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This can't be right--everyone knows that gun laws "work," so how could this happen?

1 dead, 7 injured in Japan sports club shooting

TOKYO -- A gunman opened fire at a sports club in southwestern Japan on Friday night, killing one employee and wounding seven other people before escaping, police said.

A 26-year-old club employee was shot dead at a Renaissance sports club in the city of Sasebo on the southwestern island of Kyushu, Sasebo police spokesman Tamotsu Honda said. Seven other people, including two girls, ages 9 and 10, were hospitalized.

The attack comes amid an apparent turf war among underground groups on Kyushu. Last month, a reputed organized crime leader was shot to death and his driver fatally stabbed in Fukuoka, just weeks after the brazen fatal shooting of a patient at a hospital who was mistaken for gang member.

Honda said police were searching for the gunman and would likely explore the possibility of an organized crime connection.

Kyodo News agency quoted local police as saying the gunman pushed his way into the club shortly after 7 p.m. and immediately began firing. He remained holed up briefly in the club before making a getaway, public broadcaster NHK said.

While shootings are still relatively rare in Japan, authorities are concerned about a recent rise in crimes involving guns.

Last month, parliament approved new legislation to stiffen penalties for gun crimes, particularly those perpetrated by organized crime groups. Due to the country's strict controls on handguns, most shootings here are related to gang violence.

Gun licenses are issued for hunting and sports purposes. Owners must have their weapons inspected by authorities once a year.
 

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Don't tell me, let me guess: They didn't inspect the gunman's gun this year because he didn't bother to get a license, right? Do I win a prize?

Due to the country's strict controls on handguns, most shootings here are related to gang violence.
Thank goodness. Without strict gun control, most shootings would be related to bad manners.

Just curious: What kind of sports club features 9 and 10 year old girls? There must be something I don't fully understand about the nature of sports clubs. I hope the girls recover quickly.
 

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They are going to blame the exposure to the "gun culture and violence" of the U.S. for the rise in gun crimes. THe first thing most Japanese men do when they get to the U.S. is go to a gun store rent a gun and shoot. This is not a observation,this is what was told to me back when I worked for a Japanese company. One of my "jobs" was to take all the upper management types who came over to visit to gun store /range so they could shoot. The company had even purchased about a dozen popular handguns that were kept in a safe so the "suits" could shoot what ever they wanted. They were very good about cleanning their own guns after shooting.

Len
 

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When I was in Honolulu years ago I leafed through the yellow pages looking for gun stores and ranges. I was astounded to see an indoor range located in the upscale, downtown mall. During one of my wife's shopping sprees at that mall I walked over to the place, to discover it rented S&W 617's and Ruger 10/22's to shoot. All the literature and pricing was written in Japanese and English, and I discovered I was the only native English-speaking customer in the place--it was packed with Japanese tourists, mostly young men and women. When I asked if I could bring in my own .45 and ammo to use on the range, they firmly assured me that all I could shoot were their guns and 22lr ammo, at outrageous prices. I thanked them for their efforts to single-handedly rectify our trade imbalance with Japan, and left.
 

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My Japanese fisherman loved guns. I used to let them shoot my AR and my 1911 all of the time. I had an Ed Brown M40 in my camp for a summer and they all loved it. For people with not much knowledge of firearms, they sure are easy to teach. They love M4's and 1911's. Sig's, too.
 

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Nick A said:
Thank goodness. Without strict gun control, most shootings would be related to bad manners.
Failure to remove one's shoes indoors, I suspect.


Nick A said:
Just curious: What kind of sports club features 9 and 10 year old girls? There must be something I don't fully understand about the nature of sports clubs. I hope the girls recover quickly.
It's like a big fitness center. The girls were taking swimming lessons. One of the people killed was their female swimming instructor.
 

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Let me correct some errors in knowledge here. They have guns and shooting ranges in Japan. That said, guns are heavily regulated and expensive. There is some testing. Then once you can buy one, you will pay ~ 5x the US price. Funny how they still have dedicated shooters out at the range with that level of gun control.

Now for pistol shooting, etc. . .Well, I believe those are all illegal imports and used exclusively by criminals. It is too bad they are so screwed up politically.

I do hope this changes in Japan, but who knows.

Just a note. . .As much as we promote that "More Guns = Less Crime", Japan has an incredibly low crime rate. They do still have crime. Canada is the same. I think I'm ok with some crime rate, though if I'm allowed to buy any and all the guns I want to protect myself.
 

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Nathan said:
Just a note. . .As much as we promote that "More Guns = Less Crime", Japan has an incredibly low crime rate. They do still have crime. Canada is the same. I think I'm ok with some crime rate, though if I'm allowed to buy any and all the guns I want to protect myself.
I think more or less guns has little say either way - other countries with complete gun bans have extreme amounts of violent crime, like the UK, while countries like Norway and Finland have a high percentage of armed households yet violent crime is lower than the European average.
 

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Japane is also an extremely homogenous society and culture ... you fellas can paint whatever picture of me you like, but the statistics just don't lie on this -- homogenous societies in general tend to have less overall crime than non-homogenous societies.
 

