It's the Guns, Stupid

It's the Guns, Stupid

There are 103311 comments on the Truthdig story from Apr 20, 2007, titled It's the Guns, Stupid. In it, Truthdig reports that:

“And that's the end of the issue”

Why do we have the same futile argument every time there is a mass killing? Advocates of gun control try to open a discussion about whether more reasonable weapons statutes might reduce the number of violent ... via Truthdig

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Truthdig.

Foo is from punjab

Noida, India

#100411 Feb 19, 2013
The Punjab region of India and Pakistan has a historical and cultural link to Indo-Aryan heritage identity as well as partially to the Dravidic indigenous communities. As a result of numerous invasions, many ethnic groups and religions make up the cultural heritage of Punjab.

In prehistoric times, one of the earliest known cultures of South Asia, the Harappa civilization, was located in Punjab.

The epic battles described in the Mahabharata were fought in modern-day Harayana and historic Punjab. The Gandharas, Kambojas, Trigartas, Andhra, Pauravas, Bahlikas (Bactrian settlers of Punjab), Yaudheyas and others sided with the Kauravas in the great battle fought at Kurukshetra.[9] According to Dr Fauja Singh and Dr L. M. Joshi: "There is no doubt that the Kambojas, Daradas, Kaikayas, Andhra, Pauravas, Yaudheyas, Malavas, Saindhavas and Kurus had jointly contributed to the heroic tradition and composite culture of ancient Punjab".[10]

In 326 BCE, Alexander the Great invaded the tip of Punjab from the north (Modern day Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan) and defeated King Porus. His armies entered the region via the Hindu Kush in northwest Pakistan and his rule extended up to the city of Sagala (modern-day Sialkot) in northeast Pakistan. In 305 BCE the area was ruled by the Maurya Empire. In a long line of succeeding rulers of the area, Chandragupta Maurya and Ashoka the Great stand out as the most renowned. The Maurya presence in the area was then consolidated in the Indo-Greek Kingdom in 180 BCE. Menander I Soter "The Saviour" (known as Milinda in Indian sources) is the most renowned leader of the era. Neighbouring Seleucid rule came to an end around 12 BCE, after several invasions by the Yuezhi and the Scythian people.
Foo is from punjab

Noida, India

#100412 Feb 19, 2013
In 711 - 713 CE, 18 year old Arab Sultan Muhammad bin Qasim of Taif, a city in Saudi Arabia, came by way of the Arabian Sea with Arab troops to defeat Raja Dahir. The Sultan then led his troops to conquer Sindh and Punjab regions for the Islamic Umayyad Caliphate. Qasim was the first to bring Islam to the region.

During the establishment and consolidation of the Muslim Turkic Mughal Empire prosperity, growth, and relative peace were established. Particularly under the reign of Jahangir. Muslim empires ruled Punjab for approximately 1000 years. The period was also notable for the emergence of Guru Nanak Dev (1469–1539), the founder of Sikhism.

In 1758, Punjab came under the rule of Marathas who captured the region by defeating Afghan forces of Ahmad Shah Abdali. Abdali's Indian invasion weakened the Maratha influence, but he could not defeat the Sikhs. At the formation of the Dal Khalsa in 1748 at Amritsar, the Punjab had been divided into 36 areas and 12 separate Sikh principalities, called misl. From this point onward, the beginnings of a Punjabi Sikh Empire emerged. Out of the 36 areas, 22 were united by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The other 14 accepted British sovereignty. Ten years after Ranjit Singh's death, the empire broke up and the British were then able to defeat Punjab with the help of some Hindu Dogra kings. The Sikh State of Punjab was the only Indian state which was not under European rule at that time.


Punjab (British India), 1909The British Raj had political, cultural, philosophical and literary consequences in the Punjab, including the establishment of a new system of education. During the independence movement, many Punjabis played a significant role, including Ajit Singh Sandhu, Bhagat Singh, Udham Singh, Kartar Singh Sarabha, Bhai Parmanand, Muhammad Iqbal, Chaudhary Rehmat Ali, Ilam Din Shaheed and Lajpat Rai.

