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Location: California, United States

Sunday, December 06, 2015

San Bernardino shooting

Watching a news video at Google about the San Bernardino shooting ...

I've been to San Bernardino - it's about 400 miles south of here, near Los Angeles. Though California has some of the toughest gun laws in the country, the Weapons in San Bernardino Shootings Were Legally Obtained. My sister, who lived in Japan for years, said the gun laws there are very strict. A recent article in The Atlantic goes into detail ...

[...] Almost no one in Japan owns a gun. Most kinds are illegal, with onerous restrictions on buying and maintaining the few that are allowed. Even the country's infamous, mafia-like Yakuza tend to forgo guns; the few exceptions tend to become big national news stories .... The only guns that Japanese citizens can legally buy and use are shotguns and air rifles, and it’s not easy to do ....

To get a gun in Japan, first, you have to attend an all-day class and pass a written test, which are held only once per month. You also must take and pass a shooting range class. Then, head over to a hospital for a mental test and drug test (Japan is unusual in that potential gun owners must affirmatively prove their mental fitness), which you’ll file with the police. Finally, pass a rigorous background check for any criminal record or association with criminal or extremist groups, and you will be the proud new owner of your shotgun or air rifle. Just don’t forget to provide police with documentation on the specific location of the gun in your home, as well as the ammo, both of which must be locked and stored separately. And remember to have the police inspect the gun once per year and to re-take the class and exam every three years.

I fear that no really useful gun control legislation will get passed in the US, much less something like in Japan, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't keep trying ... Reform might be difficult, complicated or unlikely. Debate about it may rally those on either side of the cause. But that really is not a valid reason to abandon all efforts to create change.


Blogger Daniel Imburgia said...

Your post reminded me of this quote form Marilynne Robinson's "Gilead, “...not deciding to act would be identical with deciding not to act.” But these are hard times and keeping faith is sometimes so challenging, blessings and grace for the struggles on your journey. obliged.

9:13 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

Thanks, Daniel! I hope you and your family are having a happy almost Christmas :)

9:29 AM  

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