Gandhi is quite the interesting character. Between being a pinnacle of non-violence in India and subjecting himself to torture through young women, he certainly had a unique life and outlook.
But let’s take a quick moment to analyze his views on violence.
Gandhi on Firearms and Gun Control
In reality, Gandhi did not oppose the use of violence in certain circumstances, regarding that avoidance as nothing more than “cowardice and submission“.
Even though Gandhi’s spiritual philosophy of ahimsa rejects violence, it permits the use of violent force if a person is not courageous enough to use nonviolence.
Gandhi regarded weakness as the lowest human flaw, and would rather see a person use violent force in self-defense than be passive.
His attitude stemmed in part from the British view at the time that Indians were a “weak” people.
This also explains why Gandhi encouraged Indians to serve alongside the British in war.
He believed such military service would give Indians, as Brock explains, “‘an opportunity to prove their mettle’ and disprove the allegations frequently made by Europeans that they were mostly cowards.”
So, under Gandhi’s philosophy, he was perfectly fine with violence if the individual was not courageous enough to use nonviolence.
Because to do nothing, to be passive, is the lowest option available.
Thus, while Gandhi had never shot a firearm, it is likely his philosophy would not disprove of it under certain circumstances.
Why does this matter? Well, it doesn’t matter, necessarily. Gandhi wasn’t some divine prophet of God. Nor was he an exceptionally good character, regardless of what the Western media portrays him as.
But I find it important because both sides of the political aisle seem to utilize him as a tool.
He wasn’t in favor of guns being everywhere, but he also was not against personal self defense.
Gandhi shouldn’t be used as a tool for either side’s political arguments. Whether pro-gun or anti.
Still, at the end of the day, at least he wasn’t weak. Like many of the anti-gunners.