Tigher Gun Control

In Japan.

As many as 320,000 guns for hunting and sporting competitions are legally owned in Japan. Within the five years leading up to 2007, there were 19 cases of murder or attempted murder involving legally owned firearms.

Also fresh in our memory is an incident in which a rifle accidentally went off at a doctor’s house in Tokyo, killing a 2-year-old child.

I’m actually surprised there’s that many in legal possession.  But still, 20 incidents out of 320,000?  The interesting thing is they are tightening their requirements for rifles and shotguns to look more like ours.

The law revisions are aimed at broadening the scope of these disqualification clauses. Past offenders of stalking crimes and domestic violence as well as those who committed heinous offenses without guns will be barred from owning firearms. It goes without saying that such people should never be allowed to own guns.

I would have figured they already had their own “Lautenberg”.  But before you go thinking this measure will be enough.

We think the system should be changed so that guns and ammunition are not controlled by individuals, but stored in specified locations except for those occasions when they are to be used. If a firearm is not in constant proximity, it would be difficult to use it rashly in a fit of rage.

The NPA did consider this idea, but shelved it on grounds it is too difficult to implement at this stage. This is because existing gun depositories can store only 30,000 guns.

Because the people who own these things are obviously steaming kettles just waiting to boil over.  Centralized storage is something I’ve heard from gun phobic people here as well.  Fortunately, it’s very impractical, but you do hear it.

After the Sasebo shooting, more than 5,000 people throughout the country returned their gun ownership permits voluntarily. In some cases, the police persuaded registered owners to return their permits, citing reasons such as “problems with neighbor” or “advanced age.” A systematic structure is necessary to catch the warning signs of someone likely to commit a crime, and revoking gun permits even after they have been issued.

It’s a very different culture, for sure.  One where the needs of society are put before the rights of the individual, and where individuals can be shamed out of gun ownership.  It is not America’s culture.  It should never be America’s culture.

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