"Among the many misdeeds of British rule in India, history will look
upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest."
An Autobiography, Part V, Chapter XXVII, pg 446
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- Anonymous 
Even one of the worlds most renowned individuals for having a peaceful nature and promoting non-violence recognized the benefit of an armed populace.
 -- Mike, Norwalk
I will definitely check this one out...
 -- Robert, Sarasota
Not a believer in Liberty there Robert? You seem to always question anything pro-individual owership of weapons. Personally it is irrellevant if he said it. It is in fact a true statement.
 -- helorat, Milton
How typical, to look at gun ownership as more important than how people are treated as human beings... sad... and so explains the high death rates in the US from gun violence... those guns are far more important than the people that get killed by them. (And no, I am not talking about animal hunting weapons or target shooting weapons, I'm talking about tools ment to kill people.)
 -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US
AfR you've missed the point entirely. It is when the nobility of individual life and the love of sovereign liberty is taken away by concepts such as the dole, socialism, fascism, a welfare state, etc. people become selfish and carnally brutal, one to another, using any implement or tool available to act out their depleted state. To support gun ownership is to treat each individual as the highest nobility of the land, even when a few abuse the perception.
 -- Mike, Norwalk
The master of non-violent, non-cooperation with evil was not against an armed populace. His revolutionary tactics were for promoting self-reliance of the Indian people. His many acts of rebellion included Indians making their own salt, dye, clothes, refusing to carry British permits, boycotting, etc. with non-violence as the basis. Switzerland, for example, maintains an armed populace and has nearly zero gun-related crime -- of course they are maintaining a republic, not a socialist democracy.
 -- E Archer, NYC
Well folks, it is an absolute pity that the country that first espoused the idea of an armed citizentry against the threat of tyranny (England) is in the state it is today. Ignoble, brutal, and in sad decay. The US public must do everything in it's power to root out the proponets of civiil disarmament. Even if it causes bloodshed and economic chaos in the short term, it will preserve our republic for the next 200 years.
 -- Eric Engstrom, Wichita, KS
Reston, Human Beings ewith guns are usually treated better than the disarmed kind. While Ghandi is an absolute loon most of the time, he seem to have had his moments of clarity. www.eugeneunderground.blogspot.com
 -- Bob, Eugene OR
Quote seems to check out ok. Although the context was the governmental recruiting campaign, Gandhi notes that if the Indian middle class became part of the Indian Army the ban on gun ownership would be lifted, and this apparently was thought good. Having been to India more than once, whether gun ownership is for them right now is debatable. They don't have law enforcement that is strong enough to handle large scale gun violence, but nor do they have the ability to protect individual citizens. Mob violence is a problem in a way it wouldn't be if mobs feared their victims could be armed. Either way, it seems Gandhi had a pragmatic bone in his body even as a pacifist. Apparently he knows the presence of the mechanisms of force is not the same thing as the presence of violence. They may afford the presence of justice and counter certain forms of corruption and oppression.
 -- Anonymous, Lynn Haven, FL
I can't believe Gandhi said this!
 -- Anonymous
you cannot separate target and hunting wapons from other firearms. today it's your . today they'll take your ar-15, cause it's like the m16(only won't fire burt or full) then your hunting rifle will become a "sniper" rifle. your .50bmg is too big and loud. your target 22 is too small and quiet. it will never end. the police have no obligation to save you. the government will take every thing that you give them. give thim nothing.
 -- brandon in iraq, b-dad
The right to defend life precedes the authority of the government.
 -- Anonymous
I read a piece where someone said this quote was from Ghandi's reaction to Britain refusing to induct Indians into the military in WWI. Supposedly the Brits didn't want them learning military skills that could lead to their independence. This researcher did not believe that this quote was about individuals owning firearms. My response to this: "Note that Ghandi and the British alike know that an armed country is an independent country."
 -- Kiahsobyk, Pueblo, CO
 -- Markx, dayton 
Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, and communist China all had one thing in common. They all knew that in order to control their populations and carry out mass exterminations, their people had to be disarmed. Let's not forget that history repeats itself. Those atrocities did not occur that long ago, and they continue today in other unarmed nations around the world. Don't be a fool, defend your own life.
 -- anonymous
But do you need AR 15's and Gloks to do that?
 -- L. Hanson, Edmonton, Canada
Ghandi understood that basic liberty is always enforced by an armed population. Certainly the government isn't worried about your freedoms.
 -- J Carlton, Calgary
 -- jim k, Austin, Tx 
Yes Hanson, we do. At anytime we could end up as the "Freedom Fighters" in Syria.
 -- Cal, lewisville, TX
Head's up US Citizens. Both Houses are voting on the NDAA Indefinate Detention bill today. Call your Senators and Congressmen.
 -- J Carlton, Calgary
how true
 -- exlogger, Alaska
L Hanson, yes, that would be a start
 -- Mike, Norwalk
This quote is great to use against people who think they are the mommy and daddy of society 'keeping the children from hurting each other' without having the power (or even trying) to protect anyone from anyone. These tend to throw the name 'Ghandi' around thinking they're being righteous, while they unknowingly shill for the murderous western Empires to rule at whim; the very people Ghandi fought.
 -- Jos, Groningen
He said it. He meant it. The parsers will post ragtime trying to turn it into something other than what he meant. My words to them, "Deal with it."
 -- D.C. al Fine, Boston
Do you people even check numbers and facts?
While the US is number one in gun ownership we are 28th in murders per 100,000. If you remove the numbers of the 20 largest cities in the country that number drops dramatically. Chicago alone is responsible for about 5% of the country's homicides, and 80% of those are gang related(as stated by the police chief there) killings. How funny is it that legislation happened in an instant for assault weapons, which affect about 1 in every million people here. Yet it takes forever to effect legislation to stop us from over borrowing to make up for the trillion plus deficit that affects every single US citizen. Get the facts and the numbers. Use the FBI's UCR statistics, read more, watch and listen less.
 -- Eric Patroni, Philadelphia
The sad thing is We still have the same arms act which was there in British rule and all the goons have guns and ordinary civilians fear them.
 -- gunloverIndianwithoutgun, India
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