Italian Mayor subsidizes gun ownership

A couple of years back we were greeted with this image of (the then) Prime Ministerial candidate Shri. Narendra Modi performing “shashtra pooja” (worship of arms) on the occasion of Vijaya Dashmi.

Narendra Modi performing shashtra pooja at his residence

image from

One had hoped that with him taking guard at the centre, the Government of India’s policies on civilian firearm ownership would see positive change.

While that has yet to happen, I read a very heartening article today about a Mayor in Italy offering a direct subsidy towards encouraging citizens’ purchase of firearms.

Mayor Gianluca Buonanno of Borgosesia in Piedmont, northern Italy

The good Mayor is offering to pay citizens €250 towards the cost of purchasing a gun. He stated his move was towards allowing people to “defend themselves”.

He has also gone so far as to ask the European Commission to set up a similar fund. The money offered is about 30 per cent of the cost of a small pistol in Italy.

What do you think about this program?

Do you think the Government of India’s policies of artificially inflating the prices of LEGAL firearms and ammunition is detrimental to the safety of law abiding citizens?

After all India is probably the only country in the world where it is substantially cheaper (by many times) to purchase an illegal firearm, as compared to a similar licensed & legal firearm!

Arms licenses for airguns, replicas and blank guns

Today’s Times of India carried an article titled Government mulls lifetime validity of arms licences.

Airguns, toys, blank firers and replicas

On the face of it, it seems like the government is moving towards positive change. This is true – to an extent. Increasing the period of validity of Arms Licenses will reduce harassment as well as corruption and needless load on government machinery.

However, there are also some dangerous changes being mooted! I quote from the article:

As per the draft rules, acquisition of airguns with muzzle energy under 20 joules or 15 feet or 0.177 mm will not require an arms licence.

However, firearm replicas, paintball markers and blank firing firearms will be brought under the definition of arms.

What does this mean?

1) This means that any airgun which has a calibre greater than .177 cal or produces energy greater than 20 Joules, will be treated as a firearm.

2) Anything which resembles a firearm in appearance (replica) will be considered a firearm.

3) Blank firers, which are by design incapable of launching a projectile and therefore thus far NOT defined as firearms, will now be considered as firearms. This would include toys like cap guns, popular with children, especially during diwali.

What will be the consequences of these changes?

For Airguns
1) They will be treated as firearms and anyone possessing any such airgun without an arms license for the same will be treated at par with someone possessing an illegal firearm! Also, each one of them will count towards the legal limit of 3 firearms (max).

2) Since many people who own airguns already own firearms, they will face a tough choice – either declare & deposit (read “have confiscated”) their expensive airguns OR simply hide them from the authorities and break the law! This rule will create a whole new class of criminals, where none existed before. Some of them will get caught and be sent to jail – for possession of airguns!! Needless to say, when they come out of jail in 3-7 years time, they will likely be hardened criminals and/ or emotionally scarred for life.

3) Since it will be next to impossible to train all enforcement personnel as to the meaning of what exactly 20 Joules/ 15 ft.lbs means and how to measure it – anyone who has in their possession an airgun which is NOT .177 cal, is almost certain to face harassment from the authorities.

4) Since none of the small scale airgun manufacturers (in India) has the capability to manufacture .177 cal barrels, they will likely go out of business very soon. Because, once .20, .22 & .25 airgun owners start facing harassment, people will stop buying airguns in these calibres.

5) You can very soon look forward to headlines of some poor kid being arrested for being in possession of a .22 airgun (the most common calibre in India). The poor innocent child will be sent to some reform home for at least a few weeks/ months – the time it will take to forensically test for 20 Joules power. Needless to say, he/ she will come out of this episode emotionally and mentally scarred for life.

All airgun owners should prepare themselves for a world of pain and harassment.

For Replicas
1) Possession/ sale/ manufacture of anything resembling a firearm, will attract the same penalties as those for a real firearm.

2) Toy guns, wall-hangers, key-chains, lighters, handicrafts – none of which are capable of launching a projectile, will be treated at par with real guns if they look like one!

3) The thriving replica manufacture industry, employing thousands of artisans (largely in Rajasthan), will cease to exist.

