Police oppose proposals to liberalize Japan's gun laws

TOKYO —

Farmers in rural areas have been reporting increasing damage to their crops by wild boar, deer and other animals. To make firearms more accessible, a bill that would loosen the currently tight restrictions on hunting rifles has been proposed in the Diet. But, the Sankei Shimbun (Dec 4) reports, the police remain adamantly opposed to changes in the law.

According to data compiled by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, in 2009, crop damage from animals and birds reached 21.3 billion yen, a year-on increase of 1.4 billion yen. To deal with what it claims is a growing problem, a group of LDP Diet members have proposed revisions to the law controlling firearms and swords, along with two other statutes that deal with animal pest eradication and animal protection. The proposed law is still being discussed at the subcommittee level.

In Japan, to be eligible to purchase a hunting rifle, the law at present requires a person first hold a shotgun license for a minimum of 10 years. The proposed bill calls for that period to be reduced to five years, and that the validity period for both shotgun and hunting rifle permits (private handgun ownership is banned outright in Japan) be extended from the current three years to five.

In addition, the proposed law would put a freeze on the current requirement that firearms owners be obliged to attend periodic lectures on gun usage and safety.

The Dai-Nippon Ryoyukai, a nationwide organization of gun enthusiasts, is backing the proposed legislation as a way of expanding firearms ownership.

Restrictions on guns had been tightened after a number of serious crimes were committed by armed criminals in the 1960s and early 1970s. Perhaps coincidentally, a hunting boom took place during these years and sales of shotguns and rifles peaked.

While firearms occasionally figure in accidents and crimes, the number in Japan has been conspicuously low. So far in 2011, the Sankei reports, a total of 22 incidents involving shotguns and weapons have occurred, resulting in six fatalities (at least two of which were criminal homicides).

A spokesperson for the National Police Agency told the newspaper that the bill under consideration in the Diet has problems and that the NPA opposes it.

“We are also skeptical as to whether or not the new law would have much of an impact in dealing with predatory birds and animals,” he added.

Currently, owners of hunting rifles account for only about 30% of all licensed firearms owners, and in the NPA’s view, reducing the 10-year requirement to five years is unlikely to result in any significant increase in ownership of hunting rifles.

Emphasizing concerns that animal damage to crops is likely to worsen, the Dai-Nippon Ryoyukai continues to urge revision of the law. According to the group, four out of Japan’s 47 prefectures currently lack target practice ranges for shotguns, and 15 prefectures offer no shooting facilities for hunting rifles.

The group points out the inconveniences gun owners currently face.

“For example, if a person living in the Ogasawara Islands (which is administrated by Tokyo) wants to attend a technical and safety lecture on firearms, since there are no flights to Tokyo he would have to spend three nights aboard a boat to Tokyo, and from there travel to Gunma Prefecture to attend the course. So you’re talking about one week’s time, which is intolerable.”

At the very least, the group argues, the inconvenient technical training courses that make gun ownership so prohibitive should be suspended.

  • 0

    Godan

    the Sankei reports, a total of 22 incidents involving shotguns and weapons have occurred, resulting in six fatalities (at least two of which were criminal homicides).

    Sounds like a typical afternoon in some parts of America.

    I am very happy to be raising a family in a society where guns are strictly controlled.

  • -6

    johninnaha

    The Japanese police are totally right about this.

    No one needs a gun.

    And killing animals for sport should be recognized for what it is - a crime.

  • 2

    MaboDofuIsSpicy

    Get a cross bow or make one. Very effective against hungry thieving animals and varmints :-)

  • 2

    Virtuoso

    Eventually I expect some poster in here to pipe up, "Yeah, but what do I do to protect my family from some crazed rapist?" Gun owners in Japan are not empowered to use their guns for personal self defense either. In fact, they are required to store their gun or guns at home unloaded, with the ammunition locked away in a place separate from the guns.

  • -18

    AiserX

    With an increasingly assertive China and North Korea, Japan will have to liberalize gun laws. Guns do not kill people, people kill people. If one wishes to use a fire arm to protects ones private property and family, then they should be allowed to do so. If one wishes to use a gun to hunt for game, then they should be allowed to do so. The best approach to this is to grant more freedoms to the nations citizens, which means freedom to bear arms. An armed populace is the best method to prevent a tyrannical Govt from forming and slaughtering its own citizens as is the case in Switzerland and the U.S.

    Contrary to the myth that freedom to own a gun leads to crime, where one would have to reconcile that blinkered view with what has happen in Washington D.C. guns were illegal there until some years ago and crime was rampant. After gun ownership was restored to it's true constitutional authority, as expected crime rates plummeted. Japan has a similar problem in Roppongi, which is a cesspool of crime. Legalize gun ownership and crime rates will certainly plummet.

  • -12

    KobeGrandad

    Guns are for wimps, criminals and sociopaths.

    Many American men seem to think of them as a penis extension.

  • 2

    Scrote

    It's bad enough with the knife-wielding nutcases that occasionally run amok; imagine the carnage if these people had access to guns.

  • 17

    borscht

    The intelligence of the gun owner is as important as the legal right to own one. While most Swiss have guns, crimes involving guns is nearly non-existent. Most gun owners in Japan are probably responsible. Most gun owners in the US are probably responsible, too, but there is a substantial section of the population that uses a gun for their brains.

    How large is that guns-for-brains section of the population in Japan? I don't want to find out. But if they're willing to run cars into crowds of people, randomly stab children in schools, and slice their neighbors over 'a slight' then I suspect the guns-for-brains section needn't have access to more weaponry.

  • 3

    Virtuoso

    With an increasingly assertive China and North Korea, Japan will have to liberalize gun laws.

    Hah! I can hardly wait to see the movie version of "Gallant ojiisans with shotguns fend off People's Liberation Army invasion force."