The Punjabis also played a prominent role in the mutiny of 1857 against the British[citation needed]. Cities like Jhelum and Ludhiana served as centres of rebellion against the British government.[citation needed]

At the time of partition in 1947, the province was split into East and West Punjab. East Punjab (about 35%) became part of India, while West Punjab (65%) became part of Pakistan.[11] The Punjab bore the brunt of the civil unrest following the end of the British Raj, with casualties estimated in the millions.
Foo is from punjab

Noida, India

#100413 Feb 19, 2013
At the time of the Sikh Empire the Punjab covered a large territory – the entire Indus basin and the watershed between the Indus and Gangetic plains. It could be divided into four natural areas:[12]

the eastern mountainous region including Jammu and Kashmir;
the central plain with its five rivers;
the north-western region, separated from the central plain by the Salt Range between the Jhelum and the Indus rivers;
the semi-desert to the south of the Sutlej river.

The snow covered HimalayasThe formation of the Himalayan Range of mountains to the east and north-east of the Punjab is the result of a collision between the north-moving Indo-Australian Plate and the Eurasian Plate and the subduction of the Indian tectonic plate under the Eurasian plate. The plates are still moving together, and the Himalayas are rising by about 5mm per year.

The upper regions are snow covered the whole year. Lower ranges of hills run parallel to the mountains. The Lower Himalayan Range runs from north of Rawalpindi though Jammu and Kashmir, Himachel Pradesh and further south. The mountains are relatively young, and are eroding rapidly. The Indus and the five rivers of the Punjab have their sources in the mountain range and carry loam, minerals and silt down to the rich alluvial plains, which consequently are very fertile.[13]
Foo is from punjab

Noida, India

#100414 Feb 19, 2013
ClimateThe climate is a factor contributing to the economy of the Punjab. It is not uniform over the whole region, the sections adjacent to the Himalayas receiving heavier rainfall than those at a distance.[14]

There are three main seasons and two transitional periods. During the Hot Season, from about mid April to the end of June, the temperature may reach 49˚C. The Monsoon Season, from July to September, is a period of heavy rainfall, providing water for crops in addition to the supply from canals and irrigation systems. The transitional period after the monsoon is cool and mild, leading to the Winter Season, when the temperature in January falls to 5˚C at night and 12˚C by day. During the transitional period from Winter to the Hot Season sudden hailstorms and heavy showers may occur, causing damage to crops.[
Foo is from punjab

Noida, India

#100415 Feb 19, 2013
Ethnic backgroundEthnic ancestries of modern Punjabis include a mixture of Indo-Aryan, some Indo-Scythian, and indigenous Dravidic elements; Semitic ancestries can also be found in lesser numbers. With the advent of Islam, settlers from Mongolia, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Kashmir, Arabia, and Uzbekistan have also integrated into the Pakistani Muslim Punjabi society, from whom many Pakistani Punjabis claim descent. However the majority of Punjab is still made up of the native Arains, Jatts, Chamars, Scheduled Castes, Rajputs, Maliks, Khatris, Aheer, and Gujjars.
Guppy

Bloomfield Hills, MI

#100416 Feb 19, 2013
Ahomana wrote:
<quoted text>
A: False. Actually it says "nearly" as many gun shops as drug stores, so they are right.
Is America just one big shoot em up spaghetti western? I think you know the answer to that.
A: Awwww let me think, is the answer YES?
I know you are lying when you say, we have "nearly" as many gun shops as drug stores. So they are NOT right. Can you prove it?

You are not credible.

You're just being silly and you know it.

You are obsessed by America and Americans. No, you can't live here.
Foo is from punjab

Noida, India

#100418 Feb 19, 2013
now i must educate you on punjab.
Thats what the problem is with the west, no eductation but you still think you know everything.
Marauder

Anchorage, AK

#100419 Feb 19, 2013
Spocko wrote:
<quoted text>
Actually she did have a gun --- kept it in her purse. So now you friggen retarded gun-a-holics are suggesting we all should wear a shoulder holster in our own home?!!
"So now you friggen retarded gun-a-holics are suggesting we all should wear a shoulder holster in our own home?!"

