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View Diary: Here is what I learned about guns in Japan (163 comments)

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  •  Guns will disappear, and it will be (5+ / 0-)

    sooner rather than later.

    Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

    by hestal on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 03:30:47 AM PST

    •  Sadly we are not Japan (12+ / 0-)

      which was able to ban firearms for a while and severely restrict them now

      we are not Australia nor the UK which after school shootings really cracked down on firearms.

      And I fear that we are headed for more gun violence, as some paranoid types decide to open up because they think someone is threatening their arsenal.

      Please tell me why a George Zimmerman should have had a gun.

      Please tell me how many people would have reacted had Trayvon Martin pulled out a gun on Zimmerman.  Actually, you don't have to.  When Huey Newton and the Black Panthers showed up in Sacremento with firearms Reagan and the Republicans in the legislature moved towards gun control.

      Now seriously think about this.

      You have three men, all in their early twenties, all somewhat unkempt.

      You are in your local Home Depot

      One is white.

      One is Hispanic-appearing.

      One is Black.

      They each pull out a concealed weapon.

      What is your first reaction?

      What is the first reaction of most white Americans?

      They might think the white is an undercover cop.

      They are likely to think the Hispanic and the Black are gangbangers.

      Except in the scenario I posit the white is the gangbanger who drew first, the Black is an undercover cop, and the Hispanic is my brother-in-law who is a supervisory FBI agent who had had a few days off and stopped by Home Depot to get some stuff to work on his house.

      Our attitudes, including on guns, are still shaped by our racial attitudes as a society.

      My scenario is imaginary.

      But it is based on the reality of America.

      Racial intolerance has become more acceptable in some segments of American society precisely because we have a Black President.  Don't kid yourself.

      "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

      by teacherken on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 04:10:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  George Zimmerman not only had a gun (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        a2nite, Laconic Lib, sethtriggs

        He was the appointed neighborhood watch coordinator.

        He's not just a lone nut - his gated community somehow thought he was supposed to protect them

        The problem isn't so much him (and people like him) as the enablers who support him

      •  Racial tolerance (8+ / 0-)

        Sadly, Japan also has racial intolerance, though its more about ethnicity than race (I'm classifying all east and southeast Asians as the same race). Many will freely attribute their supposedly rising crime rates to particular [Asian] immigrant groups. Also, if you hang around non-tourist areas a lot and don't look native, cops will almost certainly occasionally ask you to show your gaijin card (essentially an ID for immigrants). Of course, they will ask very politely and apologize after they see your card and realize you are in a respectable profession, and its certainly way better than the stop-and-frisk practices or papers-please laws that exist in America against our subgroups - I can't quite imagine an American cop bowing to you after stopping you.

        Japan is a great country, but its not perfect.

        •  Ive been in Japan almost 7 years now (6+ / 0-)

          And have never once been asked to see my gaikokujin shorokusho (foreigner card) once.

          Ive been pulled over 4 times by cops when I was on my bike and they ran my registry to see if it was mine.

          And once I was help for being way too drunk on the train, and released later to my home with no charges.

          Rumors of Japanese fascism are greatly exagerated.

          Now lets talk about living in Bejing and being online having a political discussion about Tianmin Square....

          Not every story has a happy ending but Im doing my best to make mine so. Come and take a look at my discussion forum: TheNewCurevents We are looking for new active members!

          by ProgressiveTokyo on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 09:43:40 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  My experiences (4+ / 0-)

            I lived in Tokyo a while, and was asked for my gaijin card on average every 1-2 months. Normally it was in a place where foreigners weren't expected, but once it was just at random while boarding a train in Shinagawa (though I was probably looking confused trying to figure out the directions). Most of my American/European friends also reported being asked with frequencies ranging from every 2 weeks to every 6 months, though rarely in major areas (eg, Shinjuku, Shivuya, Roppongi).

            I also have to say that your odds go way down if you are female and way up if you are black or brown. My female Latino friend was stopped for her first and only time when she was with me. One of my black American friends claimed that he would be asked every couple of weeks. I thought he was exaggerating at first, but then the first time I was hanging out with him in a locals area the cops sure enough asked both of us for our cards.

            I obviously can't comment on why you were stopped on your bike.

      •  Bravo teacherken (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ladybug53, lyvwyr101

        We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

        by Vetwife on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 11:20:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  How will they disappear? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Americantrueandblue

      And if they do, who would be able to bear arms?

      Would the security detail for a big city mayor have the right to bear arms?

      What about the impoverished retiree whose house has been robbed several times?  Should he be able to use a gun?

      And let's say, for the sake of argument, that only Secret Service personnel should have the right to bear firearms.  

      At that point, how would you ensure that criminals did not firearms in their possession.  Would you suspend the right against "search and seizure" for a protracted period, for both people and their residences?

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

      by PatriciaVa on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 02:04:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yawn, these questions are old ones, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lyvwyr101

        and they all have answers, good ones.

        So once the naysayers and gun lovers finally get the idea that they have had their chance and they struck out, things will begin to change. Right now, there are so many people who are so defensive and paranoid that it is impossible to have a sensible discussion, especially here. But it won't be for long, and then the guns will start to disappear.

        Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

        by hestal on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 03:17:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Saying things like "all guns will (0+ / 0-)

          disappear soon" only justifies their paranoia and does more harm than good.

          "The government of the many, not the government of the money" - Nancy Pelosi

          by Americantrueandblue on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 02:51:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Paranoia? Me? What about you? (0+ / 0-)

            Gun owners who claim they need the murderous weapons for "self defense" or "home defense" are the paranoiacs. And for you to say that a statement like "all guns will disappear soon," will do "more harm than good" is just plain silly. Gibberish.

            Try to explain just how this would work. I don't think you can make a rational argument for how a wish that all guns will disappear does more harm than good. But then rationality is not part of the gun lover's makeup.

            But, by accident, you have put your finger on something. You have discovered that this "discussion" about guns is really a discussion between rationality and paranoia, with the leader of all gun lovers being the nutty, paranoid leader of the NRA.

            Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

            by hestal on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 03:57:34 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Disappear? It's one thing (0+ / 0-)

      to want control, but don't get delusional.

      "The government of the many, not the government of the money" - Nancy Pelosi

      by Americantrueandblue on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 02:43:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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