Japan is one of the safest nations on the planet. We’ve seen that reported time and time again, so much so that I’ve even talked about it as a point of comparison with the United States.
The truth is that shootings are rare there. We all know it and there’s no real debate about it.
But they do happen, and it seems that last week, they had a mass shooting that left four people dead. Now, some in Japan are wondering whether their strict gun control laws are enough.
Japan is said to be one of the safest countries in the world, with strict gun-control laws. But last week, a shooting in which a 31-year-old man killed two police officers and two women in Nagano Prefecture dominated the news, prompting questions about how strict gun laws actually are in the country.
In the Nagano shooting, the man had firearm licenses — obtained between 2015 and 2019 — that enabled him to possess four guns, including a rifle and a shotgun. There have been no reports of the suspect having a mental illness, which would have prevented him from getting the licenses.
In other words, Japan’s strict gun control laws were apparently followed to the letter, and yet, we still have a person who murdered four people in a mass shooting there.
It would seem to me that the problem isn’t gun control.
Yes, I know that I’m hardly an unbiased observer here, but allow me to explain my reasoning.
Japan has gun control laws that would never survive legal challenge in the United States. A few might, in theory, especially with the right judges, but many wouldn’t.
Yet with all those laws, an individual jumped through every single hoop put in place to lawfully acquire firearms. He checked every box, dotted every “i” and crossed every “t.”
He had guns in full compliance with the law–laws many have suggested we should give a try despite the constitutional issues with doing so.
And yet, a mass shooting occurred.
Sure, they’re not super common in Japan by any stretch of the imagination, but this is pretty clear evidence that gun control cannot stop them. Not that it won’t, but that it can’t.
If we spent even a fraction of the energy we spend pretending that gun control is the answer to our problems on trying to figure out why people do this, we might actually be able to make a difference for a change.
What’s more, this wouldn’t just benefit us here in the United States, but prevent these kinds of things all over the world.
In recent weeks, I’ve written about two mass shootings in Serbia and one in Spain. I’ve also covered them in Russia, Thailand, and elsewhere.
The only continent that has been spared is Antarctica.
Japan has low violent crime, even with other weapons, so it’s hard to say that gun control is why they’re a safe nation. Yet guns still exist there, as do mass shootings.
Gun control isn’t the answer. It never has been.