There are people that don't...?????
Foo is from punjab

Noida, India

#100420 Feb 19, 2013
Marauder wrote:
<quoted text>
"So now you friggen retarded gun-a-holics are suggesting we all should wear a shoulder holster in our own home?!"
There are people that don't...?????
HEY !
How dare you interupt todays lesson on Punjabi.
You rude rude man !
Get out of here.
Foo is from punjab

Noida, India

#100421 Feb 19, 2013
History of PunjabFrom SikhiWiki
Jump to: navigation, searchThe first known use of the word Punjab is in the book Tarikh-e-Sher Shah (1580), which mentions the construction of a fort by "Sher Khan of Punjab". The name is mentioned again in Ain-e-Akbari (part 1), written by Abul Fazal, who also mentions that the territory of Punjab was divided into two provinces, Lahore and Multan. Similarly in the second volume of Ain-e-Akbari, the title of a chapter includes the word Punjab in it. The Mughal King Jahangir also mentions the word Punjab in Tuzk-i-Janhageeri

Pre-Aryan civilizationArcheological discoveries at Mehrgarh in present-day Baluchistan show that humans inhabited the region as early as 7000 BCE. From about 3000 BCE the Indus River basin was home to the Indus valley civilization, one of the earliest in human history. At its height, it boasted large cities like Harrapa (near Sahiwal in West Punjab) and Mohenjo Daro (near Sindh). The civilization declined rapidly after the 17th century BCE, for reasons that are still unexplained.
Foo is from punjab

Noida, India

#100422 Feb 19, 2013
Indo-AryansFactors in the Indus valley civilization's decline possibly included a change in weather patterns and unsustainable urbanization (that is, without any rural agricultural production base). This coincided with the drying up of the Sarasvati River. The Out of India theory suggests that this drying up caused the movement of the remaining Indo-Aryans towards the Gangetic basin and possibly southwards towards the home of the Dravidian people.[3] The next one thousand years of the history of the Punjab and North India in general (c.1500-500 BCE) is dominated by the Indo-Aryans and the mixed population and culture that emerged from their interactions with the natives of the rest of the Indian subcontinent.
Marauder

Anchorage, AK

#100423 Feb 19, 2013
Foo is from punjab wrote:
<quoted text>
HEY !
How dare you interupt todays lesson on Punjabi.
You rude rude man !
Get out of here.
FU you FOO

Since: Dec 10

Perth, Australia

#100424 Feb 19, 2013
Guppy wrote:
<quoted text>
I know you are lying when you say, we have "nearly" as many gun shops as drug stores. So they are NOT right. Can you prove it?
You are not credible.
You're just being silly and you know it.
You are obsessed by America and Americans. No, you can't live here.
You are being a particularly ignorant American today...or as I like to refer to you yanks, pedantic....I did not state anything simply correcting your error fish. You declared in the dateline story that they the comentator said "there was as MANY gun shops" etc, where they actually said there are "NEARLY as many gun shops".....see the difference? They were right and you were wrong, simple...Now nearly as many does not imply a figure as that could be debated and not so irrelevant to the facts as your point seems to be, you got it wrong sweetie, deal with it! Try reading or at least listening so next time you not be so American eh?
Foo is from punjab

Noida, India

#100425 Feb 19, 2013
The sun dips, the cattle low as they are driven back to the farms and a telephone rings with a Bollywood soundtrack tone. Tujinder Singh is calling the sarpanch – the elected head – of Manochahal, his native village 30 miles from India's western border.

The conversation – about crops, prices, weather and mendacious middlemen – is like a million or so similar early-evening calls placed by farmers across south Asia. Except that the land that Singh is now tilling is in Georgia, the small mountain nation in the Caucasus.

