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Who should be allowed to own a gun?

Discussions on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.
dr.jayakumar
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Re: Who should be allowed to own a gun?

Postby dr.jayakumar » Sun May 22, 2011 11:48 am

spin_drift wrote:Captain, I am with you regarding filing a public interest litigation against the moronic MHA order.

dr.jayakumar wrote:A person with keen interest and good temperament are the right candidates.people in shooting clubs should be given preference to own guns..


Dr, seriously what do you mean by “right candidates, people in shooting clubs”? Let me ask you this, people who are members of shooting clubs should only be given firearms or air guns for target practice and not for self defense and if they use their weapons for self defense should they be punished or penalized?

The reason I say that is because I know that none of the “Shooting clubs” in India teach tactics for self defense using fire arms (at least I have not come across one), shooting at a stable inanimate paper or cardboard objects is quite different than from shooting a person who is trying to kill you and is not stable i.e. moving around and most likely shooting back.

friend, i meant that these people will have some knowledge of guns and safety.most of the gun owners here donot have any idea guns. why can't a firearm bought for target practice be used for self defence? you need to use anything at desperate situation.my licence for rifle was given as i am a rifle club member, and i will use it for my self defence,if need be.i don't find anytrhing wrong in that..do you?



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hvj1
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Re: Who should be allowed to own a gun?

Postby hvj1 » Sun May 22, 2011 10:14 pm

Gentlemen,
I have been out of internet coverage since the last four days, hence the silence. Pretty interesting viewpoints presented by many distinguished IFGians. Let me paraphrase my question by asking all of you the following question;

Are you comfortable with the idea of guns being made available to all and sundry (in India)over the counter?

Since I am unable to attach a poll, kindly bear with me if I start a new thread.

Thank you all.



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jonahpach
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Re: Who should be allowed to own a gun?

Postby jonahpach » Sun May 22, 2011 10:36 pm

Remember the adge "an armed society is a very polite society"? I strongly feel Indian society needs to be given lessons in politeness what better solution eh?? :D


Speak softly and carry a big gun!

goodboy_mentor
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Re: Who should be allowed to own a gun?

Postby goodboy_mentor » Sun May 22, 2011 11:47 pm

Are you comfortable with the idea of guns being made available to all and sundry (in India)over the counter?
Of course why not? The corrupt bureacrats, politicians and police will come to know their own correct place i.e they are public "servants" not public ring masters in circus. The art of politeness will also autmatically come especially in policemen :twisted:


"If my mother tongue is shaking the foundations of your State, it probably means that you built your State on my land" - Musa Anter, Kurdish writer, assassinated by the Turkish secret services in 1992

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timmy
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Re: Who should be allowed to own a gun?

Postby timmy » Mon May 23, 2011 12:52 am

Are you comfortable with the idea of guns being made available to all and sundry (in India)over the counter?


Absolutely not! I do not believe that anyone on IFG is comfortable with answering this question with a "yes".

For instance, if someone has been convicted of a felony, then they should lose their right to gun ownership.

People who are mentally incapacitated are not to be allowed gun ownership rights.

It is reasonable to impose limitations on non-citizens' ability to posses a gun.

These are straightforward answers to your question. However, the question as posed is, I feel, a "nibbling" or a "leading" question. I think you have phrased it this way to advance the point that you attempted to make earlier with regards to gun ownership. I don't think that there's anything wrong with you advancing your point, but I also don't think there's anything wrong with me objecting to the point you are trying to advance.

You begin your question with, "Are you comfortable with..." I reject this kind of question as being relevant to the issue of who should own a gun. There are many things many people are uncomfortable with in a free society. For instance, I have seen some people offended about a poor person owning an expensive automobile. More seriously, one may very well be uncomfortable with another person's exercise of free speech. When I hear some of the political views expressed on TV or radio, I know I am VERY uncomfortable with these ideas. However, this being uncomfortable with free speech does not make me question in the least whether the people espousing what I consider ill-formed opinions should be deprived of their right of free speech.

My point here is that, in a free society, we cannot base our laws on what others find uncomfortable. That is exactly the situation we have now, and it is not right. Laws have to apply to all equally and fairly, without bias.

To my example of free speech, it may be observed that guns kill people, but free speech does not. I would object to this point by noting that free speech is every bit as deadly, if not more, than gun ownership.

For example, Hitler tried to take over Germany with guns and failed. Then he tried using free speech, and was successful. Free speech is a very dangerous thing. Are you comfortable with everyone exercising it?

