Gunned Down

Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, 67, was fatally shot while giving a campaign speech on Friday. It was stunning in that it happened in a country where firearms are strictly regulated and political violence is extremely rare.

Japan has some of the most stringent laws on buying and owning firearms. Japan’s gun-ownership restrictions do not allow private citizens to have handguns, and licensed hunters may own only rifles. Gun owners must attend classes, pass a written test, and undergo a mental health evaluation and a background check.

Interestingly, the shooter used a homemade firearm to assassinate Abe. Police raided his home and seized multiple weapons that also appeared to be homemade. The gun used to kill Abe consisted of two metal barrels attached to a wooden board and was more than a foot long.

Any form of violence is unusual in Japan, but gun violence is almost unheard of. There were only ten shootings in Japan in 2021, and, remarkably only one firearm-related death in the whole year. Since 2017, there have been 14 gun-related deaths in Japan, a country of 125 million people.

Compare that — 14 gun-related deaths in four years — to the U.S., which had, according to a recent report from the Center for Gun Violence Solutions, an average of 124 deaths from gun violence every day in 2020. That’s 110 mote deaths per day in the U.S. than in four years in Japan.

Hmm. I wonder why that is. Anyone care to hazard a guess?

20 thoughts on “Gunned Down

  1. Mister Bump UK July 8, 2022 / 2:23 pm

    That hits the nail on the head. People everywhere get mad. Some of them even want to kill each other. Only the US gives them assault rifles to do the job.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Paula Light July 8, 2022 / 3:31 pm

    It’s such a mystery why it only happens here. I wonder what it could be…

    Liked by 2 people

  3. annieasksyou July 9, 2022 / 5:37 am

    I will just keep saying this: There is power in our votes! Moms Demand Action just garnered a million calls to legislators; we got ole Mitch and 14 others to defy the NRA for the first time in 30 years. Moms and others are out there in droves to elect legislators committed to strengthening those laws. We can throw up our hands in defeat—or we can work harder to fight back against repressive forces. If not now—when?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Gradmama2011 July 9, 2022 / 6:29 am

    The combination of Evil and Insanity is never a good thing. If we ever find out who or what pulls “ole Mitch’s” strings maybe the answer will become clear.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen July 9, 2022 / 8:25 am

      I do wonder similar things.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Marleen July 9, 2022 / 8:17 am

    Right before Cenk, the male commentator, says perhaps
    they are against red flag laws because they know they’re
    crazy, I’d thought of the incompetency of a logical inability
    – to think through how to make sense, even when asked…
    …and that was before he added a Dilbert story on top of it.

    Republican(s) protecting Gun “rights” (as in no changes):
    as a last resort to protect grandchildren by shooting them

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Irene July 9, 2022 / 12:28 pm

    Shocking that something like this would happen in Japan, and also disheartening that the US has so many deaths by gun violence.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Marilyn Armstrong July 10, 2022 / 10:35 am

    With the advent of homemade guns and the availability of guns made on a 3-D copying machine, I wonder if this will change. I sure hope not.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. True George July 10, 2022 / 4:12 pm

    Its proven that if guns weren’t available then something else will be used. The real issues are the violent nature of people.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango July 10, 2022 / 10:39 pm

      True, but guns, especially high capacity, semiautomatic assault rifles, make it easier to inflict mass casualties than any other kinds of weapons, except maybe biological weapons.


        • Fandango July 11, 2022 / 10:00 pm

          A Samurai sword requires up close and personal. Not so with an assault rifle.


  9. Carol anne August 19, 2022 / 2:18 pm

    that is really something isnt it?
    I didnt realise that japan was so strict about gun laws, its a good thing, though.

    Liked by 1 person

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