Singh, 38, is one of a new wave of farmers pioneering one of the world's more unlikely migrations. During a recent spell as a cook in Düsseldorf, Germany, he heard about thousands of acres of fertile land on former collective farms lying fallow in Georgia for want of manpower.

The contrast with his native Punjab, with its surging population and high land prices, was striking. So two months ago, he and three friends flew from Amritsar to Tbilisi, the Georgian capital, to seal a deal for the lease of 50 hectares. Back for a short break and some tandoori chicken, Singh said he was very happy with the move, even if he remains slightly vague about the geography of his new home.

"We are paying $950 [£580] for each hectare for a 99-year lease. You'd not get much for that in the Punjab. I'm not sure if the farm is in the north or south but it is sort of over by Turkey and Armenia," he said.
Foo is from Punjab

Pune, India

#100427 Feb 19, 2013
It will take more than one short article to tell what the Lahore-based Institute of Public Policy (IPP), Beaconhouse National University, calls the “Punjab story”. This is the subtitle of the institute’s fifth annual report launched on May 2, in Lahore. As has been the practice in the past five years since the institution’s founding in the fall of 2006, the annual reports come in two parts. The first deals with the state of the economy at the time of the writing of a particular year’s report. In each year, since the first report was published in the spring of 2008, the mood of the authors has become progressively more sombre and their predictions for the future of the economy increasingly dire. This year, they have concluded that the economy may be heading towards another major crisis unless remedial action is taken by those who currently hold the reins of power in Islamabad and the four provincial capitals.

The other important recent development in Pakistan is the devolution of considerably greater executive authority to the provinces. This happened as a result of the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution in 2010, which was preceded by the announcement of the Seventh Award by the National Finance Commission (NFS) in late 2009. The NFS has significantly increased the flow of resources from the centre to the provinces. The Eighteenth Amendment has greatly expanded the scope of provincial operations, making it possible for them to do what could not be done under the previous constitutional dispensation.
Foo is from Punjab

Pune, India

#100428 Feb 19, 2013
It is for this reason that we in the IPP thought that it would make a good deal of sense to start writing the provincial development stories. In the report for 2012, we tell the Punjab story which will be followed in the coming years by the stories of other provinces. It made sense to start with Punjab. It is the largest province in the federation in terms of the share in population as well as in the national product. It is also the most important gateway to India as the trade between the two long-feuding nations is revived after a lapse of almost six decades.

A trip to the Wagah border is a good indication of the interest the city’s citizens have in the opportunities that will become available once trade begins to flow without many hindrances. Every late afternoon, thousands of Lahore’s citizens take the trip to the border with India to watch the elaborately choreographed ‘changing of guards’ ceremony.

That this show will become a part of the history is shown by the massive infrastructural development at a stone’s throw from the old border. A new gateway has been constructed there to facilitate trade between both countries. As we drove to the old border to watch the change of guard ceremony, we saw scores of trucks laden with Pakistani gypsum to be taken across the border to feed India’s growing appetite for cement. We were told that a convoy of trucks was also waiting on the Indian side bringing in fresh agricultural produce to Pakistan. The composition of this trade will change enormously as the current restrictions on trade are removed. This will happen as the two countries continue to press for the normalisation of economic and trade relations among them.
Foo is from Punjab

Pune, India

#100429 Feb 19, 2013
Punjab is the province that is likely to be affected the most by this development. This development along with the process of devolution of economic authority to the provinces is the reason why the IPP decided to focus our attention on provincial development. The Punjab story is also important since it provides a menu of options for the policymakers to take full advantage of provincial dynamics to rescue the Pakistani economy from the current slump and hence, it is the focus of the IPP’s 2012 report. What the story is, will be the subject for the next few columns in this space.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 7th, 2012
Foo is from Punjab

Pune, India

#100430 Feb 19, 2013
I needed to do this for the people of my village and nearby villages. And the book also became my way of remembering a very dear daughter.

