It's almost impossible to get to a gun in Japan, and selling one or owning one is a serious crime. Fire the gun? Possibly life imprisonment. Gun-control laws are taken so seriously that police will pursue a violator all the way to the grave — and maybe beyond.
The rationale for this is simple: "Of course, guns don't kill people; people kill people — guns just make it a lot easier to kill a lot of people. That's why Japan bans them and that's why my job was catching people with guns and putting them in jail. Usually, long before they could ever put their finger on the trigger."
"In Japan, no civilian is allowed to have a gun," Detective X stated simply. "In order to prevent atrocious crimes using firearms, possession of small arms was banned in 1965, with strict penalties for violations of the law. As time has gone on the penalties have increased and every year we try to drive down the number of people owning guns."
Japan does allow the possession of hunting rifles and air guns (for sporting use), but the restrictions and checks are extremely strict.
"You have to bring your rifle in every year for inspection. You have to pass a drug test. You can't have a criminal record. A doctor has to certify you're mentally and physically healthy. You have to actually go to the firing range and show that you can use the weapon. If you have any sort of issue, we're going to take away your firearms," Detective X said.
"Sometimes, police officers even go to the neighborhoods where a gun owner lives and interview neighbors to make sure the owner isn't causing problems or having issues with his spouse," he added.
"You can't easily hold up a convenience store or shoot someone to death if you don't have a gun," Detective X put it in a nutshell. Unlike in the United States, that's Crime Prevention 101 in Japan."
Even gangsters live in fear of Japan's gun laws - Japan Times
"Retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal came out in favor of gun control restrictions in a Tuesday morning appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
"I spent a career carrying typically either a M16, and later a M4 carbine," he said. "And a M4 carbine fires a .223 caliber round, which is 5.56 millimeters, at about 3,000 feet per second. When it hits a human body, the effects are devastating. It's designed to do that. That's what our soldiers ought to carry."
Said McChrystal, "I personally don't think there's any need for that kind of weaponry on the streets and particularly around the schools in America. I believe that we've got to take a serious look -- I understand everybody's desire to have whatever they want -- but we have to protect our children and our police and we have to protect our population. And I think we have to take a very mature look at that."
Stanley McChrystal: Gun Control Requires 'Serious Action' - Huff Post
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