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Thread: The Hindu - India high court says all citizens have right to weapons

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    The Hindu - India high court says all citizens have right to weapons

    http://www.hindu.com/2011/06/29/stor...2961770800.htm

    SNIP

    MADURAI: Revenue authorities or police officials cannot refuse to issue arms licence by citing the likelihood of law and order problem as all citizens of the country are entitled to possess weapons, under licence, for self-defence unless their antecedents or propensities do not entitle them for the privilege, the Madras High Court has ruled.

    Justice D. Hariparanthaman passed the ruling while allowing a writ petition filed by an agriculturist who was denied licence by the Commissioner of Revenue Administration as well as the Theni District Revenue Officer in 2005 and 2004 respectively to possess a double barrel (DBBL) gun.

    The judge said that arms licence could be denied only if there was a threat to public peace or public safety which were of much greater magnitude compared to a law and order problem.

    He pointed out that the Arms Act, 1959 was enacted to lessen the rigours of the colonial Arms Act, 1878 which made it difficult for law abiding citizens to possess firearms for self-defence whereas terrorists, dacoits and other anti-social or anti-national elements were using not only civilian weapons but also bombs, hand-grenades, Bren-guns, sten-guns, rifles and revolvers of military type.

    . . .

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    Even if the government is mandated by the courts to issue licenses, the very act of licensing indicates that India does not see having weapons as a right, but a behavior controlled by the government. The court merely liberalized the granting of government permission.

    This is a mostly positive step. However, it is negative in that the behavior still requires government permission.

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    all citizens of the country are entitled to possess weapons, under licence, for self-defence unless their antecedents or propensities do not entitle them for the privilege
    According to the dictionary the word antecedents means ancestors among other things. If I remember right, India is a country with different classes of people.
    Therefore the lower classes of people can probably be denied a gun permit just for being a lower class person.
    So it sounds to me like the ruling is almost meaningless.

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    All this reminds me of a quote from Gandhi, in which he said he only turned to non-violent demonstrations because he knew it would play to the moral conscience of the British colonists, and because Indians had no opportunity to rise up with arms, as the Brits had instituted strict gun control many decades before. Ghandi supposedly had no moral qualms about an armed uprising against the colonists, only a concern that his people would never be able to control enough guns to make a difference.

    Sorry I have no cite. I'll try to find something.
    Last edited by Dutch Uncle; 06-29-2011 at 03:26 PM.

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    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    Even if the government is mandated by the courts to issue licenses, the very act of licensing indicates that India does not see having weapons as a right, but a behavior controlled by the government. The court merely liberalized the granting of government permission.

    This is a mostly positive step. However, it is negative in that the behavior still requires government permission.
    True, but compare it to India's Colonial master's gun laws. Quite an improvement.
    "For any man who sheds his blood with me this day shall be my brother...And gentlemen now abed shall think themselves accursed, they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks who fought with us on Crispin's day." Henry V

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunslinger View Post
    True, but compare it to India's Colonial master's gun laws. Quite an improvement.
    Yep. And Death Valley is cooler than Hell!

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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    Yep. And Death Valley is cooler than Hell!
    But it's a dry heat...
    "For any man who sheds his blood with me this day shall be my brother...And gentlemen now abed shall think themselves accursed, they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks who fought with us on Crispin's day." Henry V

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeeper1 View Post
    According to the dictionary the word antecedents means ancestors among other things. If I remember right, India is a country with different classes of people.
    Therefore the lower classes of people can probably be denied a gun permit just for being a lower class person.
    So it sounds to me like the ruling is almost meaningless.
    "Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest."
    -- Gandhi, An Autobiography, p. 446 (Beacon Press paperback edition)

    Of course, as you note, India has historically had classes, and Gandhi argued that some classes could rightly be denied arms:

    "In this instance of the fire-arms, the Asiatic has been most improperly bracketed with the native. The British Indian does not need any such restrictions as are imposed by the Bill on the natives regarding the carrying of fire-arms.
    "The prominent race can remain so by preventing the native from arming himself. Is there a slightest vestige of justification for so preventing the British Indian?"
    -- Comments on a court case in The Indian Opinion (25 March 1905)

    cf. http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Gahndi

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    While we may view their caste system as barbaric and even perverse, this is still a step forward.

