Every once in a while I run across a gun-related story that really surprises me. Today I spotted this article about women in India who are following their American sisters in educating themselves about firearms. Below are some of the highlights. Be sure to check out the full article here.
When Dr Harveen Kaur Sidhu travels from her home in an upmarket neighbourhood of the northwestern city of Chandigarh, she always slips her lightweight .22 revolver in her bag. The gun is a new purchase – Sidhu got her licence only a year ago – but now the 33-year-old dentist won’t travel without it. “I don’t have faith in the police to protect me. There are so many attacks on women these days. It’s everybody’s right to defend themselves. I think all women who are vulnerable should be carrying guns,” Sidhu said.
She is not alone. A growing number of well-off, educated Indian women are turning to firearms for protection
There are estimated to be 40mn guns in India, the second highest number in the world after the US.
“We are not trigger-happy people. We are looking at (using firearms) as a last resort. We see (guns) as a force equaliser,” said Rakshit Sharma, the [National Association for Gun Rights India] secretary general. His group, he said, receives “many inquiries from women who want to know how to obtain a gun and stay within the law.”
Kumar said only one in 50 purchases was made by women but the number was rising. Data obtained earlier this year under India’s new Right to Information law revealed that nearly 31,300 arms licences have been issued to women in Punjab and 31,026 of them have actually purchased arms. One recent enthusiast is Anita Dhiman Dass, who lives in Ludhiana, a prosperous centre of trade and farming 130km west of Chandigarh. Dass, 46, got her first gun three years ago, has three weapons on her licence and says a Ruger .22 pistol is her favourite.
“It’s so light. I put it in my bag when I go shopping, to the mall, to the market or wherever.
… (this is my favorite part:)
Like Sidhu, Dass said carrying a gun made her feel secure. Her husband, Ishwar, runs a car dealership in the town. His collection of 11 weapons includes hunting rifles and vintage shotguns. Dass said a four-year-old grandson was now “very fond of guns” and the family’s new puppy has been named “Sniper.”
Check out the entire piece: