Sunday, June 8, 2008

How to commit mass murder without firearms

Every now and then, some anti-gun type points to countries like Japan, which heavily regulates firearms to the point of an almost total ban. They say the lack of firearms prevents mass murder by removing the tools of offender.


TOKYO - A Japanese man rammed a truck into a crowd of shoppers, jumped out and went on a stabbing spree in Tokyo's top electronics district Sunday, killing at least seven people and wounding 10 others.

The deadly lunchtime assault paralyzed the Akihabara neighborhood, which is wildly popular among the country's cyber-wise youth. The killings were the latest in a series of grisly knifings that have stoked fears of rising crime in Japan.

A 25-year-old man, Tomohiro Kato, was apprehended in the attack.

Note that besides such spectacular attacks, there seems to be a rise in attacks overall in Japan:

Once rare, stabbing attacks have become more frequent in Japan in recent years as violent crime has increased.

In March, one person was stabbed to death and at least seven others were hurt by a man who went on a slashing spree with two knives outside a shopping mall in eastern Japan. In one of the worst attacks, a man with a history of mental illness burst into an elementary school in Japan in 2001 and killed eight children. The killer was executed in 2004.

Stories like this are infuriating, but also serve to illustrate that those determined to do hard to others will find a way.

Disarming the populace, who in large majority do not commit violent crimes, serves only to ensure a pool of available victims.

Police officers, for the most part, do an admirable job of dealing with violent crime but even the best police simply can't be everywhere at all times.

Obviously it's best if incidents like this never happen in the first place, but removing firearms from the population does not facilitate that goal, as incidents like this illustrate.

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