I found this to be a good article and something our government should consider (bold letters).
A Land Without Guns: How Japan Has Virtually Eliminated Shooting Deaths
By Max Fisher
In part by forbidding almost all forms of firearm ownership, Japan has as few as two gun-related homicides a year.
A Tokyo "gun" shop owner, who mostly sells air rifles, displays one of Japan's relatively few licensed rifles. (Reuters)
I've heard it said that, if you take a walk around Waikiki, it's only a matter of time until someone hands you a flyer of scantily clad women clutching handguns, overlaid with English and maybe Japanese text advertising one of the many local shooting ranges. The city's largest, the Royal Hawaiian Shooting Club, advertises instructors fluent in Japanese, which is also the default language of its website. For years, this peculiar Hawaiian industry has explicitly targeted Japanese tourists, drawing them away from beaches and resorts into shopping malls, to do things that are forbidden in their own country.
Waikiki's Japanese-filled ranges are the sort of quirk you might find in any major tourist town, but they're also an intersection of two societies with wildly different approaches to guns and their role in society. Friday's horrific shooting at an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater has been a reminder that America's gun control laws are the loosest in the developed world and its rate of gun-related homicide is the highest. Of the world's 23 "rich" countries, the U.S. gun-related murder rate is almost 20 times that of the other 22. With almost one privately owned firearm per person, America's ownership rate is the highest in the world; tribal-conflict-torn Yemen is ranked second, with a rate about half of America's.
But what about the country at the other end of the spectrum? What is the role of guns in Japan, the developed world's least firearm-filled nation and perhaps its strictest controller? 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.
The only guns that Japanese citizens can legally buy and use are shotguns and air rifles, and it's not easy to do. The process is detailed in David Kopel's landmark study on Japanese gun control, published in the 1993 Asia Pacific Law Review, still cited as current. (Kopel, no left-wing loony, is a member of the National Rifle Association and once wrote in National Review that looser gun control laws could have stopped Adolf Hitler.)
To get a gun in Japan, first, you have to attend an all-day class and pass a written test, which are held only once per month. You also must take and pass a shooting range class. Then, head over to a hospital for a mental test and drug test (Japan is unusual in that potential gun owners must affirmatively prove their mental fitness), which you'll file with the police. Finally, pass a rigorous background check for any criminal record or association with criminal or extremist groups, and you will be the proud new owner of your shotgun or air rifle. Just don't forget to provide police with documentation on the specific location of the gun in your home, as well as the ammo, both of which must be locked and stored separately. And remember to have the police inspect the gun once per year and to re-take the class and exam every three years.
Even the most basic framework of Japan's approach to gun ownership is almost the polar opposite of America's. U.S. gun law begins with the second amendment's affirmation of the "right of the people to keep and bear arms" and narrows it down from there. Japanese law, however, starts with the 1958 act stating that "No person shall possess a firearm or firearms or a sword or swords," later adding a few exceptions. In other words, American law is designed to enshrine access to guns, while Japan starts with the premise of forbidding it. The history of that is complicated, but it's worth noting that U.S. gun law has its roots in resistance to British gun restrictions, whereas some academic literature links the Japanese law to the national campaign to forcibly disarm the samurai, which may partially explain why the 1958 mentions firearms and swords side-by-side.
Of course, Japan and the U.S. are separated by a number of cultural and historical difference much wider than their gun policies. Kopel explains that, for whatever reason, Japanese tend to be more tolerant of the broad search and seizure police powers necessary to enforce the ban. "Japanese, both criminals and ordinary citizens, are much more willing than their American counterparts to consent to searches and to answer questions from the police," he writes. But even the police did not carry firearms themselves until, in 1946, the American occupation authority ordered them to. Now, Japanese police receive more hours of training than their American counterparts, are forbidden from carrying off-duty, and invest hours in studying martial arts in part because they "are expected to use [firearms] in only the rarest of circumstances," according to Kopel.
The Japanese and American ways of thinking about crime, privacy, and police powers are so different -- and Japan is such a generally peaceful country -- that it's functionally impossible to fully isolate and compare the two gun control regiments. It's not much easier to balance the costs and benefits of Japan's unusual approach, which helps keep its murder rate at the second-lowest in the world, though at the cost of restrictions that Kopel calls a "police state," a worrying suggestion that it hands the government too much power over its citizens. After all, the U.S. constitution's second amendment is intended in part to maintain "the security of a free State" by ensuring that the government doesn't have a monopoly on force. Though it's worth considering another police state here: Tunisia, which had the lowest firearm ownership rate in the world (one gun per thousand citizens, compared to America's 890) when its people toppled a brutal, 24-year dictatorship and sparked the Arab Spring.
If all Guns were made illegal, are you all ok with thereby making Hunting illegal as well, with the reduction in State Fees and Business that would result in (as well as a few tens of millions of really angry Hunters)?
And how long after that will Fishing alse be made illegal?
Just want to plan ahead.
You will take my G-Loomis Fishing Rod from My Cold Dead hands!
Seems to me it would be difficult to defend you and yours if you have to keep your firearm and ammo locked separately in a time of great need.
And I would point out the the citizens of Japan would be at the mercy of there government if it went all tyrannical on them.
What is the point of having the police inspect your gun every three years? Or knowing specifically where your guns and ammo are?
