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

Pune, India

#100433 Feb 19, 2013
The causes for Punjab farmers’ distress are not difficult to identify:

a) Punjab is unjustly deprived of its rightful share of river waters. Punjab’s river water has been diverted to the states of Haryana, Rajasthan, J&K and Delhi. This results in inadequate water supply to the state, a shortfall in value terms, loss of land, and incurs costs of repairing canals.

b) Punjab’s rights under riparian law are violated. Punjab’s river water was diverted to Rajasthan and Haryana in violation of national and international riparian law through coercive agreements. As Rajasthan started drawing more and more water, Punjab was worst affected by scarcity at the tail-end of the canal system where supply of irrigation water has been drastically reduced. These water-scarce areas coincide with the suicide-prone areas. The diversion of this water has caused loss to Punjab agriculture that runs into astronomical figures.

c) Punjab does not fully benefit from electricity generated by its rivers. As a result, the state depends on costly thermal power generation and tube well irrigation. Its water table is sinking, and requires frequent deepening of tube wells. Salinity of subsoil water is worsening.

d) Unfavourable price structure for crops and inputs. Decades of unrealistically low government-set minimum support prices (MSP) and high input costs. The cost recovery from agriculture is just 80% of the investment. Consumers of other states have been subsidised at Punjab farmers’ cost over many years. Punjab and Haryana combined contribute approximately 67% of all wheat procured in India. Overall contribution (all grains) comes to around 60%. The largest producers are automatically the largest sufferers.

e) Restriction on trade. Following the tragedy of partition, Punjab lost a significant economic resource. Reopening the border with Pakistan would not only allow Punjab to benefit from favourable terms for agricultural products, it would also benefit Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Haryana in particular and India in general.

f) Land ceiling. Although land ceiling is a state subject, Central government through its ruling Congress party in Punjab imposed ceiling of 17.5 standard acres. Growth in agricultural landholding is impossible due to fragmentation, and non-profitability. Holdings have declined drastically. 75% holdings are below 2 hectares.
Foo is from Punjab

Pune, India

#100434 Feb 19, 2013
g) Inadequate availability of credit at affordable interest rate. Seventy percent of farm loans are advanced by non-institutional lenders at high interest rates. Only about 30% are advanced by institutional lenders (banks, co-op societies) at regulated rate of interest. Interest rate for institutional finance has been 16-18%; in contrast, non-institutional loans carry an interest rate of 40-60%.

Village land is rapidly passing from the hands of the farmers to the arthiyas and money-lenders. Men whose forefathers tilled the same fields for generations are now forced to sell their land, often to settle “debts” that may be illegal, entirely fraudulent or even non-existent.

h) Lack of direct subsidies to farmers. According to a former Union Minister for Agriculture, Som Nath,“the total volume of subsidies available to farmers in India is just 10%, which is peanuts compared to what is available to the agriculturally and industrially advanced countries— 60% of farmers received no subsidies in any form”.

i) Promotion of unsuitable corporate farming. Even if agriculture flourishes under corporate management, the agriculturists themselves would be dispossessed and impoverished. Corporate farming also will mean outflow of money from the state, and perhaps even the nation. At this stage the impoverished farmers are not in a position to purchase land. On the other hand, the arthiyas and corporate sector are more likely to acquire what land the farmers have left.

j) Agricultural research/extension effort. The Center provided research money for high-yielding hybrid varieties but not enough for improving grain quality. Punjab was pushed to become the breadbasket of India and this policy helped so long as international grain prices ruled higher than domestic prices. The increase in domestic production and fall in international prices resulted in greater consumer selectivity in grain purchase.

k) Failure to promote industry. In order to convert Punjab into the granary of India, the Center denied the state heavy industry. The state’s vulnerability on account of its location on the border with Pakistan was used to justify this denial. Punjab has missed out on value addition for its agricultural produce.

l) Failure to provide education. The areas of Punjab most affected by suicides are also the areas having the lowest literacy rates. Literacy figures for Lehra block are 29%, for Andana block is 28%, and Budhlada block is 28%
Foo is from Punjab

Pune, India

#100435 Feb 19, 2013
Low literacy means severely restricted life opportunities. As farming income nosedives, the people of these areas are unequipped to take up any other livelihood except labour.

m) Lack of crop insurance. For the past 50 years the government has been promising farmers crop insurance. Till such time, the state must increase ad hoc relief to farmers to Rs 10,000 per acre for wheat and paddy and disburse it well in time.

n) Continuance of caste-based programmes. Instead of bringing more and more groups under the category of Scheduled Caste, abolish caste-based assistance and adopt economic status as the criteria for uplift programmes. All poor people, regardless of their caste, deserve such a move.

OW: Do you see growing consumerism as contributing to the situation?

ISJ: Like people in cities, villagers are also exposed to modern media such as films and television. What they see makes them aspire to more affluent life styles. When they realise that their chances of actually ever enjoying such a life are very slim, it often demoralises them. Punjab has been the granary of India and an example of rural prosperity. To be reduced to debt and stringency is hard indeed.

