Transcript below the video.
Japan is an interesting outlier when it comes to gun violence. They’re about one
third of the size of the US and they have the lowest rate of gun violence in
the developed world. It is so peaceful there that police often run out of things to do. Seriously in 2015 only six shots in totaled were fired by police in all of Japan. Japan’s success is a result of several factors, including a history of Wars, Japanese culture and their
current gun laws.
The general feeling among Japanese citizens is that war and violence is terrible for the country so they should do everything in their power to avoid going back to that. As a result, Japanese gun laws started with the premise that guns should not have a role in civilian society. That idea even extends to the police. Instead of arms trainingn the police spends many hours training in martial arts techniques. If they’re dealing with a violent or drunk person sometimes they will use huge futons to basically roll up the person like a burrito and take them back to the station until they calm down. From civilian side, if a person wants to buy a gun they have every right to do so but the process is very complex
and thorough to buy a gun in Japan.
First you have to take a day-long class and pass a written exam. Then you have to
take a shooting range test and pass it with 95% accuracy or higher. Then you have to go to a hospital and pass a mental health exam and drug test. Lastly you have to pass a comprehensive background check to make sure you don’t have any extremist or criminal
associations. Only then you’ll be allowed to purchase a shotgun or an air rifle, but no handguns or semi-automatic weapons, which are completely banned for civilians. Did I mention you have to keep the gun and ammo stored separately and under lock and key and agree to yearly police inspection? Yeah Japan does not mess around when it comes to guns and the results speak for themselves. It’s incredibly hard for would-be mass
shooters to get their hands on weapons that can cost a lot of harm. The consequence is that total gun deaths in Japan are often in the single digits compared to 33,000 annually in the United States. Even though there are cultural differences that make comparisons complicated, there’s a lot we can learn from Japan. Mental health exams and more robust
background checks for starters would immediately make it harder for potential mass shooters to arm themselves. The freedom to bear arms is currently costing us thirty-three thousand lives per year. If we want to actually solve this problem we have to do better
than offer thoughts and prayers.