By: Teresa Mull
At least two school-aged girls have died and 16 other people are injured following the attack of a man wielding a knife in Japan, where gun control laws are extremely strict.
NBC News reports:
Most of the victims were children who were lined up at a bus stop near Noborito Park in the city of Kawasaki when a man in his 50s began slashing them with knives. Quoting police, city officials said that the suspect was captured but died from a self-inflicted cut to the neck.
Witnesses described a hellish scene: Children and adults falling to the ground, some with their shirts soaked with blood. Dozens of children running and screaming for help, with their school bags and books scattered on the ground.
It is very difficult to obtain a gun in Japan. “This helps explain why mass shootings in Japan are extremely rare,” the BBC reports. “When mass killings occur, the killer most often wields a knife.”
According to the BBC:
If you want to buy a gun in Japan you need patience and determination. You have to attend an all-day class, take a written exam and pass a shooting-range test with a mark of at least 95%.
There are also mental health and drugs tests. Your criminal record is checked and police look for links to extremist groups. Then they check your relatives too - and even your work colleagues. And as well as having the power to deny gun licenses, police also have sweeping powers to search and seize weapons.
That's not all. Handguns are banned outright. Only shotguns and air rifles are allowed.
The law restricts the number of gun shops. In most of Japan's 40 or so prefectures there can be no more than three, and you can only buy fresh cartridges by returning the spent cartridges you bought on your last visit.
Naturally, would-be killers, undeterred by laws making it difficult for them to get their hands on a firearm, have found other methods by which to carry out heinous crimes.
GPM reported previously that, according to NRA-ILA, "England … banned virtually all semi-automatic and pump-action rifles and shotguns in the 1980s, then imposed a near total ban on handguns in the 90s."
So… have England’s firearm crimes decreased since draconian gun control took over? No. In 2017, gun crimes increased by 27 percent.
National Review reported in August 2018, “Great Britain has been suffering from a surge in knife crime,” leading to a desperate “stop and frisk” frenzy in parts of the country.
It’s not that England doesn’t already have knife control laws on its books. According to Gov.uk:
It's illegal to: sell a knife to anyone under 18, unless it has a folding blade 3 inches long (7.62 cm) or less. carry a knife in public without good reason, unless it has a folding blade with a cutting edge 3 inches long or less. carry, buy or sell any type of banned knife.
Despite these rules, The New York Post reported in July 2018:
Knife attacks and homicides have soared in parts of the UK — as the number of police officers has dropped, according to new statistics.
The total number of homicides, which includes murder and manslaughter, surged 12 percent from the previous year to 701 in England and Wales for the year ending in March, the Office for National Statistics said.
Police-recorded knife crimes have also ballooned 16 percent to 40,147.
Gun crime saw a 2 percent uptick with 6,492 offenses over the same time period.
The repetitive “ban this, ban that!” mentality is maddening and deadly.
What's more, the UK Independent reports:
The UK now has one of the highest number of recorded acid attacks per person of any country in the world, and the figure is expected to rise further, police have warned.
Senior officers believe the horrific crimes are not always being reported, meaning the unprecedented number of known assaults using corrosive substances may be a fraction of the true total.
More than 400 such attacks were recorded in the six months to April – an average of two a day.
Teresa Mull is editor of Gunpowder Magazine. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.