Saturday, November 7, 2009

Rare Japanese Shooting

The BBC reports on a shooting in Yokohama, Japan in which a man wounded three before taking his own life. The title of the article speaks volumes. Three hurt in rare Japan shooting.

The gunman had taken refuge in a building in a residential area which the police surrounded.

A police spokesman said one of the injured men was in a critical condition and the other two were lightly wounded.

Japanese media reported the violence appeared to be gang related. Shootings are rare in Japan, where there are strict gun control laws.

Police named the gunman as Kenji Hayashi, a 62-year-old member of the Inagawa-kai, a large Japanese organised crime group.

He had identified himself to police after they surrounded him.

Police entered the building when Mr Hayashi stopped talking and they found him dead.

"We stormed the building and found the man on the floor with a revolver, bleeding from his right ear," AFP news agency quoted a police spokesman as saying.

What gun violence there is in Japan tends to be associated with the Japanese mafia, known as yakuza.

Gun violence is extremely rare in Japan because guns are extremely rare, at least by American standards. The correlation between gun availability and violent gun incidents in a given society seems indisputable to me. Why do pro-gun folks keep denying it?

If Japan were suddenly flooded with guns, do you think the violence would increase or stay the same? If Japan were flooded with guns do you think the incidents of suicide would increase or stay the same?

Please leave a comment.


  1. Mike you can't compare a simple fact like gun availability in the United States to another country like Japan. For one there is the cultural factor where in Japan for the last 60 years there are norms in society that are not present in America. Everything ranging from lower rates of unemployment and wider distribution of wealth in the society to the pacifist element of their constitution. It would be interesting for you to research the crime rate in Japan and see where the highest crime rates are in the country. I would not be surprised if the areas around the US military installations in Japan are some of the highest areas.

    As an American ex pat living in Italy, how bout looking at a three country case study and include Italy. With America being much larger than Italy and states having different gun control laws, I think you need to find a state with comparable social economic levels, population and gun control laws. While you will not find states with gun control laws similar to Italy, you would immediately see that even in Italy there are different parts of the country with higher and lower gun deaths. You well know that the areas where the Mafia clans of Cosa Nostra and the Camorra are the local de facto governments, there would be a huge increase in the amount of gun deaths in that area while in the Veneto or area around one of the northern areas boarding Switzerland the gun death rate would be lower.

    Point being there is a huge social and cultural variable in the equation and it is not just about availability.

  2. Principe, I think I've made it clear a number of times that I understand it's not ONLY about the guns.

    About that suggested research, that sounds like a project for you. My frequent commenters will tell you I don't go in much for that sort of thing.

    If you do it though, I'll post it here.