When in Mumbai



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By David Codrea, December 26th 2014
JPFO writer contributor, © 2014.

“When in Rome, do as the Romans do,” is a quote attributed to St. Ambrose, a Fourth Century bishop of Milan, derived from a Latin quote translated “If you should be in Rome, live in the Roman manner; if you should be elsewhere, live as they do there.”

The admonishment to not offend the customs of a country in which you find yourself has been expressed in a manner critical of U.S. citizens’ behavior abroad with the term “The Ugly American,” derived from a 1958 novel (and later movie) condemning “loud and ostentatious” behavior of government employees assigned to a foreign land, and generally understood to refer to arrogant ethnocentric behavior viewed by the host country as rude.

It makes sense, if you think about it, to not offend people in their own home, and to be sensitive to customs and mores that may be unfamiliar or alien to us but are natural and simply good manners to the culture in which we place ourselves. If we find we cannot abide by such customs, unless part of a compelled government presence, in which case prudence should preside, no one is forcing us to go there.

One does not even need to travel abroad to realize a “progressive” anti-gun urbanite referring to gun rights advocates as “rednecks” or worse in internet comments would do well not to wear such an attitude on his sleeve when traveling though the rural south. If for no other reason, note if his car breaks down to whom he must turn, as chances are such matters are beyond the ken of lofty “intellectuals.”

As is often the case, that street can run one way. Plenty of foreigners raised in cultures that do not recognize a right to keep and bear arms have taken up residence here, and many have made a point of broadcasting their hostility to the Second Amendment, and their advocacy of edicts to eviscerate it, demanding that U.S. gun laws conform to those of their native country.

Rejina Sincic

That appears to be the case with one Rejina Sincic, “an Indian film director and screenwriter based in San Francisco,” who released one of the more ridiculous anti-gun PSAs yet produced, titled “Stop Gun Violence.” Her scenario, of course, does not include any violent criminals who perpetuate violence using guns, but rather, attacks what appears to be a typical suburban household that includes a mother and a teenage boy.

Long story short, a hoplophobe kid steals his mother’s gun and turns it in to his teacher, possibly adding to her laundry load in the process. There’s no need to provide a blow-by-blow script synopsis here, as the video is embedded in this column and you can watch it for yourself, but here are some of the points that stuck out for me, as I related on my The War on Guns blog: All kinds of gun handling rules are ignored and laws are being broken in the fictional scenario, revealing Sincic is either incompetent at or uninterested in recognizing true “common sense gun safety,” opting instead to go for the goal of all gun-grabbers, that of no citizen having a gun. It would be interesting to determine if all actual laws were observed in the physical production of her misnamed “PSA” (because the dangerous and illegal practices she demonstrates are hardly a service to any but those who would disarm the public, making it yet another “progressive” Opposite Day example), as the end credits say the video was shot at North Oakland Community Charter School.

Sanjay Sanghoee

The thing is, Sincic is hardly alone among high-profile Indians with access to U.S. media who advocate citizen disarmament. One whom I’ve commented about before on my blog, but who was perhaps best skewered by colleague and fellow JPFO contributing writer Kurt Hofmann, is author Sanjay Sanghoee, who chastises U.S. gun owners for “blind adherence to a hopelessly outdated Constitutional Amendment.” Another is “journalist” Rekha Basu, “[b]orn in India to United Nations parents,” who ... well, pick a place to start and see for yourself.

With Rekha and Sanjay and Sincic, and recently-confirmed Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, and untold prominent voices in the Indian-American community stumping for Indian-style “gun control” here, it might be instructive to look at “gun control” there, and especially at its results.

GunPolicy.org, a project of the Sydney School of Public Health, which, while decidedly anti-gun, nonetheless provides instructive and useful compilations of gun laws from around the globe, documents “The regulation of guns in India is categorized as restrictive.” Despite registration and licensing and a host of regulations, homicides in India are still numbered in the tens of thousands, and importantly, only around 6,3 million guns are registered, with an estimated 33.7 million held “illegally.”

Of the guns that are owned legally, a caste system of sorts appears to be remaining in place with politicians and their cronies well-armed, including female ministers. The less-well connected women, if they can afford it, can resort to absurdities like electric shock underwear to deal with the rape crisis there, and to highlight an observation by Abhijeet Singh, author of “Gun Ownership in India.”

(And, of course, it’s more than rape. “Delhi lives in terror as gun crimes rise,” a 2008 report in The National observed. It was still “on the rise” in 2013, per Daily Mail India.)

“[L]egislation was...formulated based on the Indian Government's innate distrust its own citizens [and] gave vast arbitrary powers to the ‘Licensing Authorities,’ in effect ensuring that it is often difficult and sometimes impossible for an ordinary law-abiding Indian citizen to procure an arms license,” Singh noted.

Talk about disdain for true egalitarian power-sharing. Why that sounds as primitive, colonial and unjust as, say, the concealed carry permitting system in Los Angeles, or New York City. And it helps explain why, just as domestic mass killers can rely on so-called “gun-free zones” to guarantee no shortage of unarmed targets of opportunity, a massacre in Mumbai was so “successful” (by the criteria of the attackers).

“[P]erhaps the most troubling question to emerge for the Indian authorities was how … just 10 gunmen could have caused so much carnage and repelled Indian security forces for more than three days in three different buildings,” The International Herald Tribune concluded.

“How indeed,” I observed in my June, 2009 GUNS Magazine “Rights Watch” column. “Per another Tribune report, ‘The Oberoi Group employs many plainclothes security officers in its hotels, but these are unarmed … Obtaining a license for even a single officer to carry a gun is extremely difficult in India, which has tight gun control laws.’”

That’s not to say there isn’t hope.

“Everyone’s life is precious. And everyone has the right to defend their life and liberty,” National Association for Gun Rights in India founder and previously-mentioned author Singh insists. His group is “fighting to make sure one day every Indian gets the right to bear arms –American style.”

And there’s further progress, with the development of the “Nirbheek, a .32 bore light weight revolver, India's first firearm designed for women.” Give good people choices, and they’re capable of making them.

Perhaps one day, applying St. Ambrose’s admonishment to Mumbai will mean JPFO members will feel right at home with a “gun culture” that supports the dignity of all peaceable human beings by not infringing on their choices. That’s the beauty of freedom, and something “Ugly Indians” seem incapable of grasping, as they use their media megaphones to demand colonial mindset defenselessness be imposed on the country that welcomed them in.

No one is forcing them to own guns. If they feel safer in that ridiculous anti-rape underwear mentioned above, they should go for it, as long as they stop trying to force that absurd and degrading admission of helplessness as the only choice the rest of us should have. Heck, maybe Sincic could even promote that alternative defense strategy, with Sanjay and Rekha modeling available styles in another “PSA”...

Note: Since writing this piece the day before Christmas, Sincic, in true “progressive‘ fashion, took her video down from You Tube and re-posted it with comments disabled, so people couldn't tell her how profoundly stupid they thought her little production was. So much for Opposite Day “progressives‘ wanting us to have a “national conversation on guns.‘ Ladd Everitt, of the usefully kooky Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, even said he "smelled a rat" and insinuated she is a "plant" – as if the anti-gun movement could have any more of an embarrassing, loon-attracting distraction than CSGV for diverting funds, resources and energies from actual effective tactics.

David Codrea is a field editor at GUNS Magazine, penning their monthly "Rights Watch" column. He provides regular reporting and commentary at Gun Rights Examiner and blogs at The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance. David Codrea's Archive page.

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