  • -19

    アメリ フセイン

    People have a right to defend themselves. I aint working out, I aint jogging, I should have the right to own a gun.

  • 7

    Bettingurlife

    I thoroughly side with the police on this one. Just no need for guns.

  • 4

    InspectorBlake

    I have fought with guns once in the British army and when i saw the aftermath and suffering i had to get a new job.

    Nobody has the right to own a device that can kill like that. Killing with a gun is much easier than with a knife or similar. I hope in the future we have no bleeding guns.

    I have seen what they do, i hate them.

  • -1

    kaminarioyaji

    I'm not advocating them at all, but it says above, that to legally own of hunting rifle, you need to have owned a shotgun licence (and therefore presumably at somepoint a shotgun) for 10 years.

    Therefore, my point is that nothing would really change of the current law was changed - those people who would be elgible already have guns/permits.

  • -9

    saru_au

    i wonder how many votes / bribes these government fools hope to get from this stunt

  • 9

    LoudLight

    People have a right to defend themselves. I aint working out, I aint jogging, I should have the right to own a gun.

    This article isn't about the right to self defense...it's about crop damage...I enjoy the wild boar my father-in law hunts and Japan is just fine without guns for "self defense". If you think you have the right to own a gun....go back home wherever you need to exercise that right.

  • 4

    zurcronium

    Civilized countries recognize that hand guns in particular and guns in general are a public safety threat and need to be controlled strictly. Beyond this, gun nuts just repeat propaganda to themselves to justify the deaths that guns cause in society.

  • -1

    BlueWitch

    @johninnaha

    The Japanese police are totally right about this.

    No one needs a gun.

    This is one law I wouldn't change. Leave it as it is. Too many nutters walking around already.

    And killing animals for sport should be recognized for what it is - a crime.

    100% agree. If it was up to me, hunting for entertainment would be outright BANNED!
    It's really inhumane and sadistic to shoot living animals so you can prove your skills to your pals. You hunt animals out of necessity for food, not for FUN. period.

  • 6

    AiserX

    100% agree. If it was up to me, hunting for entertainment would be outright BANNED! It's really inhumane and sadistic to shoot living animals so you can prove your skills to your pals. You hunt animals out of necessity for food, not for FUN. period.

    The problem with this statement is that it obviously assumes that game hunters shoot game just for fun. The images that are conjured up are a bunch of gun totting individuals that shoot animals and leave the carcass behind. The truth is, when it comes to game hunting, the hunter either consumes the hunted game or sells it off into the market for a profit. Often times the hunter might keep the head as a taxidermy trophy. Or use the fur to make clothing while selling the rest of the carcass, but ultimately nothing goes to waste.

    I suppose "BlueWitch" is enlightened enough to know better then everyone else and therefore ban their freedoms? While your intentions might sound sincere, but under the surface their is actually A LOT of violence involved in your statement. As it involves Government coercion to force other humans what to do and what not to do at the threat of imprisonment and even execution thus restricting the freedoms of others.

  • -7

    BlueWitch

    @KobeGrandad

    Guns are for wimps, criminals and sociopaths.

    Many American men seem to think of them as a penis extension.

    penis extension? lol

  • -2

    China Sailor

    It's very very rare that I agree with anything the the Japanese Police say or do, but in this case, they are 100% correct, AND I would even call for the elimination of Firearms from within the Japanese Police, as they has so often showed, they are not capable of safety handling or using when required. So while you're on the topic, take the guns away from the kids that have them now.

  • -7

    BlueWitch

    @bilderberg_2015

    I have a Japanese gun licence and hunting licence. I think the current system is fine. It is longwinded and quite expensive, but this tends to ensure only serious people can be bothered to go through with it. Getting a gun on a whim here is just not possible. In rural communities, the local deer and boar populations are causing a lot of damage. With the aging hunter population and the unwillingness of younger people to take up hunting, this problem is only going to get worse. I enjoy eating meat from animals which have led natural and free lives in the wild. I also find it very rewarding to eat meat which I have personally tracked, harvested, butchered and cooked. It always amuses me when people decry my hunting of deer/boar, but then happily tuck into a plate of mass-farmed beef, full of artificial hormones and antibiotics, which have been raised in stressful captivity. I seriously doubt relaxing the current laws would encourage many extra would-be hunters from taking up hunting. The lack of gun ownership/hunters isn't down to the current law; it's due to people increasingly being out of touch with the nature around them and the ease of popping to the supermarket.

    Allow me to give you a piece of wisdom...

    That boars and deers are causing "damage" to people's crops was only caused by those very people. These people complaining about their crops are the same people that hunted the JAPANESE WOLF to extinction. They were the natural common predator of the Wild Boar/Inoshishi , which is why now the wild boar populations are so large and out of control. Yes, my friend, the Japanese Wolf is extinct, thanks to these people. Now they are crying and whining that "poor us, someone help us, our crops, poor poor us" I hate to be honest like this but this is the natural case of: "People get what they DESERVE"

    No I wonder if they are going to hunt these deers and wild boars to the point of extinction as well, since common sense is definitely NOT a Japanese trait.

  • -12

    cleo

    it obviously assumes that game hunters shoot game just for fun.

    That's a not unreasonable assumption.

    game noun

    1 a form of play or sport

    2 [often with negative ] a thing that is frivolous or amusing

    3 wild mammals or birds hunted for sport or food.

    it involves Government coercion to force other humans what to do and what not to do at the threat of imprisonment and even execution thus restricting the freedoms of others.

    One man's freedom is another man's restriction. If I have the freedom to walk the streets without fear of being attacked, you do not have the freedom to go on a mugging rampage. If you have the freedom to drive in safety on well-regulated roads, I do not have the freedom to dig pot-holes willy-nilly in the tarmac, park on a yellow line or drive the wrong way up a one-way street. I think the freedom to walk in the countryside with no fear of being mistaken for a trophy deer by some eager 'game' hunter easily trumps the freedom of the 'game' hunter to take pot shots at wild life. If that means the hunter is 'coerced' into having veggies for dinner, I see no problem.

  • -11

    BlueWitch

    AiserX

    I suppose "BlueWitch" is enlightened enough to know better then everyone else and therefore ban their freedoms? While your intentions might sound sincere, but under the surface their is actually A LOT of violence involved in your statement. As it involves Government coercion to force other humans what to do and what not to do at the threat of imprisonment and even execution thus restricting the freedoms of others.

    Excuse me,

    You need NO freedom to go on a hunt and slaughter animals just because you feel like it, with all due respect. There are plenty of laws making sure man doesn't take over the world and drive the species to extinction, but how many people actually respect those laws? Do you? You are NOT over the planet and its animal population. So you, my friend, have NO freedom to just load a gun and go on a killing spree around the woods. Hunting for food purposes OK Hunting for pleasure, NOT OK!!

    If you are afraid of getting arrested and prosecuted, please, stay away from protected areas by law. Many many animals are protected and can't be hunted, when hunting is allowed, however, certain quotas are in place to make sure there is no overkill. If I was to go hunting, I will hunt what me and my family can eat. Why hunting for something if at the end of the day it's gonna end up at the bottom of the garbage can. Is that what you want?

  • -9

    TheQuestion

    Just use poison. I'm all for gun rights but there are way simpler solutions. If the wild boar just 'happens' to come across some food soaked in antifreeze it's no skin off my nose. A firearm would be a cleaner, quicker death but when you can't get a scalpel you use a hammer...though I suppose if you were feeling particularly brutish you could just go after it with a heavy gardening tool. My brother and I had to kill boar that had decided to nest in the scrap yard that he owns, all you need is a plan, a shovel, and some upper body strength. To many houses around, couldn't risk a shot. The liberal application of brute force will solve most problems.

  • -11

    BlueWitch

    @bilderberg

    I never said to let them take over and destroy and do nothing about it. But you have to be willing to admit all this was caused by human error. These people disturbed the natural ecosystem by permanently removing the natural predators. Now they are paying the consequences. Still, I'm afraid they won't just go hunt a few and keep them at bay, as one would think. They may just go overboard AGAIN, just like what happened to the Japanese Wolf. One more thing, You may not have the opportunity to have met them but I have. There are people that hunts for many reasons other than food. Believe me. I suggest you broad your research, since advocating for mass animal killing isn't helping your cause. Control is the key in order to maintain the balance. We don't need any trigger-happy hunters around here.

  • -1

    AiserX

    ere are plenty of laws making sure man doesn't take over the world and drive the species to extinction, but how many people actually respect those laws? Do you? You are NOT over the planet and its animal population. So you, my friend, have NO freedom to just load a gun and go on a killing spree around the woods. Hunting for food purposes OK Hunting for pleasure, NOT OK!!

    Who says anything about going on a killing spree? I don't know of anyone or ever even hear a report of individuals going on an Animal killing spree. You are over exaggerating. If i want to go into the woods and hunt for food and or for fun then it is my freedom to do so as is yours.

    One man's freedom is another man's restriction. If I have the freedom to walk the streets without fear of being attacked, you do not have the freedom to go on a mugging rampage.

    One mans freedom is another mans freedom. There is something known as "private property rights". You own the property that is in your pocket. No one may steal this property from you especially Govt. The same goes for the mugger as he owns his own private property.

    If you have the freedom to drive in safety on well-regulated roads, I do not have the freedom to dig pot-holes willy-nilly in the tarmac, park on a yellow line or drive the wrong way up a one-way street.

    Again, private property rights.

    I think the freedom to walk in the countryside with no fear of being mistaken for a trophy deer by some eager 'game' hunter easily trumps the freedom of the 'game' hunter to take pot shots at wild life. If that means the hunter is 'coerced' into having veggies for dinner, I see no problem.

    This would be known as an extreme. As the chances of confusing another human being for a wild Animal is highly unlikely which renders this argument moot. Private property rights also comes into play here because then you wish to limit the rights of others which inevitably includes yourself that's a major problem. Much like how you used some random extreme that is unlikely to justify a anti-freedom position, i too can use an extreme myself that is even more likely. What if in the case of a major economic global meltdown you have no choice but to resort to hunting for your own food? Can't live on those veggies alone as the human body requires certain proteins found in meat. Some people are former vegans because they can not have a niche of veggies + proteins pills. Therefore the only option is to have the freedom to bear arms.

  • 0

    BlueWitch

    @TheQuestion

    Just use poison. I'm all for gun rights but there are way simpler solutions. If the wild boar just 'happens' to come across some food soaked in antifreeze it's no skin off my nose. A firearm would be a cleaner, quicker death but when you can't get a scalpel you use a hammer...though I suppose if you were feeling particularly brutish you could just go after it with a heavy gardening tool. My brother and I had to kill boar that had decided to nest in the scrap yard that he owns, all you need is a plan, a shovel, and some upper body strength. To many houses around, couldn't risk a shot. The liberal application of brute force will solve most problems.

    The use of poison is not the way to go, you could even end up in prison if by some rotten bad luck a person, most probably a small child, ingested it by mistake. Awful way to deal with the problem, my friend. I wouldn't try it. If you want to kill a boar that's invading and damaging your land, that's alright, but make sure you use a method that doesn't involved putting others in danger. Avoid poison, please.

  • 4

    LFRAgain

    First off, there is absolutely no need whatsoever for the general population of Japan to be walking around with firearms. None at all.

    With one of the lowest violent crime rates in the world (pooh-pooh that statement all you like, but the stats still stand up to scrutiny, even allowing for the most liberal interpretation of the data) there's no practical need for firearms for -- ahem -- self defense in a modern Japanese society that saw only 47 criminal related gun homicides last year, versus 9,369 in the same year in the poster child for insane guns laws, the USA. I'm good with that number, thank you very much.

    As for paranoia-fueled silliness of feeling in danger in a country with one of the lowest crimes rates of ALL TYPES in the world, a gun won't address those fears nearly as well as a good therapist.

    With that said, according to the article, it doesn't seem like there's any real push to make handguns more accessible to people like the 16-year-old boy who thought it would be keen to slash and stab a 15-year-old and 8-year-old girl over at the Crime section. The focus seems to be on making the process of acquiring a shotgun or hunting rifle easier.

    But the idea that more guns will naturally lead to more efficient protection of crops is ridiculous, just as the NPA rightly points out. There are countless other effective ways to protect crops from wildlife that don't involve guns, and the claim by Dai-Nippon Ryoyukai that animal damage will increase is simply unsupported.

  • -4

    cleo

    your comments about 'hunting for fun' are just misguided. I have never met any hunters who do that, in Japan or in any other country

    Maybe you haven't met many hunters.

    It is fun trying to outsmart a wild animal http://www.alphatrilogy.com/0188/i-hunt-because-hunting-is-fun.html (A hunter has the IQ of a deer?)

    "Almost every hunter today throws their trophy animal in the back of their truck and drives around showing off their trophy. It is great fun to do that http://www.mcall.com/sports/columnists/blockus/mc-outdoor-report-11172011-20111117,0,7831835.column (The kid in the photo in that link seems to be having great fun posing with the beautiful animal he's just killed)

    Small game hunting is fun http://www.mcall.com/sports/outdoors/mc-hunting-10302011-20111031,0,4957502.column (Note that in this link the writer mentions that the area is being stocked with birds bred to be hunted because there aren't enough wild birds. If the aim is simply to get food for the table, why not just buy the bird in the first place, instead of subjecting it to the terror and pain of being shot at? Because the whole point is to enjoy killing, not to spare the food animal a life of captivity.)

  • -6

    BlueWitch

    @AiserX

    Who says anything about going on a killing spree? I don't know of anyone or ever even hear a report of individuals going on an Animal killing spree. You are over exaggerating. If i want to go into the woods and hunt for food and or for fun then it is my freedom to do so as is yours.

    No, you can't. No by law anyway. You can have your own hunting rifle with permit, license and everything but if you get caught hunting protected species or going over the mandated quota of the animals you are allow to hunt, you might end up having big trouble. There is no REAL freedom to just go into the woods and do what you want. These places are controlled by the government to prevent people from driving the species into extinction. As I stated before, Balance is the key to everything. You wanna go hunt, good for you, but make sure you are well informed of what you can and can't hunt as well as how many you are allowed to hunt therefore preventing any brushes with the law. Hunting for FUN is inhumane, in my honest opinion. Such people should be BANNED from owning gun/rifles permanently. They are a potential danger to others.

  • -9

    BlueWitch

    @cleo

    your comments about 'hunting for fun' are just misguided. I have never met any hunters who do that, in Japan or in any other country

    Maybe you haven't met many hunters.

    It is fun trying to outsmart a wild animal http://www.alphatrilogy.com/0188/i-hunt-because-hunting-is-fun.html (A hunter has the IQ of a deer?)

    "Almost every hunter today throws their trophy animal in the back of their truck and drives around showing off their trophy. It is great fun to do that http://www.mcall.com/sports/columnists/blockus/mc-outdoor-report-11172011-20111117,0,7831835.column (The kid in the photo in that link seems to be having great fun posing with the beautiful animal he's just killed)

    Small game hunting is fun http://www.mcall.com/sports/outdoors/mc-hunting-10302011-20111031,0,4957502.column (Note that in this link the writer mentions that the area is being stocked with birds bred to be hunted because there aren't enough wild birds. If the aim is simply to get food for the table, why not just buy the bird in the first place, instead of subjecting it to the terror and pain of being shot at? Because the whole point is to enjoy killing, not to spare the food animal a life of captivity.)

    Well said, sister.

  • 3

    Virtuoso

    Japanese society that saw only 47 criminal related gun homicides last year,

    LFR@where did you get those figures? The total number of homicides by guns in 2010 was 11, of whom 6 were members of boryokudan.

    Don't take my word for it -- here's the link to the latest police White Paper: www.npa.go.jp/hakusyo/h23/honbun/pdf/08sho2.pdf

  • -7

    BlueWitch

    @AiserXDEC. 07, 2011 - 01:04PM JST

    Bad argument actually. Now you actually have to consider the unintended consequences of govt involvement in such quotas. I can stay away from endangered species because of course I don;t want to get arrested. How ever the pirate wants the govt to place quotas on animals. Lets take the example of the whales, Govts have quotas on whaling because they are endangered, to someone such as yourself this may sound like progress in the right direction but in fact it makes everything worse. The quotas places more restriction upon the animal and therefore more added risk when hunting it. The added risk raises it's prices and becomes more profitable. The increase in profits thus invites more pirates into the market leading to more whaling. The result? extinction. In fact dozens of species go extinct year after year, and all those species happen to be on endangered quota lists. The answer? simple. Repeal the quotas, this decrease the profits to its normal free market value eliminating the pirate out of the scene. Whats left are the private industry that hunt only a certain amount of game, but also breeds it, so as too prevent it's extinction or otherwise face bankruptcy under free market economic laws. The pirate does not care if the species goes extinct, the private industry does.

