At the Jewish outreach centre, bystanders pelted the terrorists with stones in a vain attempt to ward off the attack, but had to retreat when the terrorists opened fire with automatic rifles. Our citizens were trying to ward off the terrorists with stones! I cannot think of a more extreme example of how helpless the government has rendered it's own citizens. In the absence of guns, and thus incapable of offering any resistance, they were simply like lambs to the slaughter. On that fateful day, this was a story repeated again and again all over Mumbai: unarmed civilians, slow & inept emergency services, and mindless slaughter of innocents.
But we live in a democracy; hence at the end of the day it is each one of us who is to blame. It is we the people who must ask our representatives hard questions; it is we who must bring the right to bear arms to the forefront of the political agenda. We have the power to effect change through our votes and with elections just a few months away, let us not forget the lessons of Mumbai, let us not forget those that lost their lives there, many of who could have been saved if just a few of us were armed.
As citizens it is incumbent on us to make sure we don't allow another tragedy like Mumbai to take place. As free men and women it is our responsibility to take measures to protect ourselves as best we can, using the best available tools and it's high time we demanded them as a right!
Abhijeet Singh is a software engineer and business manager. He is a chess buff and competitive rifle-shooting champion. He has lived and worked in Mumbai, and currently resides in New Delhi.
Read Singh's full commentary here.