Monday, December 17, 2012


People who favor gun control often point to places like Japan and speak of how little crime there is in Japan and how few people are killed by guns.  Japan does have a very low murder rate.  The same people often decry gun violence that is not actually criminal.  They complain that the presence of firearms makes it too easy to commit suicide in the United States.  Thousands of American commit suicide using guns every year. 

What is often overlooked is that Japan, with almost no guns, has a suicide rate that is higher than the United States suicide rate.  If the presence of guns in the United States equates to a high suicide rate why is the suicide rate in Japan so low, when they have almost no guns?  Also, I have never seen a study that showed cities in the United States that all but banned the possession of firearms have either a lower rate of suicide or a lower rate of murder than comparable American cities with few restrictions on firearms.

Firearms are merely a tool.  They are an inert instrumentality.  Like fire and automobiles they are neither inherently good nor evil and like fire and automobiles they have legitimate purposes.  Fire can heat our homes and cook our food; or burn down a warehouse.  Automobiles can take us to work or kill someone in a collision.  The utility of fire and automobiles outweighs their downside.  The utility of firearms also outweighs the downside of their possession as well; that's the view from the Hysterical Right Wing.

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