    Frankly, I don't get what you are trying to tell me. For what I understand, all you are trying to say is that you wouldn't hunt some protected species for fear of being arrested. In other words, do you have any respect or even consideration for the animal species in general? do you have any regard towards them? I wonder, with all due respect of course. I mean, I thought that the BEST HUNTER was the one that would abide by the law and fully knew what to hunt, how many and what season. I thought that was what professional hunting was all about, no?

    If I'm going to hunt, I'm going to follow the rules, not for fear of prosecution, but for my respect for animal population. Same as when you have the perfect shot, and suddenly a pair of cubs show up out of nowhere, what are you going to do? Wait for next solitary target or just go ahead and shoot them all? It takes great dedication and discipline to become a responsible hunter. This is NOT some crazy-hippie animal' loving type of thinking. This is just what is right and humane.

  • 0

    AiserX

    No, you can't. No by law anyway. You can have your own hunting rifle with permit, license and everything but if you get caught hunting protected species or going over the mandated quota of the animals you are allow to hunt, you might end up having big trouble. There is no REAL freedom to just go into the woods and do what you want. These places are controlled by the government to prevent people from driving the species into extinction. As I stated before, Balance is the key to everything. You wanna go hunt, good for you, but make sure you are well informed of what you can and can't hunt as well as how many you are allowed to hunt therefore preventing any brushes with the law. Hunting for FUN is inhumane, in my honest opinion. Such people should be BANNED from owning gun/rifles permanently. They are a potential danger to others.

    The problem with this paragraph is that most laws again most law are just like most rules, they are meant to be broken. Just because govt puts a quota on an Animal will NOT prevent further hunting of the species. But the opposite, invite pirates into the scene where the protected becomes more profitable because of added risk and market demands. I 100% agree and am with you and your sentiments in regards to Animals problem is, your not with your own self o this one and don't realize the economic law of unintended consequences of when govt wants to do good.

  • -1

    Godan

    Borscht raises a great point - one in which I agree with. Having been raised in Utah, where guns are everywhere (mostly rifles for hunting), gun safety is as natural a part of the education system as driver's ed or studying biology. I was taught gun safety as a boy scout and it was taken very seriously and to this day I am sure I know how to properly use one. But I have seen what the right to arms has done to much of America and the access to guns is just out of control.

    Having said this, do people in Japan need ready access to guns? I don't think so. Would the teaching of gun safety help? Maybe. But generally speaking I agree with the posters that keeping guns out of the hands of the general populace in Japan is for the best.

    As for the thumbs down. In this case, I am not bothered one bit.

  • 2

    Elbuda Mexicano

    The Japanese are not fools, they see what guns do back in the USA, South Africa, Colombia, ok ok Mexico and do they want Japan to become another violent crap hole?? HELL NO!!

  • -3

    tokyokawasaki

    I agree with everything that BlueWitch written.

    All guns should be banned along with hunting & fishing for sport/entertainment.

  • 0

    BlueWitch

    @AiserX

    The problem with this paragraph is that most laws again most law are just like most rules, they are meant to be broken.

    I wonder what you mean by this.

  • -2

    frank07

    I agree, get a crossbow

  • -1

    m5c32

    Cleo,

    I get your POV. There is no need to cherry pick to prove your bias. If you want to make a good argument, you'd have to pull ALL data and then show the overall lean. Otherwise that's just selection bias.

  • -1

    cracaphat

    Next minute there'll be lip about the right to bear arms.

  • 2

    TakahiroDomingo

    the swiss use their guns for suicide. it seems that if many people have guns, some eventually will follow the tune "have gun, will use"

  • 2

    LFRAgain

    Virtuoso,

    "LFR@where did you get those figures? The total number of homicides by guns in 2010 was 11, of whom 6 were members of boryokudan."

    You're absolutely correct. I incorrectly ascribed those numbers to 2010, when in fact they are from 2002. The data was found at multiple sources, including http://www.gunpolicy.org and the UN's WHO webpage concerning domestic (as opposed to war-related) violence in nations around the world. Thanks for pointing out my error.

  • 2

    sakurala

    I think that for some rural communities, a hunting rifle is a good thing to have around. I come from a small mountain town in Canada. And even though my immediate family didn't own guns, my counsins did and still use them to hunt. They don't let much of the animals they catch go to waste and they try their hardest to make sure it is a quick death.

    That being said, I can see how some farmers in rural Japan would like a rifle to protect their crops and possible even end up with a meal by doing so. Crossbows are a nice idea, but if you only graze your target, it could mean that they would get away and end up dying of their wounds later. Also, I am not sure how that fits under Japanese law in regards to swords and firearms. Another option is traping....but even that seems like it needs a rifle to end the animals torment quickly. Also traps are dangerous to anyone that may be taking a rural shortcut.

    I don't want to see the proliferation of guns but if it means that a farmer can keep their crops safe, I don't see what is really wrong about it.

  • 2

    telecasterplayer

    Some gun nut,

    With an increasingly assertive China and North Korea, Japan will have to liberalize gun laws.

    Really? China can have a million troops ready to go when it wants. Do you actually think "Red Dawn" was a blueprint for success?

  • 2

    sakurala

    By the way...I should mention that I live in an area where monkeys regularly will jump over fences or rip holes in netting to plunder people's gardens and farms. And if it isn't the deer going over, it is the tanuki finding sneaky ways to get in. I can see why a farmer may want a rifle for when this happens.

  • 0

    Dennis Bauer

    wait Japan has a long tradition of archery (kyodo) , why are the farmers not doing it the traditional way?

  • -1

    Dennis Bauer

    @LoudLight People have a right to defend their crops. I aint working out, I aint jogging, I should have the right to own a gun. this better :p

    @bilderberg_2015

    Well the police could use some gun training maybe they can do that if there are no hunters to contain the "rampant deer boar bears" etcetera

  • 2

    cleo

    m5c32 - You protest too much. The comment was made that the poster had never met any hunters who do that (hunt for fun), in Japan or in any other country, implying that no hunter hunts for the fun of it. There's no need to show the overall lean to refute a 'never'. One example will do. I gave three, very easily found.

