A News Cut reader asked on Wednesday whether the people in Mumbai are allowed to own guns. The answer, apparently, is "yes," judging by blogger Amitabh Bachchan, who wrote a post the other day that concluded with a single line:
Before retiring for the night, I pulled out my licensed .32 revolver, loaded it and put it under my pillow. For a very disturbed sleep.
Apparently, he got pretty well roasted by some commentators and newspaper types, so he's back with a scathing post today:
When I say that I am ashamed of performing an act I have never enacted before, that of pulling out my gun and putting it under my pillow, it is far far removed from your myopic and small-minded interpretation that I do so out of fear. If I had fear I would not volunteer to walk into the bullet along with the millions of my countrymen.
The act of pulling out my revolver is a symbolic metaphor, a figure of speech, to demonstrate my complete loss in faith in the system and in the governance, in providing me, a citizen of India, with my rightful sense of security. It is to demonstrate that now I shall have to personally look after my family and myself and not depend on the state. A state that is just so miserably incapable of protecting its citizens.
AND.. dear pen-pencil pusher, it is also to state, that the level of my tolerance and belief has been breached to such an extent that, were the perpetrator to mess with me and get close enough, I would not hesitate to use said, revolving, six gun facility !!
I'm haunted by photographer Vinukumar Ranganathan's observation that he tried to get Indian police in the railroad terminal to shoot the few gunmen who were in the process of killing scores of people. They wouldn't. If they won't, who will?
Meanwhile, things in Mumbai are getting (mostly) back to normal.
Israel had a big problem with these kinds of shootings in the sixties and seventies; groups of PLO would shoot up buses, stores, even schools.
Israel *greatly* liberalized their civilian carry laws, and started allowing teachers to carry concealed firearms (indeed, *requiring* at least a proportion of teachers to carry them on field trips).
No more mass shootings.
Mr. Bachchan's pieces are a goldmine of material that'll keep my blog buzzing for quite some time.