From BBC: “India has launched a new handgun for women, named after a student who was gang-raped in Delhi in December 2012 and later died of her injuries.”
Most refreshing about this article, is it seems we finally have a police officer (notably, a woman) who gets it: “The gun’s launch has led Indians to debate whether carrying a gun makes a woman safer. Ram Krishna Chaturvedi, the chief of police for Kanpur and several nearby districts, thinks it does.
“It is definitely a good idea. If you have a licensed weapon, it increases your self-confidence and creates fear in the minds of criminals,” she says.”
Housewives, too, see the value: “Pratibha Gupta, a housewife and student in Kanpur. [says]… ‘If the person in front of me knows that I have a gun, he will hesitate to touch me…’”
Sadly, the group causing the most problems for Indian women protecting themselves is the government. “Most public places in India do not allow guns - and many offices, malls, cinemas, theatres and markets are equipped with metal detectors to enforce this.
Even if the Delhi rape victim had owned a gun, he says, it would not have been much help, considering she was returning home after watching a film in a theatre in a mall where she wouldn’t have been allowed to carry her weapon.
And if she had been armed, and she had shot any of her attackers the chances are she would have spent the rest of her life in jail on charges of murder, he says.”
Ironically, it is the opponents to gun ownership who offer the biggest reason it’s necessary: “Binalakshmi Nepram, founder of the Women Gun Survivors Network [says]… ‘The authorities saying, ‘Hey woman, come there’s a new gun for you which will make you safer,’ is an admission of failure on their part.’”
Also, “But many frightened women had little faith in a largely corrupt and inefficient police force.”
Consider the U.S., where the police force isn’t largely “corrupt and inefficient”, you still can’t rely on the police for protection. “Even though the Department of Justice determined that the average police response time to a 911 call is 4 minutes, the average interaction time between a criminal and his victim is 90 seconds.”
Indian women are realizing, due to tragic necessity, what writers of the U.S. Constitution already knew: “Large numbers [of women] enrolled in self-defence classes and began stocking up on pepper spray cans. Some reports suggested there was a rise in the number of women seeking gun licences.”
From the Women’s Self Defense Institute: “The truth is that the police are not your body guards… The reality is that you are on your own for at least 4 minutes or more. Anyone who has been in any type of altercation knows that it only takes seconds to inflict serious injury.
It’s up to you to defend yourself. The police cannot be everywhere. (emphasis mine)”