Gun Policies: Japan vs the United States

By Rakiya Washington

Being a member of the Japanese Plus Program is not limited to learning Japanese language. This membership gives me access to the history, as well as current events pertaining to Japan. For instance, one of the several articles that we discussed concerned the issue of gun policies, and the difference between Japan and the United States, in that regard. By reading this article, it became quite apparent that the adjectives used to describe Japan, such as safe and welcoming, were extremely appropriate. During the publication date of the article, there was a massive shooting in a Texan church. This major event brought to light the issues with our gun policy laws and how they are far more liberal than Japan’s. In order to receive a gun license in Japan, a thorough investigation of the individual’s mental and behavioral background is performed, while in the United States, a gun could be bought at a local Walmart. In the article, the writer included a great analogy that I enjoyed, “Buying a gun in the United States is as easy as it is to buy chopsticks in Japan,” and I think that this comparison really displays how the United States is more careless with who has possession of a gun. Japan’s mental evaluation of each candidate should be pushed in the United States, because almost every time there is a major shooting, the suspect is described as mentally ill; therefore, in order to prevent this issue, further evaluation should be performed for each candidate. I really enjoyed learning about this topic because it is so relevant within today’s society and it broadens my knowledge about Japanese culture. I cannot wait to learn about more things like this!

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