  • 1

    sakurala

    Just out of curiosity, how would you people that don't agree with guns suggest the farmers deal with their problem?

    Trapping? Harsher with more suffering.

    Bow and arrow? Not fatal most of the time on the first shot.

    Poison? Risky for the neighbourhood.

    Huge fences that go a meter below and maybe 3 meters above the dirt? Block out sun from the crops and make it difficult to move farming machinery.

    Trap and release? Rarely successful and traumatic for social animals.

    I really wish we didn't have this issue, but a rifle with tight restricitons seems to be the best. I am sure farmers and others would like hear other suggestions.

  • -2

    RevHead

    These people with negative to guns comments, probably believe that meat comes packed and wraped, I grew up on a farm. The most humane way to deal with this is quick and effective not slow and painful

  • 3

    genji17

    Quite a few nutjobs on the island...already so many random stabbings and slashings...last thing we need is random shootings.

  • -2

    DS

    Guns usually aren't the problem, especially long guns and shotguns. And for people with valid reasons to get them, there shouldn't be such unreasonable restrictions on getting them. As for hunting/animal rights, if animals were so smart, THEY would get the guns and start hunting people.

    Contrary to the popular slurs mentioned here, most gun owners/hunters are intelligent and respectable people who are environmentally aware and take care to not cause irreparable harm.

  • -1

    anglootaku

    IF this falls through, expect the yakuza to be selling more arms and for Japan to be another gun state like the US in time...

  • 0

    Foxie

    Contrary to the popular slurs mentioned here, most gun owners/hunters are intelligent and respectable people who are environmentally aware and take care to not cause irreparable harm.

    This, for some reason, never even made big news but last year 2 hunters in Hokkaido shot a forest worker dead and got away. They still haven't been caught eventhough there is strict gun control here. The man left behind a wife and kid. Maybe guns should even become more restricted and only special police hunters should be allowed to kill wild animals and only if those do harm.

  • 0

    DS

    Terrible point Anglootaku. The hysterical argument "oh no, we'll become the next USA" is a strawman, and ignores reality. Many countries have reasonable restrictions on firearms which allow for sport hunting and recreational use.

  • 0

    anglootaku

    @DS

    I did emphasis 'in time' no one can know the course of time, but the laws may be come more relaxed or just remain the same.. You have to also take into question when a new law is relaxed eventually, it is only bound to become a lot more so in time..

  • 0

    DS

    The "thin edge of the wedge" has always been a poor argument. Japan lacks the cultural/social atmosphere and history that surround firearms the way the US does. Plus, gun laws in the US are largely left up to the individual states and not the federal government. So there aren't many "American" standards or laws regarding weapons.

  • 1

    iceshoecream

    I hope they don't liberalize any guns law anytime now. It's scary enough with knives. Give 'em guns and stabbing sprees will be a thing from the past.

  • 2

    Serrano

    "No one needs a gun"

    Except for the cops and the yakuza.

  • 0

    anglootaku

    Things can change, peoples mentality can change.. no different to how gun laws were relaxed in the US in the past, peoples mentalities can evolve in time to be more accepting to such freedoms of gun laws...

  • -1

    DS

    You may want to do a bit of research, anglo. In many areas which loosened requirements and allowed people to carry weapons freely, crime went down.

  • 0

    Virtuoso

    In many areas which loosened requirements and allowed people to carry weapons freely, crime went down.

    Okay@DS, how much further do you expect crime to go down if Japanese changed the law to allow people to carry weapons freely?

  • 2

    Leonard Boyak

    The changes to the law are from ten years to five and more training programs added to the year. In a country were a tomato is expensive any lost is expensive. The NPA is over-stating the problem, They state it has problems, but don't give any facts, nor do they work to improve the bill.

  • 1

    DS

    Virtuoso, I was talking about the US, not Japan. It was an example of how the knee-jerk reaction that guns equal crime is not necessarily accurate. The US has a special, and dare I say "unique" relationship with firearms. I wouldn't advocate other countries adapting their solutions. However, simply allowing people to keep firearms, especially when there is a demonstrated need, is only common sense.

  • 0

    cactusJack

    You have to realize that the arguments have nothing to do with guns, crops or safety, but MONEY.

  • 2

    sakurala

    Thumbs down but no suggestions on how farmers deal with their problem. Too many of you have a knee-jerk reaction without thinking about the real issue... this law isn't going too allow your typical crazy get a gun with short notice to go shoot someone. With the proposed law, it would still take 5 years to be allowed to get a rifle! Not a handgun or machine gun. If someone really wants someone dead, it would be quicker do kill them with something else.

  • 3

    Frungy

    Oh for goodness sakes, has no-one in Japan heard of a fence? A nice little electric fence will do the trick far more reliably and safely than any number of guns. Back home the electric fences have a regulator that means that the fence has a very low "resting" charge, but when something touches it then it measures the resistance generated (i.e. if a bear touches it then it's much bigger and generates more resistance than a bird or child), and the fence boosts the current to give a short sharp shock, then goes back to the low "resting" charge. This means that a smart electric fence isn't a danger to civilians, but provides an adequate level of discouragement to bigger animals so they don't just tear into it (or at least they might attack it once, but they quickly learn their lesson).

    ... unless of course these are back-flipping, ninja-kicking, wall-leaping, invisible ninja bears and boars.. in which case guns won't do much good anyway. ;)

  • 0

    The_the_in_the_way

    You may want to do a bit of research, anglo. In many areas which loosened requirements and allowed people to carry weapons freely, crime went down.