The Jaijee ancestral village falls in Munak subdivision. Farmer suicides began to surface back in the late ‘80s and at first it seemed that the increase might be just coincidental.

But one factor after another began to weigh in – successive years of crop loss on account of bad weather, cotton crop lost several years in a row because of American boll weevil infestation, rapid increase in cost of seed, fertiliser and pesticide and fuel costs, sinking water-table, dependence on informal and exploitative sources of credit, and overall rapidly declining profitability – and it became apparent that farmers were being pushed deeper and deeper into debt and losing their land. The response to this spiral of personal and community distress was suicide. More and more people were killing themselves.

We began to note down the names and dates of suicide victims in 1988, starting with our own village and gradually including data from more villages until we were covering all 91 villages in Munak subdivision. As people came to know that we were recording this information they began to contact us on their own.
Foo is from Punjab

Pune, India

#100431 Feb 19, 2013
We started bringing this growing problem to the attention of senior political leaders, persons at the highest levels of government, the universities and the Reserve Bank of India. K.R. Narayanan, then President of India, was the first to whom we wrote and he responded sympathetically. At his instance, a series of inquiries were initiated.

Subsequently we wrote to President Dr APJ Abul Kalam. He praised our research as “comprehensive”. The Reserve Bank conducted its own inquiry which resulted in certain relief measures for those farmers under debt to banks. In 2003, Punjab Agriculture University Report made the following acknowledgement in its report:

“Inderjit Singh Jaijee, convener of the Movement Against State Repression (MASR… wrote in a letter to President K.R. Narayana stating that 93 poverty-driven suicides, which took place in a cluster of five villages in Sangrur district were the result of a lack of opportunities and economic injustice.” The PAU study dealt with the phenomena of suicides identifying causes and suggesting remedies, but did not try to find out how widespread the phenomena of suicides was or attempt to quantify the suicides.

At the time of Aman’s (my daughter) unfortunate death in 2006, she was simultaneously involved in social work among families of rural suicide victims and pursuing her PhD from Panjab University. The book is based on her doctoral research and has been compiled, expanded and edited by me.
Foo is from Punjab

Pune, India

#100432 Feb 19, 2013
OW: Punjab is considered a success story of India. Yet debt-driven farmer suicides show a high incidence compared to other states. Why is this issue then not getting the attention it deserves?

ISJ: The government does not wish to acknowledge suicides and instead of carrying out an honest assessment, it has been handing out research assignments to small research units lacking the resources to carry out a state-level census. These studies are directed more toward finding the reasons for suicides rather than finding the level of suicides which would indicate the seriousness of the problem. These institutions are largely dependent on government assignments and therefore are careful not to rubbish the government position.

Concealment is also effected by the deliberate misinformation put out the Revenue and Police Departments. Three Deputy Commissioners of Sangrur, Bathinda, and Mansa respectively and SDM, Munak, on a single day declared to the press that there were no cases of suicides in their respective districts. There was obviously pressure from the administration to downplay suicides, perhaps because of compensation implications.

There are several reasons why the state government and particularly the police, are reluctant to come out with an honest enumeration. During the period of Punjab militancy (1984-1994), there were a large number of unrecorded killings and reports of disappearances and cremation of unidentified bodies at various state crematoriums. Recording cause of death in the death and birth register would place the police in a difficult situation. That is why post mortem of unnatural deaths is not mandatory unless there is a police case.

Another reason why suicides go unreported is that suicide is a penal offence. Families are afraid to disclose a suicide.

OW: What are the main economic and political factors responsible for the rising debts in rural Punjab?

ISJ: One of the primary reasons is the policy failure at the Union level. The responsibility for suicide deaths lies with the centre; nearly all cases of suicide in rural Punjab involve persons who were heavily in debt.

Central policies with regard to agricultural prices are largely responsible for the pauperisation of rural Punjab. However, many other Central policies play a role in crippling the state. The book attempts to analyse these policies and show their consequences at the grassroots level.

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