The most recent crusades for gun control seem to have fizzled, and that’s just as well, not only for the sake of the freedom and safety of most Americans, but also for the public reputations of those who push the banning of firearms. There is an ever-increasing amount of evidence that gun control is a failure, not only in the United States but in other countries, too.
The ancient and honorable nation of Japan has the distinction of enjoying perhaps the most rigorous gun-control laws in the world outside of communist states. With no tradition whatsoever of individual liberty and a powerful tradition of placing the integrity of the group — family and nation — over the individual, Japanese lawmakers have never felt the slightest hesitation in outlawing most gun ownership and punishing severely those who break the laws.
In Japan, even possessing a handgun and a bullet puts you in prison for 15 years. Other laws have been tightened and toughened since 1991, and even armored car guards don’t carry firearms. Only police officers and soldiers can carry guns at all, and the cops have to leave their guns in a safe when they leave work.
According to gun-control dogmas, that should pretty much keep gun violence down. But it doesn’t, in Japan anymore than in this country. The Washington Post recently carried a report on the increasing incidence of gun violence in the Land of the Rising Gun.
The number of crimes committed with handguns last year was higher than in any year since records have been kept, and the rate this year threatens to be even higher. An administrator in Japan’s National Police Agency told the Post, “Since 1994 or 1995 there’s been a clear change; the guns are now becoming dispersed in the population. We are worried about it. Crimes are becoming more violent, more serious. And handguns are very efficient weapons for that.” So much for the effectiveness of gun control.
The people in Japan who do have guns are the members of the “yakuza,” as the Japanese organized crime cartel is known. As the Post reports: “The yakuza are the exception. Experts believe most of the estimated 80,000 underworld members have weapons, and police have been unable or unwilling to dent that figure.” Does that remind you of anything? When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.
Japan, however, is not the only gun-controlling society to sport rising gun violence. The same is true in Australia, where a new law last year confiscated virtually all handguns in the country and destroyed them. It doesn’t matter. Now violent crimes committed by guns are on the rise Down Under.
One year after the mass confiscation of handguns, homicides in Australia have increased 3.2 percent. Assaults have risen by 8.6 percent, and armed robberies have increased by a whopping 44 percent. In one state (Victoria), homicides with firearms have risen 300 percent, despite the government ban. The figures on armed robberies are especially instructive, since these crimes in particular had been falling for some 25 years. Now all of a sudden, with privately owned guns outlawed, they start increasing dramatically.
Similar statistics come from Great Britain, long the gun controllers’ showcase country. There, where privately owned handguns were effectively banned a few years ago after a mass shooting by a crazed homosexual, crime figures show an increase in England and Wales for the first time in six years. The number of robberies, mostly mugging, increased by 19 percent. Violent offenses increased by 5 percent, and sexual offenses rose by 2 percent. Statistics from the Home Office show that the City of London suffered the greatest increase in crime — 22 percent.
In the United States, however, violent crime continues to fall, for reasons no one seems to be able to figure out. The high rate of incarceration and the ageing of the criminal population are often cited, but the increase in conceal carry laws, which let law-abiding citizens carry concealed firearms, is not often mentioned as reasons for the drop in violent crimes in this country. University of Chicago economist John Lott is one expert who’s shown there is a very real link between the decline of violent crime and the availability of firearms; his book, “More Guns, Less Crime,” has been virtually ignored by the establishment media..
But the connection ought to be obvious enough. When law-abiding people have guns and criminals know they have them, it’s the criminals who have reason to be afraid, and they pick on softer targets that can’t shoot back. When guns are criminilized, as in most crime-ridden American cities and in countries like Japan, Australia and Great Britain, only the yakuza and its cousins around the world will have guns, and it’s the law-abiding who have to live in fear.