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More of India's women turning to guns as violence increases

Jason OverdorfGlobalPost.com

India's wealthy women are increasingly buying guns to protect themselves, as reports of rapes and other violent attacks on women grow more common in the local media, reports the Guardian's Jason Burke (aka "the other Jason").

One recent enthusiast is Anita Dhiman Dass, who lives in Ludhiana, a prosperous centre of trade and farming 80 miles west of Chandigarh. Dass, 46, got her first gun three years ago, has three weapons on her licence and says a Ruger .22 pistol is her favourite. "It's so light. I put it in my bag when I go shopping, to the mall, to the market or wherever. It is very necessary. There is so much robbery these days. They just snatch chains and bangles," she said.

Like Sidhu, Dass said carrying a gun made her feel secure. Her husband, Ishwar, runs a car dealership in the town. His collection of 11 weapons includes hunting rifles and vintage shotguns. Dass said a four-year-old grandson was now "very fond of guns" and the family's new puppy has been named "Sniper".

Burke's article provides an interesting update to my GlobalPost series on India's gun culture, India: Armed and Dangerous. As I suggested, people are increasingly turning to guns to cope with the breakdown of law and order and rapid economic changes that are putting more pressure on social ties. Look for an uptick in fatal accidents to go with the new "protection."