On the other hand, their own traditional culture has waned under the impact of a consumerist society and pauperisation. Disintegration of social support institutions such as family, kinship, panchayats, etc. have left the poor people in a state of all round despair and helplessness. Division and fragmentation of farmers’ movements has led to a situation in which instead of finding a solution in a collective way, individuals are left to fend for themselves. There is no one to share their misery and they become loners in their last days. One once heard happy songs in rural Punjab, now the only songs left are dirges.

OW: What are your future plans for your NGO Movement Against State Repression?
Foo is from Punjab

Pune, India

#100436 Feb 19, 2013
ISJ: MASR’s one-point programme is to keep hammering this issue until some actual on-the-ground remedial measures are implemented. We don’t want just a bandage here and a bandage there. At village level we continue to mobilise support for widows and orphans who are in dire need.
Within just a couple of months voters of Punjab will go to the polls, so we must ensure that candidates of all parties are compelled to face the problem of rural suicides. Since the Congress party is hoping to recapture power we will try very hard to bring both state level and national level political leaders face-to-face with this issue.
Suicide is violence turned inward upon oneself. The direction of this violence may change. A day may come when violence erupts outward. Then the rural people will be accused of revolting against the state and all the forces of the state will be unleashed against them. How much better it would be to prevent this by giving justice to the rural community.
The states too are growing increasingly restive. Increasingly Central government diktat is being questioned not just by Punjab but by many states. India’s Prime Minister speaks again and again of inclusive development but the states look at their position vis-à-vis the Centre and conclude that what he means is that they may be included, but only as third class passengers with the PM driving the train.
Inderjeet Singh Jaijee has been a long serving advocate of people's rights and dignity in the Punjab region. In 1985 he was elected to the Punjab Legislative Assembly; he has served as President of the Indian Minority and Dalit Front; has worked for more than 15 years with the Movement Against State Repression (MASR); and is a founding member of the Rescue and Revival mission of the Baba Nanak Educational Society.
Guppy

Bloomfield Hills, MI

#100437 Feb 19, 2013
Ahomana wrote:
<quoted text>
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?
You are skirting the issue.
Nearly means almost. So to say there are almost as many gun shops as drug stores is a lie. Your tv station lied. They made it up. And now you are grasping at straws. It makes you look silly and desperate to prove a point. Is that an Australian thing?
I'm waiting for you to tell me how many gun shops vs how many drug stores there are. Even if you knew you wouldn't say, because you can't bear the thought of being wrong.
You're insecurity is laughable.
I want to be American. You do too. It's a shame because you will never be allowed. Maybe you could move to China, that is if they will accept you.
So you are wrong once again. Don't be so hard on yourself, it happens to pathetic people all the time.
Wise up.
Guppy

Bloomfield Hills, MI

#100438 Feb 19, 2013
Ahoma sounds like a woman on the edge.

She's probably an American pretending to be Australian.

And she owns at least one gun.

And she wears camp.

And she needs hormone replacement.
Guppy

Bloomfield Hills, MI

#100439 Feb 19, 2013
camo
GoGoBar

Chiang Mai, Thailand

#100440 Feb 19, 2013
There are more gunshops than McDonalds in America.

It is hard to say which kills more people.
But the gun stores are having to sell much larger calibre firearms and deadlier ammunition to provide defense against the obese.

Perhaps this is a new form of evolution.

Since: Apr 11

Location hidden

#100441 Feb 19, 2013
GoGoBar wrote:
There are more gunshops than McDonalds in America.
It is hard to say which kills more people.
But the gun stores are having to sell much larger calibre firearms and deadlier ammunition to provide defense against the obese.
Perhaps this is a new form of evolution.
Source?
GoGoBar

Chiang Mai, Thailand

#100442 Feb 19, 2013
HollybytheSea wrote:
<quoted text>Source?
Multiple Google. 50,000 are retail but there are another 80,000 licenced dealers also.
GoGoBar

Chiang Mai, Thailand

#100445 Feb 19, 2013
Foo wrote:
<quoted text>
F/uck off back to your gay GoGOBar you piece of shit.
Why do you feel compelled to keep coming back here ?
Lookout! A tough Phoo. Still a virgin? Yep.

