AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

“Mass murders just don’t happen in other countries,” they started saying. Then Christchurch happened. At that point, the tune changed to them claiming that mass murders are just a whole lot more common in the United States. The reason, they claim, is our lax gun laws. After all, it’s far easier to get a gun in California, New York, or New Jersey than it is to get one in Paris or London. Anti-gun activists claim that’s why mass killings are so much more common here.

However, I’ve long argued that guns aren’t required for mass murderers to commit their atrocities. For example, a 25-year-old man in Toronto killed ten people with a van.

Unfortunately, it seems no one counted that act. I wonder if they’ll count this one, then.

A man screaming “You die!” burst into an animation studio in Kyoto, doused it with a flammable liquid and set it on fire Thursday, killing 33 people in an attack that shocked the country and brought an outpouring of grief from anime fans.

Thirty-six others were injured, some of them critically, in a blaze that sent people scrambling up the stairs toward the roof in a desperate — and futile — attempt to escape what proved to be Japan’s deadliest fire in nearly two decades. Others emerged bleeding, blackened and barefoot.

The suspect, identified only a 41-year-old man who did not work for the studio, was injured and taken to a hospital. Police gave no details on the motive, but a witness told Japanese TV that the attacker angrily complained that something of his had been stolen, possibly by the company.

As of this writing, 33 people are dead. By the time you read this, more may have joined them. At least 36 others injured.

My thoughts and, yes, my prayers truly are with the families impacted by this horrible tragedy. What happened is absolutely horrific.

It also proves that even if you have almost no civilian ownership of firearms, maniacs can still find ways to kill dozens of people and injure dozens more. What can Japan do to address this? Universal background checks on flammable liquids and matches? I think we all know that’s not likely to happen.

So what then?

One would hope that people would come to understand that maniacs exist in every culture, particularly in the developed world. They’re sitting there on the edge, waiting for some spark to ignite their inner rage. If no one provides it, they’ll figure out a spark of their own.

There is nothing you can do to stop this kind of mass slaughter. The sooner you understand it, the better off everyone will be.

Do you know what might have changed the outcome, though? A couple of modern-day Samurai armed with the sword of today–a handgun–and the will to act in defense of their fellow men and women. Just one of them might have been enough to put this maniac down for good before he could do anything more than get some office equipment wet with gasoline or whatever accelerant he used.

Had that been a possibility, 33 families wouldn’t be mourning their lost loved ones.