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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More Butt For Barr


Once again, Donald Trump is politicizing the Justice Department, just like he promised he would as a candidate.

Trump has given Attorney General William Barr sweeping authority to declassify information related to the Russian investigation. This move frightens the intelligence community. It endangers sources, methods, and threatens to manipulate the intelligence that’s been gathered for political means.

You may have hopes that William Barr will push this new authority to the side, wanting to respect the intelligence community and not use his position to play politics for Trump, but according to Trump, Barr asked for this authority.

Trump has Barr investigating the Russia investigation. They and other Republicans are upset that the Justice Department pursued leads on people who were in contact with the Russian government and being useful idiots for the Kremlin. These people were in the Trump campaign. Trump has called the investigation treason. According to Trump, it’s unpatriotic to go after our nation’s enemies when they’re in close contact with Trump.

Trump has constantly attacked the FBI and intelligence community since coming into office and has not been subtle in calling for the Justice Department to go after his political enemies. In the future, we’re going to need an investigation into the investigation into the investigation.

Usually, the Attorney General would prepare a report on a matter and ask senior leaders at the NSA, CIA, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and other agencies to declassify specific documents without harming the intelligence-gathering process. In this instance, he can do whatever he wants with the information without concern for who or what it hurts. He was given this authority by a man who gave Russians classified information in the Oval Office, obtained through an ally.

Trump is showing his ass. Currently, he’s in Japan showing our allies there his ass. These kind of moves, violating and abusing his power as president, are just a few of the many reasons his ass needs to be removed from the presidency.

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What kind of person would want to be part of something that disparages, slanders, and disrespects Dear Leader and his sycophantic followers? Hopefully, you. 
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North Korean Barbecue


I needed to take a break from drawing cartoons about Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and campaign 2016. A few of my clients will appreciate the break also. I’m going to attempt to make it two cartoons in a row as long as something incredibly stupid doesn’t happen on the campaign trail tomorrow.

The danger of Iran having nuclear weapons is they might be evil enough to use them. With North Korea it’s that they might be crazy enough. It would really suck to watch capitols obliterated because of a Seth Rogen movie. Those things have hurt enough people already.

The richter scale measurement from their fifth nuclear test shows their weapons are becoming more powerful. The biggest concern is their developing the technology to make their nukes small enough to put in missiles, even those fired from submarines.

While North Korea has over 800 ships in their navy they’re so limited that it’s virtually impossible for a ship on one coast to visit their other coast. But can they fire a nuclear missile that can reach Seoul, Tokyo, Honolulu, or even Seattle?

The U.S. and South Korea are ready to deploy an advanced anti-missile system in the South to counter the North’s missile threat. China and Russia both oppose this but screw those guys.

It might be time to look at options other than sanctions and flying U.S. B-1 bombers near the DPRK’s border. The United States removed their nuclear weapons from South Korea in 1991 after signing an agreement with the North to remove all nukes from the peninsula. Some in the South want them to return which is probably a better idea than the one Trump has, which is for South Korea and Japan to have their own.

The world doesn’t need another crazy dictator with access to nukes anymore than we need another Seth Rogen movie.

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This Friday President Obama will be the first sitting president to visit Hiroshima, the site where the United States dropped the first atomic bomb in act of war. They dropped a second one a few days later over Nagasaki.

A lot of Republicans will carry on the talking point that this is Obama’s continuation of his “Apology Tour.” That is a lie. You can fact check this if you want, but Obama has never apologized for the United States.

The visit by a U.S. president is a good thing. We should send a message that nuclear weapons should never be used again. While we lecture the rest of the world on nuclear weapons, we are still the only nation to ever use them on another nation.

There was a massive bombing campaign in World War II. It didn’t just target military complexes. Bombs were intentionally dropped on civilians. There were no innocent parties from the major nations in that war. We made Japan a nation of ember before we even dropped the first atomic bomb.

Ever since the end of that war there has been debate whether or not the bomb was necessary. Many people say it ended the war. Many also say it saved lives over a U.S. invasion, which could have killed millions of Americans and Japanese.

