In doing this debate paper our learning team was asked to take the debate topic and apply it to another country. Our team is to examine how the arguments or presentation of the arguments would need to be changed. The team had its choice between three countries; India, China or Japan. Learning team C chose Japan. There is a major cultural shift when it comes to how Japanese citizens and American citizens value even the ownership of a gun.
In American our right to own a gun, or multiple guns, is protected by the second amendment. In Japan however, gun ownership is not a right it is a privilege. Here in the United States we can walk into a gun store and with just a few simple questions and a phone call have our weapon in hand that day as we walk out of the store. Japan, on the other hand, must first take a day long class, and then take a written exam. The next step is to go to a shooting range, take a class and pass the range test.
Then it is off to the doctor’s office for a drug screen and mental health check-up. Now the police keep this on file and start a rigorous background investigation to ensure you aren’t linked to known criminals or have a criminal history yourself. Now, if you successfully pass all these checks you are allowed to own a shotgun or an air rifle. Assault style weapons and handguns of all types are strictly forbidden by law. Only a few handguns even exist in Japan and those are for competition shooters only.
Your home, under Japanese law, is subject to random searches by the police and the gun must be stored and locked away separately from your ammunition, which is also required to be under lock and key. (Fisher, 2012) So what does all this lead too? The lack of capability to even own a firearm in Japan has led to a drastically reduced gun crime rate. Compared to America in 2008 had over 12,000 gun related deaths, Japan on the other end of the spectrum had 11. (Fisher, 2012) In conclusion, Japan cannot even own a handgun let alone an assault weapon.
Trying to apply what works in one country to another in this case would not work. Some Japanese feel that they would not even want these freedoms because they look to the authority for answers first. (Talmadge, 2013) This is a cultural preference in Japan. The country as a whole tends to think about the good of the whole of the people before what is good for the individual. If it is better for them to not have firearms, and clearly the statistics prove it, then that is the direction they have chosen for themselves.