View Full Version : An interesting comparison of guns in Japan and the US

07-23-2012, 11:35 AM
There are some interesting observation in this article, but I found this a very concise comparison of the roots of ownership.

A Land Without Guns: How Japan Has Virtually Eliminated Shooting Deaths
By Max Fisher

Even the most basic framework of Japan's approach to gun ownership is almost the polar opposite of America's. U.S. gun law begins with the second amendment's affirmation of the "right of the people to keep and bear arms" and narrows it down from there. Japanese law, however, starts with the 1958 act stating that "No person shall possess a firearm or firearms or a sword or swords," later adding a few exceptions. In other words, American law is designed to enshrine access to guns, while Japan starts with the premise of forbidding it. The history of that is complicated, but it's worth noting that U.S. gun law has its roots in resistance to British gun restrictions, whereas some academic literature links the Japanese law to the national campaign to forcibly disarm the samurai, which may partially explain why the 1958 mentions firearms and swords side-by-side.


07-23-2012, 2:07 PM
this might get buried down the threads. :D

07-23-2012, 2:14 PM
Interesting article. Thanks for the story

07-23-2012, 2:22 PM
I spent a month in Japan in 1995 with the Army at Camp Zama. During that time period there were several stabbings with a fatality in Tokyo and a news piece on TV about handguns being found in the sewers around town presumably having been used by gansters and then discarded. The picture I saw was a Ruger Mk1 pistol. I also saw several TV ads for mountain resorts that featured trap/skeet for the guests and showed sexy young women walking along with over/under shotguns broken open over their shoulders. There were firearms but you had to be connected to get one. Japan wasn't crime free by any means but less fatal crime than the U.S. At least at that time it didn't seem to be a good society to be a female. Porno comics were sold and read openly everywhere and women were being groped and handled on the crowded trains frequently. Every society has its issues. Nice place to visit but not where I'd like to live.

07-23-2012, 6:23 PM
Over in Thailand at the many indoor shooting ranges for the Tourists; biggest line up is Japanese men willing to pay $2 per bullet. They can only dream in Japan.

07-23-2012, 6:56 PM
Then why do you hear of yakuza and triads with guns if they are illegal? I thought criminals listened to laws....err wait I may be thinkin of japan lol either way criminals don't follow laws that why they are called "criminals" lol

07-23-2012, 9:30 PM
Japanese paradise: No guns, no women.. A Life not worth living


Vlad 11
07-24-2012, 12:36 AM
Not a great comparison as Japanese civilians never really had private firearm ownership on any large scale. As opposed to the USA being steeped in a historic tradition of firearm ownership. Not to mention .. Liberty

Also there was a great conflict that resulted in Japans total military disarmament. I have a few mementos from that

I have family in Japan and when they came to visit the USA last year, we took them shooting. They had never touched a gun before. We had a great time. It was one of the highlights of their trip

07-24-2012, 12:48 AM
Oh but japan has "tubgirl"! :rolleyes:

07-24-2012, 3:38 PM
Even more so, Japan is culturally and racially homogenous which goes nautical miles towards keeping things more calm, especially when the cultural history is one of: Be a Cog, Don't Make Waves.

Comparison across cultures that do not take into account the nature of people and the particulars of the culture are without value.

Compare Japan to the Middle East, where a mostly homogenous (most "races" are conflicting tribes or religious groups, not races) but where religious tensions are high and where inter-tribal warfare is the national sport. Most middle eastern countries outlaw "normal people" from bearing arms, does not stop them though. Culturally, they like to fight. If we could magically clear the middle east of guns they would make swords and go at it with as much gusto as they do now.

07-24-2012, 3:50 PM
Japan cannot be compared to us. As others mentioned, they are homogenous, geographically and culturally isolated. They have a centuries old tradition of arms control, karate and the unusual weapons of the martial arts exist because peasants were not permitted to own swords.

