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Desi Bofors: India’s indigenous artillery gun Dhanush to cost Rs 14 crore a piece

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

After a long wait of almost three decades, the Indian military will soon be receiving its desi version of Bofors – Dhanush.

The 155mm x 45mm calibre artillery gun, Dhanush is the first home-grown version of the Swedish Bofors gun, which was bought in the late 1980s. The towed howitzer is based on the design and manufacturing technology provided by Bofors.

India’s Defence Minister, Manohar Parrikar, on Monday informed the Members of Parliament of the Consultative Committee attached to his Ministry, that Dhanush incorporates many improved features than the guns which the Army is possessing currently.

Indigenously built by Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), Dhanush has successfully cleared the technical parameters during the winter and summer trials. Its successful winter trials in the mountains of Sikkim were followed by final round of user trials at Khetolai in Pokhran close to the border along Pakistan in Rajasthan’s desert.

Dhanush was developed at the Gun Carriage Factory in Jabalpur. With an 155mm barrel that is 6.975 metres long, the howitzer’s longer barrel ensures a longer range.

It is said that Dhanush is a major improvement over the Bofors gun’s manual system, all thanks to its electronic sighting and laying system for aiming at the target.

Moreover, it is likely to be priced at 14 crore a piece, less than half the price of a similar gun manufactured outside the country.

Parrikar also informed that OFB, one of the oldest and largest production organisations of the Ministry of Defence, has notably achieved success in  the indigenous development of 40mm Multi Grenade Launcher (MGL) for 40 x 46mm Low Velocity Grenades (LVG).

  • Self sufficiency in defense capability of India by promoting indigenous manufacturing of weapons was avoided in favor of procurement from International market through tenders.

    Why? Tenders, it is said, is a substantial source of income for the “leaders”. Atre things changing?

  • Self sufficiency in defense capability of India by promoting indigenous manufacturing of weapons was avoided in favor of procurement from International market through tenders.

    Why? Tenders, it is said, is a substantial source of income for the “leaders”. Atre things changing?

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Australians Surrender More Than 50,000 Weapons in First National Gun Amnesty in 20 Years

Anyone found with an unregistered firearm in Australia now faces up to 14 years in prison or a heavy fine

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Salesperson Lauren Ungari checks rifles in a display in a gunshop in Sydney, Australia (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft) (VOA)

Sydney, October 8, 2017 : Australians have handed in 51,000 weapons during the first national gun amnesty in more than 20 years.

Authorities in Australia believe the three-month gun amnesty that ran through Sept. 30 has made the country safer. By their count, 51,461 firearms were surrendered in Australia’s first no-questions-asked amnesty since a mass shooting in the state of Tasmania in 1996.

A proliferation of illicit weapons and the potential impact on national security prompted the government to urge Australians to hand in their firearms without fear of prosecution. Officials were worried that unwanted military-style rifles, pistols and shotguns could fall into the hands of extremists and criminal gangs.

ALSO READ Why are Americans so fond of their ‘Gun’ culture?

It is estimated that there are about 260,000 unregistered weapons in Australia, which has some of the world’s toughest gun control measures. They include a 28-day waiting period, comprehensive background checks, and a requirement to have a “justifiable reason” to own a firearm. There have been no mass shootings in Australia since the legislation was introduced.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says the measures are crucial to Australian society.

“Now, it is vitally important that we maintain our gun control laws. They are among the strictest in the world,” he said. “We have seen the shocking tragedy in Las Vegas. The killer there had a collection of semi-automatic weapons, which a person in his position would simply not be able to acquire in Australia. So, we have strict gun control laws … we do not take anything for granted.”

Anyone found with an unregistered firearm in Australia now faces up to 14 years in prison or a heavy fine.

The opposition Labor party has called for the three-month gun amnesty to be extended, and for life sentences to be handed down on criminals who smuggle firearms into Australia. (VOA)

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Three Million Army of Moms and A Billionaire join to make Gun Laws Tough in USA

"Moms Demand Action" group's members regularly turn out for rallies at statehouses around the country to push for new, Everytown-backed gun-safety legislation

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Image Source: Ruby Wallau/NPR
  • 3 million-strong citizen army of moms are bringing the fight to the National Rifle Association (NRA)
  • “Everytown For Gun Safety” and “Moms Demand Action” together have some 3.5 million supporters
  • Everytown has helped push through legislation to block domestic abusers from owning a gun

Devastated by the recent shootings, a new gun control group has emerged. With billionaires on board and an army of 3 million-strong citizen army of moms, they are bringing the fight to the National Rifle Association (NRA)

Much of the ground-swell behind this crusade comes from just regular people pulled into it for their own reasons. After the mass-murder at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Conn, Shannon Watts could not control her anger as the victims were grade-school children.

Six and seven-year-olds shot dead in their first-grade classrooms. Determined to do something about it, she went online and started searching for a group to join or to donate money to. Unable to find anything, she decided to put up a Facebook page: “One Million Moms For Gun Control. “Starting with just 75 friends on her regular Facebook page, the likes went on from the hundreds to the thousands to the tens of thousands. “Moms Demand Action” became the new name, when it crossed a million likes.

As the group grew, Watts caught the notice of Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former Mayor of New York who was ready to launch “Everytown For Gun Safety” with a pledge of $50 million. What it lacked were foot soldiers. And today the two groups have merged and together have some 3.5 million supporters, said the NPR report.

