Friday, November 6, 2009

It's Happening in Delhi too

The Times of India reports on the booming gun problem in Delhi.

The use of guns has been going up for the past few years. This year (see box) there were 175 cases of reported fire arms use; last year there were 161. The police say that the gun culture has not just grown in the capital, but even more alarmingly in the NCR towns of Faridabad, Gurgaon, Noida and Ghaziabad.

The seizure made this year by Delhi Police has also shown a spiral in illegal firearms seized 300 this year as compared to 230 weapons last year, till October 15. Apart from providing firearms, the cops say that they are facing hurdles to stop the flow of ammunition. says an official at Control Arms Foundation of India (CAFI).

Did he say "The problem is due to easy availability of guns, both licensed and unlicensed?" Yes, that's what I thought he said.

What's your opinion? Is the fact that a gun is an inanimate object any reason to resist the theory that easy availability of guns contributes to the problem of gun violence? Does the fact that gun control advocates repeatedly offer this as a key element in the problem indicate that they fail to grasp the fact that the gun is a tool?

What's your opinion? I believe the reason pro-gun folks keep repeating that the gun is just another tool and that it's an inanimate object is simply to make their opponents sound silly. The fact is, many gun control folks understand these ideas all too well, and we still believe the availability of guns is key.

What do you think? Please leave a comment.


  1. I'm not surprised. After the Mumbai Massacre, it was pretty obvious India's gun control efforts were a massive failure.

  2. MikeB, you do know that India has some of the tightest gun control regulations on the planet, right? Gun laws that would make Paul Helmke and Sarah Brady cry for joy. You've actually linked to a perfect example of why gun control doesn't work - in a nation with incredibly "strong" gun laws, there's still a huge market for guns.

    It's almost like when we say "gun control doesn't stop crime" we know what we're talking about or something.

  3. "Is the fact that a gun is an inanimate object any reason to resist the theory that easy availability of guns contributes to the problem of gun violence?"

    Look at the success rate of banning something. Dehli just demonstrates it as well. Banning alcohol in the US failed as organized crime took over its manufacture and distribution. How successful is prohibiting drugs today? Our prison system is full of people willing to take the risk to create and distribute them. All of your desired changes would have no impact on the supply, as is the case in just end up with a one-sided group having all the firearms, which history has shown is never a good plan.

    Eliminating firearms would result in a booming illicit market where the types of self-selecting groups from the previous examples would move in to take over the demand.

    You wish to live in a world where theories play out the way you'd like them to. Given my choice, I'd live in a perfect communism where everyone does their share, no one harms another, and we wouldn't need weapons since everyone has what they need. Unfortunately, I live in the real world where there's always some jerk who wants more for himself, making all of these things unrealistic.

    So far, you have produced no concrete evidence that your desired changes would have any impact whatsoever towards the goals you apparently want, nor any solid, peer-reviewable research to indicate that reducing the number of guns would have any impact whatsoever. You just want to try it, see what happens, and come up with some explanation as to why it didn't work, all because it wouldn't impact you.

    Perhaps your best argument is to point to some societies where firearms are limited and violence is low, but I challenge you to demonstrate that it's the laws and not not a cultural difference (google, for example, the need to ban machetes in some countries, to see how a culture with violence ingrained will still be violent even if its people cannot afford guns). Yes, you can claim that I don't have any concrete evidence either, but I'm also not the one wanting to change things, and I fear the onus is on you.

    Come up with this evidence, and I'll seriously look at changing my opinions. When I started reading your blog, I had hoped you would have a similar view, but apparently that was a hopeless idea.

  4. Caleb, Thanks for the comment. I'm honored to receive one from you.

    I hear what you're saying about India having strict gun control and still having gun violence. I don't know anything about their laws, but maybe it's like in the States, thousands of ineffectual laws, some with gaping loopholes, improperly enforced. You can't really call that proof that gun control laws don't work.

  5. If you would like to know about the gun laws in India, why not ask someone living there?

    Took me less than 5 seconds to google it, you should try it sometime.

  6. kaveman, Did you get my point about the thousands of ineffectual laws, or were you too busy taking another shot at me for not using google?

  7. "kaveman, Did you get my point about the thousands of ineffectual laws, or were you too busy taking another shot at me for not using google?"

    I'm betting you couldn't name one such law.

    Like Me, I bet Kaveman took the above comment, like most of your "rebuttals" as pure bullshit designed to make you appear intellectual.