When we consider the very purpose of the existence of a state, then it can correctly be said that the state exists to safeguard the life and liberty of every single person residing in its territory. In the social contract of forming a modern state, every instrument of rule instills in us the confidence that they ensure our safety, and accordingly, the institutions of the army & police were derived. They gave us the assurance that they will protect us from every internal and external enemy. But, with its limits, can we say that since 1947 we have been protected enough by the state? Criminals, terrorists, Naxals, militants, and Jihadis have never stopped their killing agenda of people, and the successive history of massacres suggests that it is highly difficult for the state to prevent it.
At the receiving end of the onslaught
The daylight beheading of Kanhaiya Lal in Udaipur by Islamist Jihadis has once again raised the question of easing the arms licensing for self-defence. It is reported that he was receiving a death threat from the Islamist and despite the formal appeal to the police, protection was not provided to him. Failure of the state to fulfil its highest responsibility, which is to ensure the safety of its people, advances the self-defence rights of the people. This generates a debate around self-defence issues in the country.
The majority of Indians possess the highest virtue of peace. For centuries, the land of Bharat has been the propagator of peace in the world. Despite successive invasions, we never invaded any other country. The reason for this cultured upbringing leaves us on the receiving end of barbarians and Jihad forces.
The argument for gun
The state has its own limitations to control violence and provide about 130 crore people with safety. Now, we can all agree that the state does not have the resources to provide safety to each and every citizen. So it can be a wise decision to allow citizens to possess guns for self-defence purposes based on the threat perception assessment. If an impartial assessment of security agencies suggests that someone has some sort of threat from anyone, the license to carry a gun can be allowed.
A gun works as a deterrent from any threat and also provides safety in emergency situations. It gives an assurance to an individual to their right to life. The right to ensure the safety of oneself as well as its family from any form of threat. The conflicting nature of Indian society and enmity often results in a case of revenge. Issuing gun licenses to individuals based on standard threat assessment can help to save many lives.
A fearful mind and a fearful society often face the onslaught of barbarians and this paves a path for their degeneration. The right to self-defence has been provided under various penal laws and its nature of justice is that those who threaten our life must be retaliated with equal & disproportionate force. And, guns provide enough insurance for the safety of life.
According to The Small Arms Survey report, India ranks 120 in civilian per capita firearms. India continuously faces the wrath of terrorism, extremism, Naxalism, and the worst type of communal riots. So these contingency conditions provide enough argument to expedite the process of gun licensing.
Indian gun licensing for self-defence is governed under The Arms Act 1959. The act has been made to control gun possession in society. It is true that illegal guns need to be regulated but the process to acquire guns for self-defence also needs to be standardized. Based on standard threat perception assessment an individual should be provided with a license to carry a gun and the liberty to save their life should be left with the individual in contingency situations.
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