The National Rifle Association which had been a gun-lobbying superpower for generations has finally met its match.

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According to the NPR report, the “Moms Demand Action” group’s members regularly turn out for rallies at statehouses around the country to push for new, Everytown-backed gun-safety legislation. After the latest shooting at Orlando, the fight is getting more intense.

Tina Meins, the daughter of a shooting victim in the San Bernardino, California, shooting last December and other survivors of gun violence joined Democratic senators yesterday on Capital Hill, to push for tougher gun control laws.

The 40 Democratic senators who participated in the filibuster ended up winning a promise that legislation would come up for a vote, following a week of partisan congressional battles over ways to prevent future attacks like Orlando.

She speaks to VOA,“ People don’t understand that the ease of accessibility is really going to contribute to potential attacks. People don’t understand the risk, especially in cases like Orlando and San Bernardino. I don’t think people understand the risk of homegrown terrorist attacks.”

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Participants with One Million Moms for Gun Control, Image Source:NPR

Everytown for Gun Safety trained Tina Meins and more than 800 other gun violence survivors to meet with politicians, speak in public and write op-eds as part of a growing nationwide movement. This new gun control group has been instrumental in several campaigns and talks on gun legislation.

On Wednesday, June 15, the state chapter leader for the group, Jennifer Herrera spoke with local politicians at a vigil in front of City Hall in Alexandria.
“My sorrow over the tragedy in Orlando runs deep,” she says, “but make no mistake, we are making strides every single day.”

Everytown has started producing results. It has helped push through legislation to block domestic abusers from owning a gun. In some contests the group has outspent the NRA and won.

In the past week, her group organized more than 50 vigils, met with scores of lawmakers, made 52,000 volunteer phone calls to members of Congress, and sent in more than 100,000 petition signatures urging congressional action. She believes that a big change is underway.

-prepared by Ajay Krishna, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: @ajkrish14

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Why are Americans so fond of their ‘Gun’ culture?

Out 321 million people in USA over 200 million own a legal weapon and there are 88 percent firearms per 100 people in America

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Representational Image People looking for guns in America. (Representational Image). Image source: Wikipedia
  • Gun culture in America is present from the time of American Revolution
  • American constitution allows all its citizens to own and carry a gun
  • US is home to roughly 35 to 50 percent of the world’s civilian-owned guns

America has always taken pride in its gun culture. Guns have been a part of American culture since time immemorial. Guns were used as a means to hunt for food and make money through the fur market, protection from natives and dealing with large predators also required the use of gun.

Guns played a huge part in the American Revolution against the British solider and their freedom. In 1776, when USA gained independence, Americans were allowed to own and use the firearms to keep to protect their newly independent nation from the tyrannical rule of the ‘old world’ and this right became the basis for the second amendment in American constitution.

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Second Amendment

Every law-abiding citizen in the United States is allowed to own or carry a gun. That right comes from the U.S. Bill of Rights and the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It says: “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

Ease of ownership

To purchase a gun in the majority of states, a person needs to be of age, pass the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check and fill out a firearms transaction record.

However, background checks are not currently required for private sales, including those conducted at gun shows. Certain people are banned from owning weapons, including convicted criminals, people with mental health illnesses or non-U.S. citizens. But the system has major holes in it.

Availability of ammunition is very high in U.S. Anybody can easily walk-up to a gun shop or supermarkets where ammunition is sold like chocolate boxes and buy it. Any person can buy any amount of ammunition, which will surely look scary to many. Even some banks provide their account holders with a gun on opening a particular type of account.

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The Debate

While many believe that right to own and use a gun is important and people should be able to defend and protect themselves. But it is hard ignore the fact that many people are killed because of guns.

A image captured at Columbine high school.Source: Wikipedia
A image captured at Columbine high school. Image Source: Wikipedia

Like in the case of 1999 Columbine High School massacre,  in which 2 high school boys killed 12 students and one teacher. They injured 21 people and 3 more were injured while trying to escape the school. Other than shooting, 2 boys had also planted bombs in cafeteria where the whole thing went down. The pair committed suicide afterwards. This school shooting is considered as the America’s deadliest high school shooting.  After columbine America has also seen 59 more school/university shooting which has occurred due to easy availability of guns and ammunitions.

According to BBC, on an average over 35 people were killed every day because of gun violence in 2015. Out 321 million people in USA over 200 million own a legal weapon and there are 88% firearms per 100 people in America.

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In 2015 alone US has witnessed-

  • 375 mass shooting in which 450 were killed and over 1000 people were wounded
  • 64 school shootings
  • All shooting concluded a total 13,286 people getting killed and 26,819 got injured which is more than 12,570 in 2014

U.S. reality

The debate on guns is a daily topic in USA. But regardless of where one falls, the fact remains that U.S. gun ownership is exceptionally high and growing. According to the Small Arms Survey, the United States has an average of 116 guns per 100 people, although most of those weapons are owned by a minority of citizens.

The National Rifle Association is a non- profit, pro-gun, lobbying group. Their sole purpose is protection of second amendment. NRA is widely known as the pro-gun organizations and is the public face of the pro-gun movement. They are also one of the reasons as to why America has no strict gun law.

The United States is home to roughly 35 to 50 percent of the world’s civilian-owned guns, even though it holds less than 5 percent of the world’s population.

-prepared by Bhaskar Raghavendran (with inputs from VOA), a reporter at NewsGram. Twitter:  bhaskar_ragha

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