Since: Apr 11

Location hidden

#100448 Feb 19, 2013
GoGoBar wrote:
<quoted text>
Multiple Google. 50,000 are retail but there are another 80,000 licenced dealers also.
I did google it. I was shocked at the numbers. Thank you.
GoGoBar

Chiang Mai, Thailand

#100449 Feb 19, 2013
Foo wrote:
<quoted text>
Still posting the same mindless repeatative shit all day long ? yep
Repeatative. Yep

Since: Dec 10

Perth, Australia

#100450 Feb 19, 2013
Guppy wrote:
<quoted text>
You are skirting the issue.
Nearly means almost. So to say there are almost as many gun shops as drug stores is a lie. Your tv station lied. They made it up. And now you are grasping at straws. It makes you look silly and desperate to prove a point. Is that an Australian thing?
I'm waiting for you to tell me how many gun shops vs how many drug stores there are. Even if you knew you wouldn't say, because you can't bear the thought of being wrong.
You're insecurity is laughable.
I want to be American. You do too. It's a shame because you will never be allowed. Maybe you could move to China, that is if they will accept you.
So you are wrong once again. Don't be so hard on yourself, it happens to pathetic people all the time.
Wise up.
You ARE an idiot as most people(even your own kind attest to quite regularly on this forum) and seeing I never did anything other than correct you it is up to you to say sorry, you were wrong, get it! Shop shut you dimwitted yank! So in closing there is nothing to prove unless you feel a need.

Since: Feb 11

Cambridge, UK

#100451 Feb 20, 2013
Guppy wrote:
<quoted text>
You are skirting the issue.
Nearly means almost. So to say there are almost as many gun shops as drug stores is a lie. Your tv station lied. They made it up. And now you are grasping at straws. It makes you look silly and desperate to prove a point. Is that an Australian thing?
I'm waiting for you to tell me how many gun shops vs how many drug stores there are. Even if you knew you wouldn't say, because you can't bear the thought of being wrong.
You're insecurity is laughable.
I want to be American. You do too. It's a shame because you will never be allowed. Maybe you could move to China, that is if they will accept you.
So you are wrong once again. Don't be so hard on yourself, it happens to pathetic people all the time.
Wise up.
That's a pretty aggresive responce Guppy,,, your normally so jolly.

Since: Feb 11

Cambridge, UK

#100452 Feb 20, 2013
Ahomana wrote:
<quoted text>
If I don't respond to your post it is because you become pedantic even when a point is proven ie: the fruit cake with nuts in it, you failed to take it's meaning where I was saying you are insane. Note it's origins which are British, assuming you are one. Maybe this will clear it up, as you don't seem to want to take the womens cookbook bible as gospel.
Please take note what it says before you respond as it proves beyond doubt that fruit cakes can and do include nuts.....:)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fruit_cake
There is good reason to be pedantic, I understood your implication and handed it back to you. I know the origins of the recipe are British, I have allready said as much.
The point I have tried to get across to you and you are determined to fail to understand is this, your book is wrong, my book is wrong, they are all wrong. Now I did mention the law, you have had ample oppourtunity to make me look a fool by presenting a few case studies on the subject.
Unlike yourself or your pal Ade, I and many others find the definition of words and the context in which they are used of some importance. I have made a point here that you either deliberatley cannot see or just miss,we all suffer from the odd bout of human error even you Pet.the cake has nothing to do with anything and is unimportant. The subject (RIGHTS) is a different matter.

Your assumption that I am British is correct,,but then I have pointed this out on several occasions when called a Yank.

Since: Dec 10

Perth, Australia

#100453 Feb 20, 2013
spider1954 wrote:
<quoted text>
There is good reason to be pedantic, I understood your implication and handed it back to you. I know the origins of the recipe are British, I have allready said as much.
The point I have tried to get across to you and you are determined to fail to understand is this, your book is wrong, my book is wrong, they are all wrong. Now I did mention the law, you have had ample oppourtunity to make me look a fool by presenting a few case studies on the subject.
Unlike yourself or your pal Ade, I and many others find the definition of words and the context in which they are used of some importance. I have made a point here that you either deliberatley cannot see or just miss,we all suffer from the odd bout of human error even you Pet.the cake has nothing to do with anything and is unimportant. The subject (RIGHTS) is a different matter.
Your assumption that I am British is correct,,but then I have pointed this out on several occasions when called a Yank.
I suppose you are an experienced enough cook to bring out your own cookbook and put all those other naughty cooks back in their places I can't wait to see your version for a fruit cake? I am never wrong arachnid, as I proved with that wonderful CWA recipe for fruit cake with nuts and a encyclopedia that claimed fruit cakes are made using fruit and nuts etc....just thought I would mention that again as you have a hard time adjusting to the truth of it even to the point of saying they are all wrong, which is irrelevant as the original post asked me to produce a recipe with them in it and guess what, I did. Bummer for you.
MALBARcaccaPunja bi

Pune, India

#100454 Feb 20, 2013
I smell of PUNJABI
The Fixers

San Jose, CA

#100455 Feb 20, 2013
MALBARcaccaPunjabi wrote:
I smell of PUNJABI
We know now piss off back to your HINDUSTINK forum.
MALBARcaccaPunja bi

Pune, India

#100456 Feb 20, 2013
The Fixers wrote:
<quoted text>
We know now piss off back to your HINDUSTINK forum.
Can you come and fix my bum ?
Its broken.
And my Punjab doctor is busy pooing and cant come to fix it.

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