About What We Don’t Know
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated last Friday during a speech in Nara, Japan. It was a regular campaign speech for the upcoming parliamentary election today.
Abe’s killer had heard rumors about the former prime minister being linked to some issue he opposed. At this point, it isn’t clear at all about which issue the killer was upset.
The killer fired two shots that resulted in Abe’s death while delivering his campaign speech. Japan has the strictest gun laws in the world. Therefore, the shooter made his own weapon.
Japan had one person in 2021 killed by a gun. However, in America, there were 45,034 during the same period. If America learned how Japan deals with firearms, we could reduce the number of gun deaths to three.
These are some gun violence statistics in Japan:
Number of privately owned firearms: 310,400
Rate of civilian firearm possession per 100 people: 0.256
Number of handguns in civilian possession: 777
The percentage of households with one or more guns is reported to be 0.8%
Number of licensed firearm owners: 196,518
Licensed firearm owners per 100 people: 0.16
In America, 1.5 million Americans died due to firearms from 1968-2017, more than all the soldiers killed in all our wars from our country’s founding to the present day. Also, there are 390,000,000 guns in America. American has a thing about guns.
Most Americans want stricter gun laws than those who either want to keep the gun laws the same or to lessen them. Interestingly, Gallup found that 91% of Democrats support stricter gun laws, 45% of Independent, and 24% of Republicans.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) provides contributions to members of Congress as a means to stop more restrictive gun control legislation.
Who benefits from the easy ability to get guns, including AR-15 military rifles, other than those into killing defenseless people in mass homicides? The NRA, gun manufacturers, and dealers are protected by the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), which became law in 2005. The law states that neither the manufacturer nor the dealer can be held liable when a firearm is used in a crime. There isn’t any protection for 45,034 lives lost last year by guns, but companies and dealers are protected.
And the killing goes on in America. On the 4th of July in Highland Park, IL, seven people died, along with four dozen wounded.
Then on July 6th, the police chief of Richmond, VA, announced the arrest of two men who had planned an attack at an open-air concert in the city.
When will America begin to address all these killings?
Finally, John Donne wrote No Man is an Island, which provides motivation for us to address what’s blowing in the wind.
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were: any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.