I say, law must be based on rights guaranteed to ALL citizens, rights that cannot be deprived except by due process which is applied to every citizen, without bias on the basis of ethnic background, language, religion, color of skin, or other external factors that may affect somebody's comfort level.

Dr. Martln Luther King once famously said, "Judge me on the content of my character and not the color of my skin." So let me ask you about your "comfort level." Are you comfortable living in a society where a citizen's rights are granted or denied on someone else's subjective feelings, or are you more comfortable in a society where rights are applied to all citizens equally and where a rule of law prevails?

Upon what basis to you say that some are unfit to exercise gun ownership? Do you believe that a person is innocent until proven guilty, and are you uncomfortable with a society that deprives people of rights others enjoy because someone is uncomfortable with the possibility that people might exercise those rights?


Regards,
tim

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xl_target
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Re: Who should be allowed to own a gun?

Postby xl_target » Mon May 23, 2011 2:43 am

My point here is that, in a free society, we cannot base our laws on what others find uncomfortable. That is exactly the situation we have now, and it is not right. Laws have to apply to all equally and fairly, without bias.

I say, law must be based on rights guaranteed to ALL citizens, rights that cannot be deprived except by due process which is applied to every citizen, without bias on the basis of ethnic background, language, religion, color of skin, or other external factors that may affect somebody's comfort level.


The crux of the matter as I see it.
If you believe in the Constitution of India, one would reasonably expect you to believe the above.


“Never give in, never give in, never; never; never; never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense” — Winston Churchill, Oct 29, 1941

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essdee1972
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Re: Who should be allowed to own a gun?

Postby essdee1972 » Mon May 23, 2011 10:39 am

A very interesting debate, folks!

I think the basic problem in drawing a line, is that who should draw it, and where should it be drawn. And finally, we come to the situation of Pastor Niemoller.... :

First they came for the communists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.......

Once we allow lines to be drawn based on race, caste, creed, social standing, "need for self-defence", blah blah yadda yadda...... some day we will ourselves be on the other side of the line...... Hence, no line......


Cheers!

EssDee
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________
In a polity, each citizen is to possess his own arms, which are not supplied or owned by the state.Aristotle

Get up, stand up, Stand up for your rights. Get up, stand up, Don't give up the fight.Bob Marley

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nagarifle
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Re: Who should be allowed to own a gun?

Postby nagarifle » Mon May 23, 2011 12:19 pm

if the aim of any law is to turn a citizen in to a criminal by making such laws and rules then what the law makers will get is a Robin Hood type of story :

where the sheriff of Nottingham made such laws only the law breakers could survive.

and any one who obeyed the law would parish. that is in a nut shell :lol:


Nagarifle

if you say it can not be done, then you are right, for you, it can not be done.

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Vikram
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Re: Who should be allowed to own a gun?

Postby Vikram » Mon May 23, 2011 2:26 pm

Very well said,Nags.

OT.I see that you changed your avatar again.The gent in the attack mode seems to be having difficulties with controlling his laughter or is it the glee at the peril his opponent is in? ROTFL :mrgreen:


Best-
Vikram


It ain’t over ’til it’s over! "Rocky,Rocky,Rocky....."

bennedose
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Re: Who should be allowed to own a gun?

Postby bennedose » Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:19 pm

Please excuse this post that will help me find this thread again easily - I intend to make a post here in due course.



bennedose
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Re: Who should be allowed to own a gun?

Postby bennedose » Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:49 am

Searching through 19 pages of this forum (Legal) and 11 pages of RKBA I felt that this would probably be the best place to record my thoughts. Maybe it requires a new thread, but this is on the question of defining "Responsible gun ownership" in India. This particular thread has some very informed and intersting comments which are relevant IMO. The only other thread which has some material that I found similar the thread with a rhetorical question as a title "Are Indians Responsible to own guns"

My personal feeling is that if all gun owners in India and those who support the right to arm themselves are to stick together as a group, they have to show that they are responsible owners and users of guns. I say this because - after looking at most of the relevant threads it appears that the primary reason for the powers that be to crack down on gun ownership and rights is the irresponsible and illegal use of guns. For example one thread on this forum illustrates the fact that in India something like 80 or 90% of gun related crime is committed by people with illegal arms.

