Japan is in shock over the assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. He was a towering figure in the nation having served as Prime Minister twice, stepping down both times for health reasons. He was shot while campaigning for the Liberal Democratic Party, which is actually the conservative party of Japan that consists of right-wing nationalists. Abe was the longest-serving Prime Minister in post-war history.
The nation isn’t just shocked over the assassination, which many are comparing to the assassination of JFK, but that he was murdered with a gun in broad daylight and that the shooter was able to get so close to him.
Japan has strict gun control laws and shootings are rare. Japan doesn’t have a gun-worshiping culture as we do here in the United States. Even the Yakuza, Japan’s mafia, refrains from using guns. Just one person was killed by gun violence in Japan in 2021. The United States has a much larger population than Japan, but it’s still lopsided that there were over 45,000 gun deaths here last year.
Japan has about 0.25 guns per 100 people and the U.S. has 125.5 guns per 100 people. Cops in Japan can deny gun ownership to a citizen just on suspicion he or she may do something dangerous. Gun control is so strict in Japan that it’s against the law to own a gun if you have declared bankruptcy.
Japan is a peaceful nation and even gunless homicides are rare with a rate of 0.26 per 100,000 people in 2020 while here in the United States, it was 7.5 per 100,000.
There are 12 steps to getting a gun in Japan. You have to join a hunting or shooting club, take a firearm class, pass a written exam and have at least a 95% accuracy in a shooting-range test, get a doctor’s note stating you are mentally fit and have no history of drug dependency, apply to take a full-day course in how to safely fire and store a gun, complete a police interview explaining why you want a firearm, pass a background check in which police review your criminal record, employment history, financial status and relationships with family/friends/neighbors, apply for a gunpowder permit, obtain a certificate from a gun dealer describing the gun you want, buy a gun safe and ammunition locker that meet safety regulations, allow the police to inspect your gun storage, and last but not least, conduct another background check.
After a Japanese civilian successfully purchases a gun, the police must inspect the gun annually and the owner must retake the class and a license renewal exam every three years. Most of the nation’s prefectures are limited to three gun stores each. In order for a gun owner to purchase new bullets, he must return the used rounds he bought during his last visit.
In the U.S, you basically just go to the gun store and point out the boom stick you want. The National Rifle Association would lose their shit if U.S. gun humpers had to go through even one of the steps gun owners have to take in Japan.
Japan is fine with us importing Big Macs and Whoppers, but they don’t want our gun fetish. Either do I. In fact, the rest of the world rejects our gun fetish. What’s our deal? Are we just a stupid simplistic nation? Probably. We did make Donald Trump president (sic).
Here, we refuse to get rid of guns even after mass shooting after mass shooting after mass shooting. We have chosen our gun fetish over the lives of children. Conservatives like to blame culture and they point out that gun violence this is extreme is fairly new, having increased just over the past 20 years or so…ignoring that the Assault Weapons Ban expired in 1994. Huh. I wonder if the increase in mass shootings since 1994 is somehow related to the expiration of that ban?
So, how did Abe’s killer get a gun in Japan? He didn’t buy it. He built it. Here in the U.S, you can buy a gun building kit without any sort of regulations getting in your way.
The gun used in Abe’s assassination looked like a barrel attached to a box with black electrical tape. Police found more guns and explosives at the killer’s home.
The United States is used as an example by gun-control proponents in other nations. Anytime a right-wing goon in another nation brings up a proposal to make owning a gun easier, his opponents bring up mass shootings in the USA.
Gun lovers here say you can’t compare us to other nations where they have very few gun deaths because those are extreme comparisons. But the fact is, we are the extreme comparison.
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