Gun control: Good guys v/s bad guys

Just yesterday my brother-in-law made a valid point. There is so much protection given to children here in the United States of America (USA). There are guards stationed near schools during opening and closing hours to guide traffic so that students can safely pass. All vehicles have to stop when there is a school bus ahead boarding children. School bus drivers can even give you a ticket if you break a traffic rule. This is scenario one.

And then you have the Newtown shooting massacre that killed 20 children. Scenario two.

So why is so much being done to protect children and then when it comes to guns, there seems to be a sense of oversight?

Some may say that protecting children and gun control are two separate issues. Agreed. But in the case of Sandy Hook they aren’t. A guy had a gun. He used it. Children died. Wouldn’t those children still be alive today if that guy did not have access to a gun? Of course they would be.

The question is as much about protecting children, as it is about allowing (or not) the common man to own a gun. In this case, the Newtown shooting is an example of what a gun can do.

We all know that the gun topic is a political one. There has been a lot of back and forth on the availability of guns, high-end ammunition, so on and so forth. So far there hasn’t been any clear and outright stand coming out of the annals of power about whether one should be allowed to have guns or not. Any question in this regard almost always refers to the National Rifle Association (NRA). Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, said in an interview to TIME, “The NRA is only powerful if you and I let them be powerful.” This is where this issue takes on political colours. And we know there isn’t going to be a clear-cut solution any time soon.

No let us for a moment support guns. So that young guy walks into Sandy Hook Elementary with a gun. Then the principal pulls out her gun (let us assume she had one) and shoots down the guy, preventing the death of any of the students or teachers at the school. Well, it all sounds perfect on paper and in hindsight. But a gun for a gun isn’t the answer. The question should be whether Adam Lanza (or his mother, who was the license-holder) should have even had that gun in the first place.

There have been several supporters of gun ownership who have vociferously spoken about this. Most notably is radio host Alex Jones who appeared on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight. Jones said that the law that allows possession of firearms is to protect the American people from “tyrannical government and street thugs.” It’s a dangerous argument.

Here’s what I believe. A life lived in fear is not a life well-lived at all. It may sound philosophical, idealistic, call it what you may. What is the point of walking around in a shopping mall with a gun in your purse? Are you genuinely interested in buying new clothes or are you on the lookout for a predator with a gun who might go on a shooting spree?

There are good guys and there are bad guys. We cannot allow the possession of firearms in the hope that the good guys will get the bad guys. We cannot allow the usage of guns with the argument that the good guys are only protecting themselves. For every bad guy that’s killed, ten good guys have to die. That’s the way war works. And we cannot always be in war. It needs to stop some time. And that time is now.

The good guys will have to learn to live without guns, with the hope that the bad guys learn too.  And then they are no longer bad.

Where is Karnataka’s Lokayukta?

The state government in Karnataka seems to have forgotten about a post that holds quite high esteem in the state. That of the ombudsman. Or the Lokayukta. After Justice Santosh Hegde retired last year, Justice Shivraj Patil took over. He resigned soon after allegations were levelled against him in a housing society case.

Here is a video of the time Justice Patil was sworn in as Lokayukta. Alas, one wonders when we will see the next such ceremony.

Court: Once married, daughter is guest in parental home

It’s become a bit of a fad these days to denigrate women. There was Chetan Bhagat. Abhishek Bachchan. The Sri Ram Sene have been at it for a while. And now the courts too don’t want to be left behind. The Bombay High Court recently said that daughters, once married, are no longer legally permitted to live in their parents’ house without their consent; she cannot force herself on her parents because she becomes a guest as she is now a member of the husbands’ family.

I mean, excuse me?

That’s all women need in this country for development. Living with parents has become a question of the law?

How is this even relevant to our times? Have daughters become commodities?
You know, for years, many social thinkers and commentators have stated that those women whose ambition is to be treated equally to men, have no ambition at all. They are wrong. When we have someone from the judiciary making some reckless orders under the eye of the legal system, no wonder women in our country are the way we are.

Which brings me to my next argument.

What about the legal rights of sons after they get married? In our social system, the son continues to live with his parents along with his wife. The Bombay High Court also observed that adult children in general require the permission of their parents to live with them in the parents’ personal house.

So the court decides to make ‘extra’ observations about daughters and how they are guests in their parents’ house. But no such thing for sons.

Isn’t this typical?

A daughter is just like any human being. Whether she gets married and goes to another house, or not, she deserves to be recognized for who she is. Just because daughters are expected to go and live in another house, does not make her parents’ house any less hers. She has the right to live anywhere she wants.

This judgement seems to suggest that children are a burden on parents. If that’s the case, My Lord, why have children in the first place? To kick them out once they turn 18?

If you are going to bring in the law, it shouldn’t be for argument sake. The case that was before the Bombay High Court should have been treated individually and not to make a comment on the way we live as families. I don’t know if Justice J H Bhatia has a daughter. If he does, maybe he should have a little chat with her. If he doesn’t, well, we figured.