    If I have to choose between Death Valley and Hell, I'd choose Death Valley. They now have that choice when previously Hell was all they had.
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    No choice of location for the people. The court converted Hell into Death Valley.

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    Comparing American society and government with that of India's is comparing apples to oranges. After working around produce for years I can say from experience that that doesn't get you very far.

    +1 for Death Valley (cooler nights)

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    +2 for Death Valley. Last I was there, there were some air conditioned buildings, running water and other tourists to talk to.

    Dunno about Hell. I'll try to let y'all know when I find out!

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    According to the dictionary the word antecedents means ancestors among other things. If I remember right, India is a country with different classes of people.
    Therefore the lower classes of people can probably be denied a gun permit just for being a lower class person.
    So it sounds to me like the ruling is almost meaningless.


    The Indian Constitution requires equal protection of the law regardless of caste, so it is unlikely that this has anything to do with caste. In Indian English (Yes it's a discrete dialect with its own unique shibboleths) "antecedents" is probably a way of saying previous behavior.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutch Uncle View Post
    All this reminds me of a quote from Gandhi, in which he said he only turned to non-violent demonstrations because he knew it would play to the moral conscience of the British colonists, and because Indians had no opportunity to rise up with arms, as the Brits had instituted strict gun control many decades before. Ghandi supposedly had no moral qualms about an armed uprising against the colonists, only a concern that his people would never be able to control enough guns to make a difference.
    Reminds me of a C.S. Lewis quote. Something along the lines of "I suppose if there's no other way to stop an evil man, then one should kill him." A cursory read through the Bible clearly shows neither God nor Jesus had any problem with a person or a people defending themselves against aggressors.
    Haven't been a member of the NRA since 1991. Get a clue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    SNIP I dunno, when ever I was in Death Valley it was always hotter than Hell...
    Mark Twain related the joke that a soldier stationed in Death Valley died and went to Hell. He wasn't gone long before he telegraphed back for his blankets.

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutch Uncle View Post
    All this reminds me of a quote from Gandhi, in which he said he only turned to non-violent demonstrations because he knew it would play to the moral conscience of the British colonists, and because Indians had no opportunity to rise up with arms, as the Brits had instituted strict gun control many decades before. Ghandi supposedly had no moral qualms about an armed uprising against the colonists, only a concern that his people would never be able to control enough guns to make a difference.

    Sorry I have no cite. I'll try to find something.
    The quote has floated around here and there...

    'Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest. If we want the Arms Act to be repealed, if we want to learn the use of arms, here is a golden opportunity. If the middle classes render voluntary help to Government in the hour of its trial, distrust will disappear, and the ban on possessing arms will be withdrawn.'
    Ghandi was a political beast, he had no qualms about Sikhs or Punjabi's dying , and if you talk to Punjabis or those of the Sikh faith, you might learn a different perspective on why India gained it's independence (the Punjabi's were not pacifists).
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    Yep. And Death Valley is cooler than Hell!
    Agreed! And how many ordinay people in India could even afford to purchase a firearm?
    Last edited by Haz.; 08-09-2011 at 01:57 AM.
    When a criminal invades your home and has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.

    My Definition of Gun Control: The idea that dozens of people found dead in the Broadway Café, Tasmania, and many also seriously wounded, all while waiting for police, who were called to show up and protect them, is somehow morally superior to having several armed and therefore alive civilian's explaining to police how the attacker got that fatal bullet wound.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    The quote has floated around here and there...



    Ghandi was a political beast, he had no qualms about Sikhs or Punjabi's dying , and if you talk to Punjabis or those of the Sikh faith, you might learn a different perspective on why India gained it's independence (the Punjabi's were not pacifists).
    Neither are the Sikhs. They were(are) India's primary Warrior sect.

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    Now if only we could convince the European nations to allow their citizens to bear arms we will be golden.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeeper1 View Post
    According to the dictionary the word antecedents means ancestors among other things. If I remember right, India is a country with different classes of people.
    Therefore the lower classes of people can probably be denied a gun permit just for being a lower class person.
    So it sounds to me like the ruling is almost meaningless.
    The Constitution of India does not allow classes anymore treated by the government.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunslinger View Post
    But it's a dry heat...
    So is a blowtorch.

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