Friday, April 27, 2007

Gun control and laws - Scotland

11 years ago Thomas Hamilton shot dead 16 young children aged five and six and their teacher in a primary school in Dunblane just 15 miles from where I live. This was labelled the Dunblane Massacre. At the time Hamilton had a gun licence and was perfectly within the law in keeping a hand gun. Dunblane is a white middle-class community on the edge of rural Scotland, a bastion of middle class respectability. The parents of the children shot dead were educated, vocal people who very quickly set about organising a campaign to have guns banned.

If this crime had happened in a poor working class estate in Birmingham or London it might not have had such an impact - a reflection on the attitudes of our society today, I'm ashamed to say.

An enquiry was mounted after the incident and handguns were made illegal in the UK even for people in gun clubs. It is legal to have a shotgun but you need a licence and there are very strict controls about this - regular police vetting and you must have a referee who can vouch for you. The licences are usually restricted to farmers or people involved in hunting and shooting (pheasants, grouse, deer).

The ban hasn't stopped the illegal possession of hand guns which will always exsist. In Britain our problem is with knife culture where the size of the knife you carry is a sign of your status in many urban areas. There are frequent deaths through stabbings usually in the cities of Glasgow, London or Birmingham. I don't know what the answer to this one is. I would just really hate to live in a gun owning culture.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Guns control and laws - Brazil

Yes, everybody always look for someone to blame: a game, film, or any rock ´n roll band, etc, as they´re guilty of all the murders in the world. The church is one of the first to point the finger on this guys.
Brazil a lot of big problems, like big drug dealers, the corruption. A big percent of the guns that are on "bad guys" hads came from the policeman. Our police closes their eyes to a lot of thing that happend on the "favelas" and on the prisions.
People from the prision shouldn´t be able to use cellphone, but here the big drug dealers continues on commanding the traffic from insede the jail. I mean, how that guns goes inside there? Maybe by the police´s hands, or by the lawyers, who know. Everything is based on money.

Does this kind of corruption happens on any of your countries?

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Guns control and laws - Germany

Germany and German people is always good in imitating the United States. So we had after Colombine also a few fortunatly quite smaller events, students with homicidal mania in schools. Anyway in Germany you cannot have guns and weaponry as easily as in the US. You have to get a special license to buy a weapon and usually you receive it after joining a gun club which are very traditional and aim to conserve hunting tradition in the countryside. However, each weapon is registered and can be identified with its owner. (Of course there are illegal guns here in Germany, but at least they are illegal.)
While the media was blaming music group and especially computer game ("Killerspiele") - note that Germany is one of the most liberal countries with one of the strictest laws against violence in any kind of media - there was almost none attention to the combination of gun clubs and these homocidal maniacs. Actually everyone was in a gun club and had comparable easy access to fire weapons - a deadly combination.
But German politicians - most come from the countryside - love all kind of clubs. They are in dozens and even more of them and this is where you gain your voters in the very beginning of your political careers. This is why there isn't even in Germany no pressure group for tighten the access to guns. So we'll wait till next time and some Counterstrike or Quake is blamed for being guilty.

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Friday, April 20, 2007

Guns control and laws - Malaysia

Wow.... It's been a while. I think we should just get the topic up instead of letting people write whatever they want. At least this way with fixed topic we know what to write and there will be constant update.

The case that happened at Virginia Tech was really crazy. So many innocents got killed. In Malaysia, not everyone can buy/own a gun. It's not easy to own a gun too. You must register all your firearms. Even if you are found with a bullet without a gun and without licence, you will also be charged. You must report to the police if you came across a bullet, even if it's empty. If you own a gun wihtout licence, you will be slapped with death penalty or jail.

Well, this is my limited knowledge that I have about our gun law. I tried to search in the Internet and couldn't find much details about our guns and weapons laws too.

Posted by Sweet Surrender

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Guns control and laws - Brazil

As everybody knows, this week a crazy south korean guy killed 32 people in the Virginia Tech University. Some time ago, one of the options on our poll was this one "Gun control and gun laws". I think it´s a great time to discuss about it.

In Brazil we see that violence everyday. It happens a lot in Rio de Janeiro, for example. Here we had a plebiscite last year to ask the people if everybody should be able and free to buy and have guns. The answer of the majority was NO.

Our government made some actions to take the guns out of circulation, like paying something about $60 for each one that was delivered (with no penalty for those that wasn´t a legal one), just to get rid of them. This action is very interesting, except for one point: bad guys didn´t give up on their guns. So we weren´t disarming the bad guys.

I personally think that everybody should have the right to have a gun, but it should be a LEGAL one, and the person would have to have a license to have it.

What do you guys think?

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Religions of my country - India

Religions in my country, are many, including many religions which were founded here, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism.

The main religion followed in India, is Hinduism (around 78%) followed by Islam, and other religions, including Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism, and smaller segments of Zorastrianism, etc. Since the country is secular, in the terms that there is no state religion, one feature is that there are a multitude of holidays associated with various religions!! This is not so much fun, now, in 'grown-up work life' where holidays inevitabely merge into working days, but as kids going to school, it was fun to have some or the other festival to celebrate.

My personal best memories are associated with celebrating Diwali, the festival of lights, celebrating the return of the God Rama from exile. The parties and gifts associated with Santa and Christmas; and the fantastic cuisine during Eid celebrations.

Here are some images of places of worship, which I thought might be interesting to share:

Jama Masjid (Islam), Old Delhi


Akshardham Temple (Hinduism), New Delhi


Golden Temple (Sikhism), Amritsar

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