Drug testing, mental health evaluations, seem a little presumptive of guilt.
I'm fine with the background check, I think any responsible gun owners needs to learn basic firearm safety and understand when and when not you are able to defend with deadly force, I am not in favor of mandatory training, for several reasons.
The carnage continues...And in Last Week’s Gun News ...
By JOE NOCERA
Published: January 28, 2013
Eleaquin Temblador had plans. He was working to earn his high school diploma and wanted to join the U.S. Marine Corps and marry his girlfriend. ... Instead, family members are planning Temblador’s funeral. For reasons no one can explain, gunmen in a light-colored, older-model vehicle gunned down the 18-year-old ... as he rode his bicycle home from his girlfriend’s house.
— Dailybreeze.com, Los Angeles
Relatives of a teen who was shot while playing basketball at a local park said the 16-year-old is now paralyzed from the waist down. ... Police said the shooter, a 17-year-old boy, had a gun stuck in his waistband. While he was playing basketball, someone bumped into him and the gun went off. ...
— Click Orlando.com
Tuesday, Jan. 22:
A Baton Rouge man who authorities said was playing with a gun was booked ... in the accidental shooting of his 2-year-old brother. ... [The man’s uncle] said the teen had armed himself due to “environmental pressure” from neighborhood friends.
— The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La.
The New Mexico teenager who used an assault rifle to kill his mother, father and younger siblings told police he hoped to shoot up a Walmart after the family rampage and cause “mass destruction.” ... Nehemiah Griego, the 15-year-old son of an Albuquerque pastor ... “stated he wanted to shoot people at random and eventually be killed while exchanging gunfire with law enforcement,” the [police] report said.
— ABC News
Wednesday, Jan. 23:
Kansas City police arrested a 16-year-old Ruskin High School student accused of shooting at a school bus after the driver refused to allow him to board on Wednesday.
— The Kansas City Star
A 4-year-old boy has died after being shot in the head Wednesday. ... The deputy [sheriff] located the child’s body inside of a Ford Taurus. There was a bullet hole in the roof of the car. ... “Jamarcus loved Batman, Spider-Man and football and was looking forward to starting kindergarten,” [his mother] said.
— Newsnet5.com, Akron, Ohio
Thursday, Jan. 24:
The estranged husband of a woman found dead in her Madison apartment Thursday was found dead in his home ... of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. ... “We can’t really believe it; I mean, these things happen on TV, they don’t happen to us,” [her stepmother] said. “We’re middle class, normal Americans, and she was a nice girl.”
— WISC-TV, Madison, Wis.
Police said an 11-year-old girl is in critical condition after being shot in the face by her father in a New Jersey home on Thursday night. Investigators said 27-year-old Byaer Johnson apparently entered the home to visit his young daughter. ... He was asked to leave, then picked up a handgun and shot his daughter.
— CBS News
Friday, Jan. 25:
An Oakland police officer was shot and wounded Friday evening, the second officer in the city to be injured by gunfire this week. ... The shooting happened after a man in a car ran a stop sign, crashed into another car ... and ran off. Shortly thereafter, an uncle and his nephew reported that they were shot a block away by a man who tried to steal the uncle’s bicycle.
A man has been charged with murder for fatally shooting his brother during a “domestic” dispute outside a South Side Englewood home Friday afternoon. ...
Saturday, Jan. 26:
A party in Salem that spilled outdoors ended in drive-by gunfire that hit at least two people and riddled a car and nearby homes. ...
— KOINlocal6, Salem, Ore.
A 55-year-old man has been released from custody after allegedly shooting and killing his own dog. Police say Gordon Lagstrom was drunk Saturday night when he pulled a .38 caliber handgun and shot to death his 4-year-old Australian terrier, Lena.
The city broke a nine-day murder-free streak last night when a man was found dead in the basement of a Queens apartment complex, police said. The 20-year-old victim, whose name was not released, had been shot in the head.
— New York Post
Among those killed Saturday was a 34-year-old man whose mother had already lost her three other children to shootings. Police say Ronnie Chambers, who was his mother’s youngest child, was shot in the head while sitting in a car. Police say two separate double-homicide shootings also occurred Saturday about 12 hours apart. ... Chicago’s homicide count eclipsed 500 last year for the first time since 2008.
— CBS News
Punish the criminal who performed the illegal act. Don't punish everyone. That my take on this, and most, issues of crime. Those who do not break the Law should not suffer penalty for those who do.
Given the "ban" is almost 100% ineffective, I'd venture the vast majority of the guns used in that list would be either A. illegal to start with, hence nothing changed, or B. Handguns that would remain legal under the ban, hence nothign changed, and C. Acts by people who would not have been stopped in their illegal killing.shooting of others because the gun they used might have also been illegal, hence nothing changed.
But if thats the barrier, I'll only post car accidents where the driver was "illegal", i.e. no licence, suspended licence, or an illegal immigrant or the car was illegal, i.e. not registered, not properly inspected, etc.
Did you know, more people are killed each year by the actions in total of illegal immigrants than are murdered by guns (excluding suicides, of course).
Owning a gun is a right, like voting. Rights can only be taken away in extreme circusmstances, and usually via extensive due process on an individual, not societal, basis.
Further, I think many would support "regulation", i.e. registration, safety requirements and more. What they tend to tolerate less is outright bans (that are almost entirely ineffective) and de facto bans.