4) Shows, movies, etc. which require replicas as props, will either need to change their storyline or if possible shift to overseas locales – at the cost of the domestic economy.

5) You can very soon look forward to headlines of some poor kid being arrested for being in possession of a “diwali” cap gun. The poor innocent child will be sent to some reform home for several months. Needless to say, he/ she will come out of this episode emotionally and mentally scarred for life.

For blank firers
1) Possession/ sale/ manufacture of blank firers, will attract the same penalties as those for a real firearm.

2) Blank firers, which are by their very design incapable of launching a projectile and in fact cannot even chamber and fire a “real” cartridge (they have blocked barrels and vent gases below or to the side) – will be treated at par with real guns.

3) Same as point 4 above.

For paintball markers

1) Paintball markers (guns), which use compressed CO2 to shoot a polymer pellet filled with paint, which is incapable of even penetrating cardboard, will now be treated like a firearm.

2) The legal implications of this move are as mentioned above.

3) This will effectively kill off the nascent adventure sports industry, which often offers paintball games as part of their services. These games are most often subscribed to by companies, as team building exercises for their executives.

Amongst others, Rahul Gandhi is reportedly an avid paintball enthusiast. Is this some devious plan to deny him the pleasure of having fun with his friends?

If these changes are being enacted to improve law & order, the public should be told how many OR if there are any recorded instances of airguns, replicas, blank firers, paintball markers being used in the commission of violent crime?

If there are no significant numbers of crimes being committed using these objects, what is the need to license them? What public purpose is being sought to be achieved?

Should we not concentrate our efforts towards the menace of illegal guns?

boy with catapult
Will they license these next?

I’ll conclude by stating the obvious, these are ill thought out changes to the law. They will be next to impossible to enforce and will make criminals out of honest citizens.

Let us not take one step forward and two steps back!

Armed citizen successfully defends himself

All those naysayers who say that armed citizens are unable/ incapable of effectively defending themselves, please have a look at this.

EDIT: There are some interesting lessons to be gained here. Did you notice:
Continue reading Armed citizen successfully defends himself

Installing Ubuntu on M2N68-AM Plus board

It’s been more than a decade since I started using Linux on the desktop. During that time I’ve installed and used various flavours (Red Hat, Suse, Yoper, Vector etc.) before finally settling on Ubuntu.

I’ve never attained Linux “god” status, though I’m usually able to find my way around things – keep that in mind while reading this guide :)

In the past decade, Linux as a desktop operating system, as well as its built in driver support has matured considerably. In fact, I can’t even recall the last time I had to resort to any sort of hack or work around for a successful install.

Today was a little different. This install took a little tweaking, so thought I’d post what worked for me, in case anyone else faces similar problems installing Ubuntu on this motherboard.
Continue reading Installing Ubuntu on M2N68-AM Plus board

Mere Saamnewali Sarhad Pe [video]

To enliven this independence day, sharing a hilarious video by “Aisi Taisi Democracy”

Migrating from Pivot 1.x to WordPress

Since 2004 I’d been running the “Blog” section of this website on the Pivot 1.x platform, while the rest of my website used simple HTML pages. Over the years I’d regularly updated with each release – till the last available version Pivot – 1.40.6: ‘Dreadwind’. After that they moved to their next generation called PivotX. It’s a great little platform, running off ‘flatfiles’ (no need for a database back-end), fast rendering, etc. BUT I felt I’d be better off shifting the entire website on to a slightly better featured CMS and eventually zeroed in on WordPress.

The following is the process of how it got done, posted here in the hope that it would help out others.

Continue reading Migrating from Pivot 1.x to WordPress

Guns for peace

The following video was part of the presentation made by the National Association for Gun Rights India (NAGRI) before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs.

Continue reading Guns for peace

NRA News interviews NAGRI President

Last week Cameron Gray of NRA News interviewed the President of NAGRI – Rahoul Rai and myself.

Can you trust a government that does not trust you?

Does your government trust you
Image courtesy Oleg Volk –

Another excellent poster by Oleg Volk

citizens have a right to be armed

Gun rights in India, eBusiness, shooting, etc.