Gun Control and Japan
Mike (in Tokyo) Rogers
by Mike (in Tokyo) The
US Government’s Proven Record of Keeping the Peace
When it comes
to gun control in the USA the logic of the progressives works in
a very curious way. They often like to cherry pick nations from
around the world to compare with the USA. One of their favorite
nations to use as a comparison is Japan.
goes like this; "Gun crimes are out of control in the United
States! In America, over eleven thousand people are killed with
guns every year! Japan has strict gun control laws and only a handful
of people are killed with guns annually. Therefore Japan proves
that gun control works. The United States should have gun control
laws like Japan!"
this argument. I’m constantly hearing it; "If the United States
were more like Japan"… "If the United States had gun laws
like Japan, then gun crimes would virtually disappear."
Is this true?
Well, it is
certainly true that overall Japan is a much safer place than the
United States. The data show this to be fact. I would also venture
to say that, in many ways, it would be better if the United States
and American people were more like Japan and the Japanese people.
But I suppose that’s a samurai sword that cuts both ways; there
are plenty of unfortunate things about Japan and the Japanese that
sometimes make me wish it were more like the USA and American people.
comparing Japan’s gun laws and crime rate with the USA a good and
logical comparison? Does this make sense? Are the progressives bringing
up a point that is difficult to argue against? Can we make an apples-to-apples
comparison using Japan against the USA?
is no. Unfortunately for the progressives, we can’t sensibly make
that comparison and I want to show you why it’s absurd to even consider
it. The only things that might make sense in a Japan versus USA
comparison might have to do with economics, automobiles, love of
sushi and baseball (and I’m not so sure about the baseball part).
If we are talking about gun control, crimes, or even universal health
care, Japan and the United States are two animals that are as different
as night and day.
probably can’t even fairly compare Japanese girl’s fashions
Let me show
you why and then when anyone makes this sort of comparison, you
should smile and remind them of these few points…
You want to
compare the United States to Japan?
States is a country that isn’t even 250 years old.
Japan has been
a nation for over 2,700 years.
States is a nation of citizens that came from all over the world.
Native Americans account for a mere 0.9% of the total population.
Japan is a
nation that consists of 98.5%
of the population as being pureblood native Japanese. These
Japanese people are descendants from those folks who came here 30,000
consider that the USA has a huge immigration problem. In the United
States, there are estimates of up to 20
million illegal aliens in the country.
Japan is not
known to have an immigration problem. Japan is extremely strict
on immigration. About 150,000 people per year are allowed to immigrate
to this country.
Any child born
in the USA is automatically awarded citizenship even if that child’s
mother is in the country illegally. This accounts for about 380,000
new Americans annually.
you were born in Japan doesn’t mean that you can get Japanese citizenship.
Even those living here today, as permanent residents, whose grandparents
were brought to Japan as slaves from Korea or Taiwan over one hundred
years ago, are not given Japanese citizenship upon birth.
Identity" and "United States of America" are not
words that I often note in the same sentence. The United States
is a good example of a country that is considered a "Melting
have an extremely strong cultural identity. Japan is a good example
of one of the world’s few homogenous societies.
States was born in a revolution against a monarchy and all through
its history it has had a civilian population that has always been
Japan was a
caste society for thousands of years. The people – the peasantry
– have never been armed. There was never any idea of democracy in
feudal Japan and the people never considered rising up against the
aristocrats and the warlords.
States was also founded on the principle that "All men are
feudal caste society, 98% of the population was the peasantry; the
remaining two percent were aristocrats, warriors and merchants.
People were far from equal.
In the United
States, the law of the land, written in the 1780s, says that the
people have the right to keep and bear arms. People in the United
States have a history of a country awash with guns.
Japan, the people were not even allowed to carry swords. The Great
Sword Hunt was carried out in 1588 and disarmed everyone. The only
ones who were ever allowed to carry arms were the warrior class.
Guns? What guns?
Peace Index, the United States ranks a lowly 88th
place (One rank above the People’s Republic of China). Japan is
ranked as the 5th most peaceful nation in the world.
to the US
Department of Health and Human Services, in 2012, the USA had
56,600,000 people on some sort of government financial assistance.
Ministry of Health Labour and Welfare, as of June 2012, there
were 2,115,477 people on some sort of government financial assistance.
In the USA,
numbers show unemployment at 7.8% of the population. Unofficially,
according to Shadow
Stats, the unemployment rate is about 23%.
In Japan official
unemployment stands at about 4.2%. Unofficially
it is at 5.7%.
just a few of the big differences. There’s much more but I think
you get the picture,
Now, you tell
me, after considering the above, is comparing Japan and the United
States fair when it comes to gun control or even Universal Health
Can we find
a cure for gun crime in the United States by looking at how another
country with a vastly different history, culture and people with
a completely different experience have dealt with it or do we have
to look within ourselves and our own nation?
Could it be
that the gun crimes and murder rate in the USA have little to do
with the numbers of guns and everything to do with what Henson
Ong said at a gun violence prevention public hearing said,
control does not work. Your own history is replete with high school
rifle teams, Boy Scout marksmanship merit badges. You could buy
rifles at hardware stores. You could order them – mail order them
– delivered to your home. Your country was awash in readily available
firearms and ammunition. And yet, in your past, you did not have
mass shootings… What changed? It was not that the availability
of guns suddenly exploded or increased, it actually decreased…
What changed was societal decay…"
I think it
must be pretty obvious to anyone who thinks about it when talking
about gun control and crimes (or even universal health care) comparing
the United States to Japan is like comparing a steak barbeque to
a slice of fish.
Men may be
from Mars, and women are from Venus, but never forget that the Japanese
are most definitely from Japan… Americans are from who-knows-where
and that's why they are hard to compare.
just the way it is.
(in Tokyo) Rogers [send
him mail] was born and raised in the USA and moved to
Japan in 1984. He is the president of an Internet & Cross Media
advertising/marketing agency and a media production company named
He writes about marketing, the Internet and Social Media at the
Marketing Japan blog. His book, Schizophrenic
in Japan, went on sale in 2005.
© 2013 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in
part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.
(in Tokyo) Rogers Archives