Their level of violence of all types is less than ours, we have more blunt force murder, hand and feet as weapons murder, you name it.

It's not abot guns.

07-24-2012, 6:18 PM
In 1962 our ship docked at the naval base Yokosuka, Japan, they were going to install air conditioning to the below deck berths.

Made a trip to the PX and bought a Winchester 30-30 and a Remington 870 Wing Master in 12ga.

At least the PX was gun friendly.:D

07-24-2012, 6:40 PM
All that and Japan is a police state.

07-24-2012, 7:45 PM
When I think of the people of Japan on a scale of neighborly respect, I recall how they acted after the tsunami. No electricity, food, water etc for many days. This was met with relative calm and respect for neighbors, no looting, civility...

In some places in the states, people cannot even WIN the big game without looting and setting fire to cars. So what happens after a major disaster... Hence a likely strong reason many people own guns, for protection..

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk🔫

23 Blast
07-24-2012, 8:06 PM
Always fun that antis tend to bring up Japan as a paragon of a gun-free society being safe. As stated, they are such a radically different society from America that any comparison is invalid. America is one of the very few countries where widespread armament was the norm and not the exception. Most other countries have a long history of restricting weaponry only to the elite. In medieval times, commoners were not allowed to have swords and other war-like weapons, but guess what? They made their own, which is how knives, axes, bludgeons, flails, and hammers came to be used in warfare. Japan was no different in that the ruling elites made it basically illegal for a commoner to go around strapped (with a sword)

Gun control isn't about guns and it isn't about protecting the public. It's about control and maintenance of the status quo.

07-24-2012, 8:40 PM
Don't forget that gun banners also like to include suicides in "deaths caused by guns" articles. In this wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_in_Japan we see that Japan has the seventh highest rate of suicide. Here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_suicide_rate we see that the US is 41st with a rate that is half the Japanese rate. Maybe it's not the guns but the population that drives the lower murder rate but higher suicide rate in Japan.

07-24-2012, 8:49 PM
No civilian gun ownership is working great in Mexico too havent you heard?

07-24-2012, 9:05 PM
do Japanese politicians allow millions of illegal 3rd world immigrants to flood across its borders too?

07-25-2012, 4:34 AM
Of course they fail to mention how they have reverted to using sarin gas instead O.o

07-25-2012, 12:54 PM
Gun laws stop violence? In Japan?! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarin_gas_attack_on_the_Tokyo_subway

07-25-2012, 1:00 PM
Here is another interesting fact-I hear Charles Whitman blabbed by the anti's in some arguments. There are some parallels to the Joker incident...except one in particular-

"armed civilians who had brought out their personal firearms to assist police, he used the waterspouts on each side of the tower as gun ports, allowing him to continue shooting largely protected from the gunfire below but also greatly limiting his range of targets. Ramiro Martinez, an officer who participated in stopping Whitman's rampage, later stated that the civilian shooters should be credited as they made it difficult for him to take careful aim."

I got the info from here, although I remember reading it in the book about him. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Whitman

07-26-2012, 12:39 AM
Don't forget the rather recent shooting in a Denny's over in Japan. Yup, guy walked into a Denny's and opened fire.
Japan takes great pride in being a homogeneous population, and many of the things we would think of or worry about are things they would never consider. They do tend to be a fairly traditional society, and when your country has been dictating that certain things are not acceptable for a thousand years, some things are far less likely to happen. But, given the massive difference in societies, comparing the two is like comparing apples and weapons-grade plutonium.
The two cultures even view firearms in radically different lights. For the US, who fought for freedom, guns tend to be somewhat symbolic of that freedom, while with how prevalent they are in our culture, they still remain a tool in our minds.
Japan takes a vastly different view, which I can't be bothered to look up at this moment.

07-26-2012, 2:14 AM
Sooo much fail in the comments of that article.