    I can endure some crime. What I cannot endure is being killed. You see, I might be able to outrun a man with a knife. I don't think I will be able out run bullets, even with training.

    Frungy, good post. But my issue is that these wild animals can be dangerous, especially to some who live in more remote areas. Also, in some places electricity is just not available. Either these things should be considered and rules eased for those with good reason, or a force of hunters should be raised that can quickly answer calls about dangerous wild animals.

    It is exceptional, but there is a story of a bear that was so large it could not find a place to hibernate and wound up eating people. http://muihwa.blogspot.com/2011/12/kesagake-gigantic-brown-bearthe-most.html

  • -2

    gaijinfo

    A Japan where EVERYBODY could carry a gun would be AWESOME!!! I say pass 'em out to everybody.

  • -1

    okimike67

    Godan: Nice to see a fellow Utah native (North or South?, S here). Unfortunately looks like that is where we part on views.

    My family was literally on the first wagon train into Utah so our familiy does have a penchance for the use of guns. And I have taken MANY deer, birds, pigs..... and have eaten all but the ones I gave away. Frankly, prefer it to the crap from the supers!!Oh, and 25 kg of venison (deer for you uneducated types) from Hokkaido and LOVIN IT!!!! Now, RESPECT for the law, animals and humans was a core tennant in our home. Only point at what you are ready to kill (animal or human) and never kill an animal for sport only, you can enjoy the hunt but must respect the animal and show respect by not wasting it. Simple!

    The point that people kill people, not guns was made but fell on deaf ears (as usual). As a matter of fact, more people are killed while driving to work that were by guns. More die from drinking and falling down than by guns. And lastly, they are talking rifles and not Uzi's or pistols here. Rifles are almost NEVER used in homicides!! All you ANTI GUN nuts are just that.

    And to those that say killing is wrong, quite simply YOU ARE ALL HYPOCRITES!!!! You eat beef, pork, lamb, fish, poultry. IF you ever went to a "farm" that raises these and saw what goes on......... and then move to the slaughter house OMG. I lived/worked on a farm, have been in several slaughter houses (livestock and poultry) so I know what I speak of. I dont fault their practices (for the most part) because we need meat, and lots of it! But if you you could only truely understand what it is like to really hunt... it gives you a true respect for Mother Nature. Not like the misguided morally inept judgemental drivel spewed thus far, a REAL respect. Granted there are "bad" people that claim to be hunters just like there are "bad" enviro wackos!

    Its quite obvious that you dont know what you are talking about so stick to tahat with which you do, Please!

  • -4

    John Constantine

    As for myself -- I believe that any punk can pull a trigger from across the street but it takes a "Real Man" to get close enought to stab!

  • -1

    Frungy

    It appears that people aren't actually reading previous comments. This entire thing is a false choice, guns vs no guns. The problem is crop damage by animals, the solution is fencing (oh, and for those who think I'm ignoring the crows, well you can add a scarecrow too (an no, the scarecrow does not need a gun! ... okay, maybe a water pistol).

    Guns are multi-purpose tools, you can hunt with them, you can shoot animals eating your crops (adding a nice bear-shaped hole to your fields, plus the label "freshly perforated for increased flavour!"), you can hang them over your fireplace for that frontier look, you can kill things and people, and most importantly you can casually hold one when your teenage daughter's first date arrives. Yes, guns have many uses. For some things they're great (can't beat that "deer in the headlights" look on the young guy's face and the exasperated "oh DAD!" look on your daughter's face), but for crop defence they're pretty lousy. Why?

    Firstly, many animals are nocturnal, i.e. damage occurs when you're asleep in bed. Secondly, you need to stand watch over your crops constantly, i.e. the gun is carried by you and you need to be there all the time to ensure no marauding bear eats your strawberries. Thirdly, you need a lot of training to fire a gun accurately at more than about 20 meters, i.e. in the hands of someone who isn't a skilled marksman the bullet you intended for that bear is more likely to hit the obaa-chan in her sittingroom than the bear (particularly in Japan where the population density is so high. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, making a killing shot is critical, if you just injure the bear/boar/vicious rabbit then you have to track it down and finish it off or you'll have a bigger risk, an animal in a lot of pain dying slowly of an infected wound. Most farmers in Japan are doing it as a retirement job, which means poor eyesight and coordination, and almost certainly not enough skill to reliably make a killing shot even one time in 10.

    Fences are there all the time, are cheap, effective, cause virtually no unnecessary damage or unintended casualties, and are safe, more sensible and just all-round better than guns for this purpose.

    So stop answering the question that has been asked, and instead stop for a moment and consider what question SHOULD have been asked. This really isn't a gun issue, it's a crop damage issue.

  • 0

    Disillusioned

    the police remain adamantly opposed to changes in the law.

    Me too! It should be the responsibility of the local councils to stop the feral invasions.

  • 1

    Frungy

    ThetheinthewayDec. 08, 2011 - 08:39PM JST

    Frungy, good post. But my issue is that these wild animals can be dangerous, especially to some who live in more remote areas. Also, in some places electricity is just not available. Either these things should be considered and rules eased for those with good reason, or a force of hunters should be raised that can quickly answer calls about dangerous wild animals.

    Okay, a fair point, but drifting off the topic a little towards the "public safety" issue. The vast majority of places in Japan have access to electricity (over 97%), and in areas where they don't then there are other deterrants to augment a fence, like scent-based detterants or at worst barbed wire (although barbed wire is problematic environmentally).

    Defending people from wild animals is a complex issue since in most cases it isn't the animals' fault, but rather people expanding into the animals' natural habitat. Sometimes the solutions are laughably simple, for example many countries have monkey problems but researchers found that a mask of a larger alpha male monkey with huge canines will deter monkeys from entering an area. Likewise bears and boars don't usually seek human company and most deaths happen when someone steps out of their back door almost on top of the bear. A simple solution is an infrared movement sensor over your door that will warn you if something is out there before you step out and surprise the bear. Alternatively subdermal gps tagging of bears and other large predators allows rangers to see if one is habitually entering human areas (it is then put down), plus a tagged beast crossing a perimeter can sound a warning.

