    Flyover states like Illinois and Wisconsin?

    This regionalism crap is just stupid (not necessarily saying that you are engaging in it BTW).

  • Acosmist||

    "all" and "only" mean different things

  • Zeb||

    And in both cases it is wrong and stupid.

  • ||

    At 500 grams, I don't see this Nirbheek offering anything that, say, a Ruger LCR doesn't offer, and in a crappier caliber. I suppose this means India has some law against importing firearms, then.

  • Floridian||

    I like the .32 for women. Some ladies find the .38 to be a little too loud to practice. If it is widely adopted .32 ammo should be cheap as well. Hell a .22 is better than nothing when people are trying to gang rape you.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    Noise? That's what earplugs and suppressors are for.

    Actual shooting statistics show the .22LR performing better than the .32ACP, strange as that might seem.

  • Zeb||

    .32 has generally lower velocity and comparable kinetic energy to a good .22 LR, so not too surprising.

  • Adamsmith1776||

    Somehow "Brahma made women, and Indian Ordinance Factory Kanpur made her equal" has a nice ring to it.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Hot: Indian chicks
    Hot: Chicks with guns
    Ill be in my bunk.

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