If you compare it to an invasion, yes dropping the atomic bomb cost fewer lives. But I don’t think we needed an invasion, or the bomb. Japan was blockaded. They had very few resources. At the time of their surrender they still had soldiers in Indonesia, Southeast Asia, China, Taiwan, Korea, and the Philippines, not to mention several islands we skipped over in the Pacific. Japan’s military complex was obliterated and they didn’t have the means to supply those troops. Their people at home were starving. They were basically going to defend their nation from an invasion by arming civilians, women and children, with pointy sticks. They were done and a surrender was imminent. Japan wanted to negotiate the terms, and we did not.

There’s a lot of disagreement on this but Japan surrendered, not because we dropped two bombs on them, but because the Soviet Union declared war on Japan and destroyed their army in Manchuria and Korea.

We are taught in American history that we won the war. Most people in Europe believe the Soviets won the war against Germany, not us. I know we’re taught we are the greatest nation on earth, but other nations have considerable influence also.

We didn’t lose the war, and we didn’t start it either, but we started the nuclear arms race. While the greatest generation sacrificed and won World War II, they also gave us decades of fear and school children conducting drills of hiding under their school desks. I grew up being told constantly that we had to worry about being nuked and I’d eventually see the Apocalypse. My son, born the year after the Soviet Union collapsed, never experienced that. Instead he had to worry about shoe bombs on planes and a gun nut warmed with an AK47 walking into his school. He also had to live through the Barney cartoon and NSync, but maybe that was more brutal to me than to him.

Japan has it written into their constitution that there will be never be nuclear weapons on their soil again. They are a nation with the capability to arm themselves with nukes but refuse. That’s a great example for the rest of the world.

Maybe Obama’s visit to the site of a nuclear nightmare can be a promise that it will never happen again. And maybe the next Republican president will actually be capable of pronouncing the word “nuclear.”

Did you like this cartoon? Want to help a cartoonist make a living? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through Paypal. I need to buy pens, paper, sandwiches, and dog food. The starving cartoonist and his Beagle appreciates it. If you’ve donated in the past, THANK YOU!!!

North Korea’s New Time Zone


You may have missed this story. North Korea has created it’s own time zone. This puts North Korea 30 minutes behind South Korea and Japan, thus adding to the centuries it’s behind the rest of the world. A lot of people consider this the North’s snub to Japan, who did brutalize Korea during it’s imperial run throughout Asia.

Korea’s time zone was set by Japan in 1910 when it colonized Korea. South Korea actually went back to this time zone between 1954 to 1961, then changed back because it worked better financially to have the same time zone as Japan. There is still some efforts to return South Korea to the former time zone.

North Korea doesn’t just have it’s own time zone. They have their own calendar. Instead of counting from the birth of Christ, they count from the birth of founding leader, Kim Il Sung. Kim was born in 1912 — known in North Korea as Juche 1, making this year Juche 104.

With this cartoon idea I needed 12 ideas. I had 12 but I thought I’d fish from a few friends to see if they had any suggestions. I sent out a text and a few made submissions and they all deserve shout outs as I have used a few of their submissions in here. The shout out will be the only compensation they’ll receive.

My friends who put their stamp in this cartoon is Chris Fink (we used to be in a band together) Gordon Johnson (the only guy in North America not on Twitter or Facebook and probably the most politically-knowledgeable person I know), Kenny Ellis (my ex wife’s husband and the only one with a Rodman suggestion), Bobby Hebert (we worked together at The Free Lance-Star and he’s a humor writer of sorts who I knew would take a crack at this), and Eric Hennessey (very creative guy, world traveler, Republican atheists and one of my best friends). I asked a few other people but they didn’t come through. I’ll probably get texts with excellent ideas from them tomorrow.

I didn’t troll my cartoon pals for ideas. I’m not that stupid.

And the “eat dog” part is my idea. It’s not a stereotype or insult toward Asians. It’s a they’re-starving-in-North Korea insult.

If you have any suggestions, leave a comment.