“Katta Mere Haath Mei Chalo Yar Sath Mei”
You might have heard this lyrical masterpiece in one of YouTube creator Carry Minati’s videos. But contrary to the confidence and swagger of the stars of the video, you can’t just wave a gun around in India, at least not legally. And that’s a wonderful thing.
In India, procuring a gun is a long and arduous process. It takes 2 months at least for an application to be approved. And even then you can only apply for Non-Prohibited Bore weapons. The “cool” weapons mostly belong to the Prohibited Bore category.
Even if somehow you could get a Prohibited Bore weapon permit, the cost for the weapon would be astronomical, since local manufacturing of guns in India is not as advanced as the US of A which has a booming industry.
All of these reasons do not let an average Indian civilian buy a gun willy-nilly. But that is not the case in America. The Second Amendment of the US Constitution gives every citizen the right to bear arms.
This was because of the unique socio-political scenario in which America gained independence where there was a deep fear that the President would start acting like a King. This fear arose because they were tired of the tyranny imposed by England’s King and wanted a country that was diametrically opposite of that.
Their system of checks and balances included people who would rise up if needed and take matters into their own hands (hence the guns).
But if you allow free sale of guns without much regulation, bad things are bound to happen. And America being America, somehow allowed the sale of automatic assault rifles. Yes, the ones used in real actual wars. The jingoistic fervor which is further propounded by the gun companies prevents lawmakers from passing any laws to prevent the sale of such weapons of destruction.
Even though gun violence rose exponentially in the past few years, which included the massacre of kindergarten students in Sandy Hook a few years ago and just recently, school students in Parkland, Florida, no laws have been enacted to control the sale of guns over there.
In fact, you can buy guns without a license online or from private vendors, even if you are just 18.
I fear this is what would have happened in India, had we been allowed to buy guns freely, given how prone we are to corruption and how feudal Indian society is. Corruption, had it seeped into the gun industry could have led to the proliferation of illegal weapons to criminals and would have led to a rise in scale and horror of shootings.
As for feudalism, here, disputes are often settled via violence, and adding legal guns to the mix would only worsen the situation.
Just imagine if organizations like Karni Sena or Bajrang Dal would have been able to procure weapons easily, what scale of violence would have been unleashed! This would have led to further militarization of the police force and even other civilians to protect themselves. Overall, leading to a highly militarised society, on the cusp of a shootout, always.
Looking at the USA today, the misunderstood issue of gun control is literally dividing the country into two and leading to a split in the already ineffectual and gridlocked government. It has led to a lot of rhetoric and stoking of jingoistic sentiments.
This would have been problematic even if guns solved problems, which they do not. According to an article from Vox,
A preference for crimes of personal force and the willingness and ability to use guns in robbery make similar levels of property crime 54 times as deadly in New York City as in London.
All in all, legal guns in India would have been bad. And I am thankful that they are not allowed. We are not evolved enough as a society to be trusted with weapons and we don’t have an evolved enough government to control the proliferation of large amounts of weapons.
I would rather be weaponless than scared to get shot up every day.
Image Credits: Google Images