From the point of view of those of us who want less control, this statistic is supposed to illustrate to the uninitiated that crimes are being committed by people who cannot be stopped by laws from acquiring illegal weapons, so a more liberal weapons ownership policy would equalize the power of the unarmed but law abiding people and help thwart those who break the law. I would argue that such a statistic is sending all the wrong signals to uninitiated people who are not taking any sides in the gun ownership debate. The statistic that shows that gun crimes are commited with illegal weapons is more likely to be equated (in India) with the idea that only "bad people want guns" and good people would not want to touch them. This skewed thought process is only aggravated by the other argument I have read on some threads that states that guns are needed primarily for hunting and self defence and that sports shooting is a fringe activity that can be fostered under controlled conditions by the government. The signal this sends out is "Hunting is illegal, so guns are unnecessary, and guns can be left to the police so that these unsafe devices do not go in the hands of "wrong" people"

What I am getting at is that the community of gun owners and enthusiasts need to demonstrate openly that they are a responsible community who do not allow anyone willy nilly into the community unless that person is armed with the extra knowledge and skills required for responsible gun ownership. In other words, the word needs to be spread in India and among Indians that there is such a thing as "Responsible gun ownership". Of course the USA is the big dad of all this. There is in fact a book called "How to own a gun and stay out of jail". The title itself clearly implies that even in the US, where gun laws are liberal, you can be in jail if you are irresponsible and unaware of the law and your rights.

The Indian public have a much more lax and underinformed attitude about guns. A few months ago I was shocked at the way the late Bollywood icon Dev Anand was shown wielding and shooting a rifle in an old movie - I think it was "Prem Pujari". These images (of irresponsible and unsafe wielding of guns) are shocking only to those who are responsible users/owners of guns. For others the gun simply appears like a powerful toy that can be used to project personal power over someone else, evoking loathing and fear among some and an intense desire to get a gun among others.

Please allow me to digress for a bit. I have been a military aviation enthusiast for many decades. Aviation photography is banned in India and plane spotters have been arrested. But in the last 10 years - a man I know in Bangalore - called Devesh Agarwal has made the media and the public aware that there is a harmless hobby called "planespotting" that does not constitute a national security threat. I believe that Indian shooting sports and RKBA supporters need to organize and make the public aware that guns are not simply tools for criminals and that guns can be safe in responsible, law abiding hands. That means that any publicity for shooting must start with the warning that hunting is illegal in India and the ten commandments of safe handling of a gun. That fact that guns can be bought, owned and operated safely by law abiding people for fully legal purposes needs to become widely known in India. I would guess that 90% of Indians are unaware of this. People are not swayed by rhetorical but clever arguments like "Guns don't kill. People kill". That is OK for the US where the laws are already liberal. A completely different approach is needed in India IMO - where the public requires reasurance and education that a gun can wielded and owned safely - facts that few seem to appreciate.

I believe that what this pans out to in practice is that we need a primer/pdf/booklet on what consitutes safe and responsible gun ownership in India which should be a bible/essential textbook that every gun enthusiast or owner should know by heart. Fact in this book would be laws about who can own guns, what caliber, how to handle guns,. Safe gun storage and transport. Safe ammunition storage and transport. Places where shooting is allowed. Where shooting must not be done. How to dispose off spent cartridges. Gun care, Gun inheritance. The lot.

I would like to know if any Indian source exists with such information for a layman - something which could be translated to multiple Indian languages. To my knowledge there is no such source. A booklet of legalese (many of which can be found on the net) simply does not cut it. The gun owners of India and the non gun owning lay public are separate compartments, with the latter having no idea about the former and believing them to be slightly unsafe and suspicious characters. This situation is no good and needs to be changed.



SMJ
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Re: Who should be allowed to own a gun?

Postby SMJ » Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:34 am

Hi reviving a very old thread here which I found it extremely interesting. Gentlemen, there is no doubt we are or at least supposed to be equal in the eyes of the law. I am not advocating that only the elite or national/sport shooters have the right to a license- not at all! Having said that I am in agreement at least with some of Hvji's views on this matter as mentioned in his first post. Do not get me wrong, I am all for the RKBA cause and love my outdoors and shooting (only air rifles at present) which is why I am on the forum. However as far as India today goes I am no longer so sure if the saying " an armed society is a more polite society" applies. A case in point being the recent number of incidents that took place in Dombivili (an area within Mumbai metropolitan region)- 3 different incidents in a span of a month where people were shot with LICENSED revolvers/pistols over disputes- one was over a trivial parking issue if I remember correctly. Now this is not to say it would not have happened even if they didn't have guns. But we all know that a shot fired takes a life in an instant! Once the anger ebbs it is possible the person/s concerned wished it hadn't happened but it did! With other weapons there is still a remote possibility that a life may not be lost (of course it is possible with a gun too but less likely)! Hence I agree with the view that licenses should be handed out more judiciously but of course I do not mean to suggest that deserving people (even if not elite or national shooters/sports shooters) get harassed for it!!



goodboy_mentor
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Re: Who should be allowed to own a gun?