I'm currently stationed in Japan, Okinawa to be exact. Honestly the cultures, not the laws is what makes Japan usually peaceful. In America we have a society that glorifies crime and social parasites seeking handouts. From the year and a half that I have been in Japan, from my view the culture is almost the Polar opposite. They embrace a collective, crime is not really encouraged, sure it happens, but not to the degree that I saw in the US growing up, and it definitely is not encouraged or glamorized. The beggars that are here usually live very close to US bases and are honestly avoided and treated like outcasts by the Japanese here, none of which are agressive at all. it is not a stylish thing to do. From the begining their children are usually put in schools and then after school programs and are usually in uniform. The family unit is definitely going strong here in Oki at least.
I have the privilidge to work with some Japanese on my base, the two that I have with my crew have never held a gun, and in all honesty it took a fair amount of convincing them to even hold a KABAR when I brought one out. they were like children. I didnt understand why till afterwords when they explained that they would go to jail if they were caught with that out in town.
Now as far as the youth there. Honestly, it's a castrated society. People on calguns can burn me all they want, I call it as I see it. The younger generation of guys, 30 and under usually are all dressed metro, no real muscle mass, no desire, alot of them have tighter jeans than the girls that are with them, and some wear makeup as well. seeing two guys doubled up riding on a moped is the norm.
A couple of generations of hard riding .gov control is all it takes folks.
Honestly, to argue that Gun control is the only reason of no violence in Japan is a Moot point, there are alot of other factors that come into it.

And really, Who the **** cares if it work in Japan, this is America!:hide:

07-26-2012, 3:13 AM
Now as far as the youth there. Honestly, it's a castrated society. People on calguns can burn me all they want, I call it as I see it. The younger generation of guys, 30 and under usually are all dressed metro, no real muscle mass, no desire, alot of them have tighter jeans than the girls that are with them, and some wear makeup as well. seeing two guys doubled up riding on a moped is the norm.
A couple of generations of hard riding .gov control is all it takes folks.
Honestly, to argue that Gun control is the only reason of no violence in Japan is a Moot point, there are alot of other factors that come into it.

This is also the case in Thailand. The young men are like girls and don't seem to know how to take control of their lives. As for guns, there are plenty of guns here, except they are expensive and you have to be wealthy and connected to buy one. CA conceal weapons permit laws allows county sheriffs a lot of discretion in issuing permits, and it's the same way in Thailand. The local police chief can simply deny an application for a license to buy a gun, or they might restrict the caliber to the smaller calibers. In the rural provinces there is a lot of crime, much of it violent, that tourists never see. It's almost impossible to get a license to buy or own a gun in those provinces so people own and carry illegally. Just like in Japan, the relative low violent crime rate in Thailand is mostly the result of the Thai culture, not the tight gun laws.

07-26-2012, 7:22 AM
How bout a country like Switzerland where all adult males are required to have a gun & have one of the highest militia gun ownership in the world. Yet they too have a very very low crime rate.
Hmm? Mexico with extremely strict gun laws yet very high gun related crime & Switzerland with high gun ownership but very low crime.
Could it be that criminal don't care about laws? Nah!! Gotta be something else.

07-26-2012, 8:03 AM
Gun ownership has been illegal in Japan since 1603. The war between 1568-1603, led to the rise of the Tokugawa Shogunate, which replaced the Ashikaga Shogunate. The ruling class of Dainymos and the Samurai knightly class were tired of peasent revolts that often sprung up after faction fighting in many areas. Gun Control in Japan was still commonplace even after the Meiji Resoration in 1868 after the Office of Shogun and the Samurai class were disbanded.

Full Clip
07-26-2012, 8:03 AM
Interesting article.

Nice place to visit but not where I'd like to live.

Pretty much my opinion on Japan as well after a few visits.

07-26-2012, 8:29 AM
Interesting statistic,

Japan suicide rate, 25 per 100,000

US suicide rate, 11.3 per 100,000

So much for the "guns make suicide easier" theory. People are going to kill themselves no matter what they have at their disposal.