Max Fisher: A land without guns — how Japan has virtually eliminated shooting deaths
Our take: In a July 23, 2012 article at The Atlantic, writer Max Fisher explored how, in part by forbidding almost all forms of firearm ownership, Japan has as few as two gun-related homicides in a year.
"What is the role of guns in Japan, the developed world's least firearm-filled nation and perhaps its strictest controller?" the article asked. "In 2008, the U.S. had over 12 thousand firearm-related homicides. All of Japan experienced only 11, fewer than were killed at the Aurora shooting alone. And that was a big year: 2006 saw an astounding two, and when that number jumped to 22 in 2007, it became a national scandal. By comparison, also in 2008, 587 Americans were killed just by guns that had discharged accidentally.
"Almost no one in Japan owns a gun. Most kinds are illegal, with onerous restrictions on buying and maintaining the few that are allowed. Even the country's infamous, mafia-like Yakuza tend to forgo guns; the few exceptions tend to become big national news stories.
"Japanese tourists who fire off a few rounds at the Royal Hawaiian Shooting Club would be breaking three separate laws back in Japan — one for holding a handgun, one for possessing unlicensed bullets, and another violation for firing them — the first of which alone is punishable by one to ten years in jail. Handguns are forbidden absolutely. Small-caliber rifles have been illegal to buy, sell, or transfer since 1971. Anyone who owned a rifle before then is allowed to keep it, but their heirs are required to turn it over to the police once the owner dies."
- Fact check: Obama's claims on illegal...
- Winners and losers under Obama's immigration...
- Investigators may have recovered up to 30,000...
- Ice snarls Michigan roadways, airport runways
- Consumer group lists '10 worst toys' for kids
- Redistribution of homes begins in Utah FLDS town
- Q&A with President Henry B. Eyring, Elder L....
- 6.8 earthquake in Japan collapses homes,...
- President Obama's immigration reforms... 63
- Utah members of Congress slam Obama's... 55
- Obama to announce immigration action... 30
- Pastors opposed to same-sex marriage... 27
- Q&A with President Henry B. Eyring,... 22
- Fact check: Obama's claims on illegal... 18
- President Obama's immigration speech... 14
- Boehner: 'We will not stand idle' on... 14