Monday, January 28, 2013

Saving Lives - Owning A Gun, A Right Or A Privilege?

Japan Is Enlightened, Why Isn't The USA?
Why can't the GUN enthusiasts who belong to the NRA (and the politicians who support them) realize that treating the ownership of firearms as a right has dire consequences? The people in the right-wing will argue with anyone until they are BLUE IN THE FACE that Healthcare is not a right... But when it comes to weapons they cry out IT’S OUR RIGHT TO OWN A GUN! Convoluted? Everything about this type of mindset is BIZARRE and puzzling to anyone with common sense. When not even the mass killing of 20 kindergarteners can soften such an obstinate, unyielding and OUT OF WHACK vision of reality, WHAT IN THE WORLD CAN? thinkingblue


Gunfire rings through the hills at a shooting range at the foot of Mount Fuji. There are few other places in Japan where you'll hear it.

In this country, guns are few and far between. And so is gun violence. Guns were used in only seven murders in Japan — a nation of about 130 million — in all of 2011, the most recent year for official statistics. According to police, more people — nine — were murdered with scissors.

Though its gun ownership rates are tiny compared to the United States, Japan has more than 120,000 registered gun owners and more than 400,000 registered firearms. So why is there so little gun violence?

"We have a very different way of looking at guns in Japan than people in the United States," said Tsutomu Uchida, who runs the Kanagawa Ohi Shooting Range, an Olympic-style training center for rifle enthusiasts. "In the U.S., people believe they have A RIGHT TO OWN A GUN. In Japan, we don't have that right. So our point of departure is completely different."

Treating gun ownership as a privilege and not a right leads to some important policy differences.

First, anyone who wants to get a gun must demonstrate a valid reason why they should be allowed to do so. Under longstanding Japanese policy, there is no good reason why any civilian should have a handgun, so — aside from a few dozen accomplished competitive shooters — they are completely banned.

Virtually all handgun-related crime is attributable to gangsters, who obtain them on the black market. But such crime is extremely rare and when it does occur, police crack down hard on whatever gang is involved, so even gangsters see it as a last-ditch option.

Rifle ownership is allowed for the general public, but tightly controlled.
thinkingblue PS: Posting this on dailykos brought out an interesting response to another viewpoint on gun ownership:

"I was raised in a Democratic voting household, my dad was a member of the IBEW and we would be considered lifelong Democrats. My family and the millions of families like us make up a significant portion of the Democratic Party. Who are we?"
My response to this posting: USA gun ownership is a right, BUT...
It’s time to take a good hard look at this “right” and not just accept it as a 2nd amendment legality that is presumed, carved in stone and unchangeable because although I can agree that owning a gun may be a right but the owning of semi-automatics with clips holding 10 to 100 bullets should not be or should never be construed as a right. Nothing should (especially in the realm of danger) be evaluated in Black and White perspectives; we human beings (and nature itself) are too complicated for that. The problem is, how can legislators spell it out to those who own (or wish to own) arsenals of weapons, that owning or buying artillery should have limitations, in spite of how they interpret the US constitution? It should be common sense; if we won’t allow other countries to arm themselves to the teeth with nuclear bombs (remember the Bush/Cheney administration was able to convince the majority of our lawmakers to send our youth to war over a presumed idea that Iraq had “Weapons of Mass Destruction” therefore posed a threat to the world.)

Why should it be so difficult to convince the NRA and its members who cry out IT’S OUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT to own whatever weapons that are available for sale WITHOUT modification or restrictions. I don’t know about anyone else, but this confuses the hell out of me. I guess possessing too much common sense can be a curse in a culture where foolishness seems to rule. thinkingblue

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