Postby goodboy_mentor » Tue Jun 27, 2017 1:37 pm

Combined reading of Section 9 and 13(3)(a)(i) of Arms Act 1959 makes it very clear that if citizen is not offending Section 9, he has to be issued the non commercial license for activity of "possession". Section 13(3)(a)(i) of Arms Act 1959 is flowing from citizen's right to keep and bear arms from Article 19(1)(b) of the Constitution. Article 19(1)(b) of the Constitution is flowing from Article 21 of the Constitution. Since the matter of this licensing is related to activity of non commercial/ private possession and it's taxation(license fees), it appears the State is on flimsy jurisdiction.

All the Articles of the Constitution are on equal footing and in agreement with one another. Reading Articles 25(2)(a), 27 and 265 tell where is the wall of separation between the authority/ competence/ jurisdiction of the State in Part III of the Constitution.

Article 25(2)(a) says -
(2) Nothing in this article shall affect the operation of any existing law or prevent the State from making any law—

(a) regulating or restricting any economic, financial, political or other secular activity which may be associated with religious practice;
Conversely the above means, if the "activity" is not commercial(economic, financial) or political but non commercial or private, the State lacks jurisdiction to make law for such non commercial/ private activity.

Article 27 says -
Freedom as to payment of taxes for promotion of any particular religion.—
No person shall be compelled to pay any taxes, the proceeds of which are specifically appropriated in payment of expenses for the promotion or maintenance of any particular religion or religious denomination.
It also means if something is a right under Part III, State lacks jurisdiction to tax the right or related non commercial/ private activity.

Article 265 says -
No tax shall be levied or collected except by authority of law.
Above also means State cannot tax non commercial/ private activity(because State lacks such authority.)


"If my mother tongue is shaking the foundations of your State, it probably means that you built your State on my land" - Musa Anter, Kurdish writer, assassinated by the Turkish secret services in 1992

SMJ
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Re: Who should be allowed to own a gun?

Postby SMJ » Tue Jun 27, 2017 2:00 pm

GBM sir, as I understand (I think) what you mean to say is that as per the law it cannot and should not be refused. I agree but I am talking more about the fact that given the example of what I stated what do you think would be the impact especially in a country like ours where people are now flying off the handle at the littlest possible slight for whatever reasons.



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mundaire
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Re: Who should be allowed to own a gun?

Postby mundaire » Tue Jun 27, 2017 2:08 pm

@SMJ, the basic reason for the type of cases (mentioned by you above) is precisely due to restrictive licensing policies. Due to these policies people assume that the other party will not be armed and "pull out" their guns to cower down/ threaten the other party into submission. Of course once a gun is brought into play, the chances are extremely high that it will have to be used.

Which is precisely why all self defense experts advise that one should first try and escape/ get out of a bad situation and only bring a gun into play if there is no escape route and there is threat of injury/ death. When you pull out a gun you must be ready to use it.

If licensing was easier/ not required and these same people thought that there was even a 10-15% chance of the other party being armed, they would be wary of escalating the situation by pulling out a gun. It would indeed be a more polite society!

While I understand that your (well meaning) intent behind suggesting a "more judicious" approach to issuing arms licenses, you need to understand what that really translates into in the real world. Rest assured that licensing authorities will continue to issue licenses to the very people you wish to see disarmed. The "judiciousness" is only going to be applied to those who do not want to/ cannot apply "pressure from above" and/ or grease their way through the system (as it is today). This is an unfortunate fact.

The only way out is to either completely do away with arms licensing requirements (except maybe in disturbed areas) or to make arms license grant automatic and refusal an exception (it is the other way round right now).

One only has to look as far as Coorg district of Karnataka to see a working model. Coorgis are exempt from the provisions of Section 3 of the Arms Act (i.e. they do not require an arms license). Year on year the total number of Arms Act cases (i.e. incidents where arms have been misused) registered in the district hover between zero to one/ two - which I should point out is the lowest amongst all districts in Karnataka.


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