With just 6 gun deaths in Japan compared to the whopping 33,599 in the United States in 2014, major questions are raised in regards to what we may be doing wrong in America.
For one, handguns are entirely illegal in Japan, only allowing individuals to purchase shotguns or air rifles. Essentially, only guns that can be easily spotted are available for legal purchase.
Moreover, Japan has stringent mental health and drug testing required for any individual applying to purchase a gun. As expected, extensive research into a person’s criminal history, links to extremist groups, and gang connections is also conducted as a standard part of the application.
Once you actually pass all of the above prerequisites, applicants must take an all day course related to gun safety and usage. After the class, you must pass a written exam to verify you learned the lessons outlined in the course. Once you pass this course, you must finally get a 95% or higher on an shooting test.
In essence, you have to be willing to put in a lot of time and patience to get a legally acquired firearm in Japan.
Every three years, you must re-do everything listed above or risk having your license be terminated.
With all this in mind, it makes more sense why gun related crimes are so incredibly scarce in Japan.
Despite the prevalence of black market firearms in the United States, making guns harder to acquire has the potential to reduce related violence in American communities. That being said, would the current, strong culture surrounding guns in the US even be influenced if regulations were higher?