Brahmanas, Keep Arms
There is news in Akila of 25 Jan 99. 1008 Sri Vitthaleshvaranandaji Maharaj of Sanyasa Ashram, Mumbai Parla advised brahmanas gathered for a mass marriage ceremony to keep arms for self protection.
To carry arms and protect the society and self is the duty of Kshatriyas, not brahmanas. As Krishna has said in Gita, Brahmanas are the spiritual guide to the society. They study scriptures and teach others how to practice religion correctly.
But in emergency situations, sometimes Brahmanas can act as kshatriyas. For example, Chanakya (Kautilya) was a brahmana, but also knew how to use weapons.
My wish is that the kshatriya class should protect brahmanas and others, and the brahmanas should train kshatriyas. However, ultimately, the fact is that security, safety, and quality are the responsibilities of every one. So, I think there is nothing wrong to keep arms for protection if the situation calls for it. Then, one should know (get well trained) how to use the weapon, when to use it, and when not. Also one needs to ensure that the weapon does not go in the hands of children, fools and enemies.
If a sanyasi guru advises brahmanas to carry arms, then the situation in Mumbai must be really serious. Let us pray for peace, but strength and unity. Jai Sri Krishna!