The 2nd Amendment vs. the World

February 14, 2014


We have many freedoms in this country that citizens around the world do not enjoy. The focus of this article will be the freedom to keep and bear arms. Much has been written about the violent crimes in the United States and much of the blame has been laid at the feet of the Second Amendment. Many in the press want the world to think that the reason for such high crime rates in the United States and such low crime rates in a country like Japan can be attributed to our love of guns and the strict gun-control that is present in Japan. I am not singling out Japan; we have also been compared to England, and France.  The presumptions on the part of the press and the left are wrong, and we will look at the reasons for their inaccuracies.

The left loves to use Japan as their measuring stick when it comes to a country with a lack of gun violence. There is no getting around the fact that Japan has a low gun death rate, just like a country which does not have cars has a low automobile accident death rate. They have strict gun control laws and only people who can prove a need for a gun can apply for the necessary permits to buy one. But, is this why Japan has a low murder rate? Does the lack of guns mean lower crime rates? There are other factors at play here that need to be looked at. Japan had gun laws before WWII, but not an outright gun ban. Before, WWII Japanese citizens could own rifles shotguns and even handguns, but this all changed after WWII. The occupational forces confiscated weapons of all kinds, including firearms and swords. Then, in the 1950s, Japan passed laws regulating who could own firearms as well as swords.

Another factor that stands out is Japan’s justice system. Japan uses the death penalty, but applies it quite differently than we do here in the United States. In the United States, we give prisoners endless appeals as well as free reign inside prison. Prisoners here are allowed to have television, visitors, and free education. Prisoners in Japan are required to live by very strict rules, including not making eye contact with guards, required silence, and little-to-no contact with the outside world. They also do not get endless appeals once sentenced. They are not told of their execution date until the morning of the execution. On the day of their execution, guards come to their cell and announce that today is the day. Their families find out of their execution after the fact. It seems to me that Japan’s use of strict penalties for those committing crimes is a real deterrent to crime.

In comparison, many criminals in the United States see going to prison as a badge of honor. Many on death row will live 20 plus years before their execution date actually comes to pass. Criminals are not scared of our justice system, whereas Japanese criminals are very scared of going to prison. The conditions inside a Japanese prison are harsh and are actually set up to punish inmates. We as Americans are infatuated with rehabilitating people who have proven over time that they are not capable of being rehabilitated. Tax payer money is wasted while we attempt to make bad people good.

The other issue that is not being discussed by many in the press is the rise in violent crime in Japan. While it is true that they are not using guns for their crimes, they are simply using other methods to kill people. This is the substitution principle. The criminal is not going to change their goals just because they do not have a gun, but they will simply choose another way to kill, whether it is a knife, baseball bat, or their bare hands. The fact is that Japanese society is starting to see a resurgence in violent crimes. It was not all that long ago that Japanese society was a violent one. Remember the Samurai Warrior? What about their behavior when they invaded China in the 1930s? Japan also has an extremely high suicide rate. If one listens to our media, one would be led to believe that the presence of guns contributes to suicide rates. Japan is the prime case study that proves this sentiment false. The Japanese do not kill themselves with guns, but they have an astronomical suicide rate among men and women.

England is a whole other matter. They claim to have a low gun violence rate, but simply ignore their violent crime rate.  England’s violent crime rate is more than double that of the United States. Would England’s violent crime rate drop if her citizens were allowed to defend themselves with firearms? Their rape rate is also more than double that of the United States. Total crime victims is twenty-five percent higher than the United States as well. What these numbers tell me is that we are not the only country with a violent culture. What we do have is the right to keep and bear arms, and this right is used thousands of times per year to prevent crimes. These instances of guns in the hands of law abiding citizens stopping crimes go unreported for a couple of reasons: First, it does not go along with the agenda that the media has in regards to gun-control. They need the uneducated to be scared of guns. Second, many citizens do not report these incidents to authorities because they distrust the legal system and are afraid of being charged with a crime for using or threatening to use their firearms.

In France, they have higher rates of violent crime than the United States, including a higher murder rate per capita. They, France, have very strict gun laws. They have outlawed any magazine with a capacity higher than 3 rounds. The number of rounds which an individual can purchase per year is regulated, as well as how many guns one can own. With the crime rates as they are, armed citizens could make a big difference, but they will never be given that chance because they do not have the Second Amendment.

The Swiss have a different outlook than the rest of Europe, and one that I think we need to adopt. They have a mandatory military service requirement for men, and until 2010, they required that these men keep their issued service weapons in their home. Now, it is not mandatory to keep the weapon in their home, but optional. This accomplishes two things: It keeps the country safe and it keeps crime low. Criminals do not want to get lit up breaking into someone’s chalet.

The point is that we are safer because of the Second Amendment. Many other countries around the world require their citizens to depend upon the government for their safety. They give their citizens a false sense of security. One must only look at Russia and Mexico to see how well governments protect their own. We are blessed to be citizens of this great nation where our founding fathers had the foresight to provide for our ability to protect ourselves via the Second Amendment. As I look at other nations I become even more grateful for the Second Amendment and the rights it affords me.