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View Diary: Here is what I learned about guns in Japan (163 comments)

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  •  Where I live in Japan, there are lots of guns (12+ / 0-)

    I live deep in the countryside, and some farmers here own shotguns to chase wild boars and bear away, or go hunting for wild boar.  I run into hunters sometimes on the logging roads when I'm going for a hike, and once I took a dip in a stream and came face to face with a wild boar carcass some hunter had tied up and left to cool in the running water.  In any case, guns anywhere else are pretty much unheard of.

    •  Yes, guns are not completely banned in Japan (20+ / 0-)

      According to a 2011 National Police Agency White Paper described in an article in the Japan Times a few weeks ago
      Japan Times 1/6/2013, in 2011 there were 246,783 guns registered to 122,575 individuals.  These are mostly hunting rifles as described in the comment or air guns for sport.  The  number is declining year by year in part because of the declining rural population.  

      I personally have known one person in Japan who owned a gun, a university student who first described to me the stringent process for getting a gun license here. The gun must be inspected yearly, the owner has to prove their ability to use it competently on a shooting range, and they undergo checks of physical and mental health and criminal records with each renewal, according to the article above. It is, I believe, also very expensive. Perhaps there are lessons for us here.

      I certainly do not worry about gun violence, or violent crime in general, here. I do see the police differently than the diarist, as I have been told repeatedly that they have powers to hold people for long periods with no charges, which I find frightening. But that is another issue.

    •  Are there toy guns? (1+ / 0-)
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      Do you know if toy guns are a popular toy? How about the paintball and laser tag games?

      •  Yes (1+ / 0-)
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        white blitz

        I've seen toy guns, water pistols, etc.  It's hard to say whether they're more or less common than in the States, since kids these days mostly play computer games.  I'd say less common, but since it's been years since I've spent any length of time in the States I don't know if kids back home are still playing outside or not.  

        As for the adults, there are airsoft guns and model replicas that are completely realistic, and paintball enthusiasts train harder than the military to make their experiences as authentic as possible.  

    •  UK allows hunting weapons too (14+ / 0-)

      Single-shot rifles and shotguns.  It's handguns and semiautomatics that they ban.  To my knowledge the UK is not a tyranny either ... unless you think a powerless figurehead and a national health care system constitute tyranny.

      I wish these closeted libertarians would at least recognize that most people are not inclined to mortification and martyrdom, and would far prefer to live in a society more like Japan or the UK than in a society where guns really are the only way to stay safe.

      Libertarianism truly is a philosophy of the rich, because who else could take it for granted that people are able to do everything they are allowed to do.

      Something's wrong when the bad guys are the utopian ones.

      by Visceral on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 09:09:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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