@AC (2008-12-11 01:12 GMT)
No, I'm not kidding.
1. If the magnitude of this tragedy might have been reduced by firearms in the hands of private people then now is the perfect time and the Mumbai attack the perfect platform to make my point.
2. A world-renowned advocate of private ownership of firearms was, in fact, an Indian: Mahatma Mohandas K. Gandhi. "Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest." See Gandhi, An Autobiography, p. 446 (Beacon Press paperback edition)
3. You complain that I have not provided a source for saying that Indian law enforcement refused to engage but then fail conveniently to provide a source for your claim that the U.S. "has more urban gun crime and related fatalities than the rest of the world put together."
Here's mine: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1862839,00.html
"Sebastian d'Souza, a photographer from the Mumbai Mirror who took the chilling pictures of one of the terrorists training his weapons on Mumbai's main railway station, watched the attack from a train carriage. 'There were armed policemen hiding all around the station but none of them did anything,' he said he told the Independent. 'I told some policemen the gunmen had moved towards the rear of the station but they refused to follow them.'"
Where's yours, please? I agree that you should be offended, but it should be directed at those with the responsibility to act who refused to do so and not at the one pointing their failure out to you.
4. There are many reliable reports, police and otherwise, of armed civilians successfully defending themselves from armed attackers. Just how do you tell, in the excitement of the moment, whether your attacker would be regarded as a terrorist? What difference does it make in any case?
5. You do not have sufficient information, and you should know that you do not, to evaluate my degree of ignorance. El Reg's comment section is hardly the proper venue for much more reference material than I provide here in this post.