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Some other factors are at work also

Trigger Creep Quote:
...homogenous societies in general tend to have less overall crime than non-homogenous societies.

This is the basic belief of a philosophy known as 'Marxist criminology'. Go look it up.

For hundreds of years it was taught that the Emporer was a living God, so that submission to the Emporer was a religious duty among other things. (This continued up to the end of WWII)
From some things that I have read and heard over the years, conformity is what is currently being taught. This will also help keep the crime rate low.

In any case, while all these things are nice, none of this changes the fact that the ordinary citizen does not commit the crimes that all the gun control laws are supposed to stop. What gun control does do is make it harder, if not completely impossible, for an ordinary citizen to legally own a gun, while criminals keep ignoring and breaking the law. The only thing gun control does is make any government that implements it more secure in it's hold on power.
(When the government no longer trusts it's citizens it is time for a change)
 

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Trigger Creep said:
This is the basic belief of a philosophy known as 'Marxist criminology'. Go look it up.
That doesn't make it factually incorrect. Japan's homogeneity plays a large role in their low crime rate. Homogeneity allows for a much more efficient system of uniform cultural indoctrination, which in turn leads to a much higher level of compliance with cultural norms.

Another way to look at it is that the more alike everyone is, the more equal everyone feels (correctly or not), and the more they tend to think of themselves as being parts of a whole rather than individuals, or all in the same boat which it would be foolish (or dangerous) to rock. Individuals in such groups will place more importance on behaving in a way that benefits the group rather than their individual selves. It's just basic biology, like why your own body's cells (which are genetically identical) cooperate to the point of functioning as one multi-cellular organism, while single-celled organisms that are genetically unique fight and compete with each other as individuals.

You see the same differences between cultures. In Japan, their racial homogeneity (which in their minds is even more homogenous than it is in reality) serves as a cornerstone of the national identity. Japanese tend to therefore see their relationship to their society more as cells of an organism than individuals agreeing to cooperate for the betterment of each individual. That is why they see their failures as their own personal flaws, and therefore tend to turn their violence inward towards themselves (hence a suicide rate about 3 times higher than ours).

In the US, where we have always had, and continue to increase, cultural and ethnic diversity, and in fact base our system on our freedom to be different, we go the other way. We place the individual above the society as a whole (at least ideologically), so we tend to think of failures as due to external forces rather than personal mistakes, and focus our violence outwards. This is not to say that they only do it one way and we only do it the opposite, but the trends are pretty clear. A troubled outcast teenage boy in Japan is a lot more likely to blame himself for his problems and commit suicide than to blame the jocks and popular kids and pull a Columbine - though, as this incident shows, it doesn't always work out that way.

This is no different than what Charlton Heston was trying to say in the interview in "Bowling for Columbine", when he answered Moore's question about why we had such a high rate of violence by saying that he thought it was due to our high level of ethnic diversity. Liberals immediately assumed he meant "minorities=crime", but it means that cultural (even between racially identical groups, such as social classes) and ethnic differences, because they lead to a high level of disagreement on how the society should work and what behaviors are acceptable in both public and private life, cause a huge amount of social friction, and a society that embraces diversity puts the individual on a level at which they feel they have a right to take action for their own benefit, often even if it hurts society as a whole.

So, it's not about guns - or samurai swords or knives or any other potential weapon. Homogenous societies will always be less violent and have lower crime rates on average simply because there are fewer differences to fuel a separation of the society into individuals acting for their own individual gain; and diverse societies will always be more violent and have higher crime rates, because they will be collections of different individuals with unique and often conflicting views, desires, and needs, and feel less of a social bond with other members of their societies. Gun ownership will not make homogenous societies more violent, because the people will still not feel a need to resort to violence to solve problems for which there are uniformly accepted social standards, and gun control will not make a diverse society less violent (Great Britain, for example), because taking away one weapon will not reduce the competing and conflicting social values between individuals and subgroups.
 

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Nathan said:
Just a note. . .As much as we promote that "More Guns = Less Crime", Japan has an incredibly low crime rate. They do still have crime. Canada is the same. I think I'm ok with some crime rate, though if I'm allowed to buy any and all the guns I want to protect myself.
Here in Canada we have noticed that we have more violent crime than you do in the U.S. per capita, even roughly adjusted for in reporting and recording methodologies. You guys have a higher Homicide rate, but our Home Invasions, Assault with a Weapon, Robbery and Sexual Assault rates all seem to be higher if I recall correctly. Heck, the UK tied with Scotland for the UN's title of "Most violent western nation - 2006".
 

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I've lived in Japan, the UK, and the US, and I definitely prefer our system. Each individual has all the basic rights of a separate living creature (life, liberty, pursuit of happiness - and self-defense), and does not give any of them up completely in order to participate in some social hyper-organism. Yes, that means I will always have to deal with a higher crime rate, but it also means I can deal with it on my own without being punished for not being a good subservient worker bee who doesn't leave that job to other members of the hive.
 
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