The shocking assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe by a man using what has been described as a homemade double-barrel firearm underscores what can be called a healthy skepticism about the ability of strict gun control to prevent any kind of mayhem.
The suspect, identified as Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, was quickly taken into custody by Abe’s security detail, but the wounds suffered by the broadly-liked and respected former prime minister were devastatingly fatal. Reports say he was hit in the chest and neck, and simply bled to death. Fox News published a report about the alleged killer.
In recent weeks, since the mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, and more recently following the July 4 shooting in Highland Park that left seven people dead, discussion has once again popped up about how other countries aren’t plagued by “gun violence,” and high on the list of examples has been Japan. As noted by The Sun, Japan is “regarded as one of the world’s safest countries and has some of the strictest gun control laws anywhere.”
Those laws obviously didn’t stop a determined killer with the skill to assemble what appeared on camera as something of a big zip gun. Barrels were attached with tape to what looks like a common piece of 2×4 lumber, and while the firing mechanism is hard to examine in the video clips, this gun had some kind of crude pistol grip. Considering all of the gunsmoke, one might presume the suspect used some kind of black powder to launch his projectiles.
Long story short: Even in a nation with what Fox News called “notoriously strict gun ownership laws,” even if the general population is disarmed, someone intent on committing a violent attack will find a way to carry out his/her plan. Other reports say investigators have found explosive materials at the suspect’s home.
President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump both have expressed shock and remorse following Abe’s slaying.
According to MoneyControl.com, “The estimated total number of guns held by civilians in Japan was 310,400 in 2019, or 0.25 per 100 people, the lowest level among the G-7 countries, according to GunPolicy.org. That’s compared with 393 million guns, or 120 per 100 people, in the US, and 3.2 million, or 5 per 100 people, in the UK.”