    If these solutions are too "high tech" (they're not really, the computer or cellphone you're using to read this post is probably more high tech than the technology required for any of these measures) for you then simply fence in the wild areas and label them as "nature reserves", which residents enter at their own peril, and properly equipped (bells to warn off the bears and boars, pepper spray, etc).

    The issue you've touched on is complex because the animals have a right to exist (and are vitally important for our ecosystems), but the problem is drawing a fair line between human needs and animal needs, and most often the animals' needs are ignored (presumably because they can't vote and so politicians don't care about their needs). I don't presume to have the wisdom required to arrive at a fair division of land, but for long as there are animals and humans sharing territory this problem will continue. The only way that handing out guns will "solve" this issue is with the extinction of the animals, and that is, to me, an unacceptable "solution".

  • 1

    bajhista65

    OMG... liberalized gun laws in Japan and be like USA and other countries people shooting at each other. If the farmers problems are wild boars and other animals destroying their crops, I don't think guns are the only solutions. This wild animals usually come to look for food very early in the morning when it's still dark. Wild animals like boars etc, and also scared of people. Why not have someone guarding your farms during the wild animals food hunting. Japanese have lived with bows and arrows during the samurai era. Many ways to safeguard your crops. ;-))

  • 0

    The_the_in_the_way

    All good posts Frungy. And as much as I too tend to side with the animals over the people that step into their territory, there are unfornately times when animals just go crazy. I was on my way to work one morning and saw a wild boar running through the harvested and empty rice fields just outside of residential areas and heading straight for them, and not too far away from schools at a time when kids were going to school. It was quite a sight. It was so fast it seemed more cartoon than real.

    Of course I do appreciate the fact that an old farmer with more gumption than brains armed with a rifle could be just as dangerous as the boar. But something has to give. I am perfectly willing to trade the strict regulations on ownership for more stringent training and testing. A rule saying you have to have a shotgun for ten years before you can have a rifle is not rational or fair.

    I sure don't want loads of guns floating around this country either. But even though extreme cases might be rare, I just cannot deny that they exist.

  • 0

    blackpassenger

    Wo, for once I am on the same side as the npa. dont turn japan into the US. low gun ownership is one of the reasons I love it here.

  • 0

    Ah_so

    Guns do not kill people, people kill people.

    This is the most laughable argument used by the gun lobby. I am surprised it still gets used. It goes hand in hand with the argument that the crazed psycho would get himself a knife, as though Virginia Tech could have happened with a knife.

  • 1

    Suzu1

    The pending bill seems to be very reasonable. Requiring a farmer or rancher to first hold a shotgun license for a minimum of 10 years before getting a rifle license is pointless.

  • 1

    Frungy

    ThetheinthewayDec. 09, 2011 - 09:29PM JST All good posts Frungy. And as much as I too tend to side with the animals over the people that step into their territory, there are unfornately times when animals just go crazy. I was on my way to work one morning and saw a wild boar running through the harvested and empty rice fields just outside of residential areas and heading straight for them, and not too far away from schools at a time when kids were going to school. It was quite a sight. It was so fast it seemed more cartoon than real.

    Again a fair example, although I've lived in the inaka for 6 years and never seen more than a truly terrifying number of crows (which the farmers hate because they cause masses of damage, and the locals rules permit them to be shot at very specific times).

    I think it's fair to say that crazy animals are, at the moment, fairly unusual, and a mechanism already exists to deal with that, namely licensed and skilled hunters. Give a whole lot of obaa-chans guns and you'll have a lot of unskilled people taking pot-shots at anything that moves, and chances are (along with human injuries) you'll end up with a lot of injured animals, which will then go crazy and become a real menace.

    Or to put this more simply, you said that boar was fast. If you had a rifle in your hands at the moment when you saw it could you guarantee a clean kill? Japan isn't like the U.S. or a lot of other countries where you can get a nice clear opening of 20 or 30 yards to line up your shot, in fact in most places Japan is pretty cluttered. I need time to line up a shot and make sure I'm going to get a killing shot, and looking around my neighbourhood there's not a single place where I could get a decent line of sight. In short, guns just aren't appropriate for Japan. Leave it to the professionals.

  • 0

    Sam Scott

    Come on guys, wake up to yourselves!

    I highly doubt the farmers will go on a shooting spree if the process to acquire firearms is shortened for farmers.

    We are talking about farmers requiring a specific type of firearm to eradicate pests on rural properties. If you had any idea of how much damage feral animals cause, maybe you comprehend why the farmers are seeking legislative change.

    BTW. There're two types of gun owners:

    1) The responsible - who is of no threat to anyone.

    2) The irresponsible - the ones which the Police should be concentrating on.

    " It appears that people aren't actually reading previous comments. This entire thing is a false choice, guns vs no guns. The problem is crop damage by animals, the solution is fencing (oh, and for those who think I'm ignoring the crows, well you can add a scarecrow too (an no, the scarecrow does not need a gun! ... okay, maybe a water pistol)."

    Frungy, try fencing off 1000's of acres, and see how expensive it is - not including maintaining that fence.

    Two solutions to controlling feral pests: Poisoning; Mass cull.

  • 1

    Chris Gia

    And I thought Australian gun laws were draconian. There is no evidence Gun Control in Australia had any impact on homicide rates if you look at data from the Australian Institute of criminology.

    I'm shocked by the ignorance of many who would oppose sensible reforms. It's not the law abiding hard working farmer that's the driver of the criminal element in society.

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