Monday, November 26, 2007

But what about the new gun control laws?

In every article about crime in Japan, the US media always starts off by referring to Japan's strict gun laws and implying that this is the reason ( and apparently the only possible reason) for the relatively low crime rate in Japan. Usually, our reporter will say something like: "Japan, with its strict gun control laws which restrict firearms to police and military, is concerned about the increasing number of thefts of green tea from vending machines." (By Ima Dufus of the Boston Glob). Not only are these articles factually incorrect---rifles and shoguns can be legally possessed by licensed hunters outside of Tokyo and perhaps other large cities---guns often have no relationship with the crime being discussed in the article.

Earlier this year, the government decided it was time to crack down on firearms crimes (the vast, vast, majority committed by yakuza and their rightist buddies) by making the strict firearms laws even stricter. Of course this impressed the yakuza who make a habit of strictly obeying laws.

Earlier this month, a rather stupid gangster decided to murder another rival gangster who was a patient in the hospital. Our idiot took his illegal piece into the hospital room and illegally fired it illegally murdering a man. Unfortunately for the thug---and more unfortunately for the murder victim---he killed the wrong man. Seems the guy he intended to murder had checked out earlier and another patient was in the room. He was arrested today with 2 illegal handguns after illegally firing one into the air when the police tried to arrest him.

A real yakuza thug was also gunned down (illegally) today by rival thugs in front of another hospital. I am guessing he was the intended target and not another yakuza mistake. More gun control is the answer. Not addressing the yakuza issue. I don't know though, with gun control laws already quite strict, just how will making these laws stricter reduce the number of murders among criminals for whom murder is an thing of honor?

Let's acknowledge the explainers: In Japan the yakuza is a good thing because it gives young thugs a place to go and develop into hardened killer thugs while providing a disciplined environment. This is better than just letting them run wild on their own. (And there is not and never has been any relationship between the authorities---LDP and law enforcement---and the yakuza and their right wing nutjob buddies.)

Read more
in the Japan Times online.

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