The apparent arson attack by a man who allegedly was screaming “You die!” as he torched an animation studio in Kyoto, Japan Thursday, leaving more than 30 people dead, stands as a graphic reminder that “mass murder maniacs” will find a way to commit mayhem, even where guns are essentially outlawed.
The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms suggested in a news release that the absence of firearms doesn’t prevent an atrocity.
“We keep hearing from the gun prohibition lobby that in Japan, there are no mass shootings because average citizens can’t own firearms,” CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb observed. “But the shocking attack at a Kyoto animation studio provides stark evidence that madmen intent on killing have other means of creating tragedies.”
According to the Associated Press, 36 more people were injured. The alleged arsonist was also injured, apparently suffering burns, but he is alive. He was identified only as a 41-year-old man and he was not an employee of the company. There was no immediate motive given.
Most of the dead were found on the third floor of the building, the report said.
Gottlieb said despite the lack of a motive, “We do know this much: Mass killers aren’t impaired by laws that restrict firearms, so when anti-gun-rights extremists in the United States point to Japan as an example for this country to follow, Thursday’s horrific incident belies anything they have to say.”
Japan is often used as an example by comparison to the United States for its low number of homicides, which anti-gunners credit to the lack of widespread gun ownership.
“There is never a good excuse for the mass slaughter of innocent people,” Gottlieb said, “no matter what the means or methods. We can only hope that Japanese authorities focus on the person responsible for this atrocity, unlike in our country where people invariably try to attach blame and attack the rights of millions of their fellow citizens in an effort to press a political agenda.”
That was a not-so-subtle reference to the typical calls for stricter gun control laws following a mass shooting in this country. Those laws tend to only have an impact on honest citizens who didn’t commit the crime, and who would not consider breaking some other law.
The building that burned is reportedly Kyoto Animation, also known as KyoAni. Several popular animated productions and comic books are apparently produced there.
The BBC said this was one of the worst mass casualty incidents in the country since WWII.
“The blame for this attack, as with any crime involving firearms, stolen trucks or bombs rests solely with the perpetrator,” Gottlieb stated. “It would be wrong in this case, as it is wrong in any mass victim attack, to penalize millions of law-abiding citizens and erode their liberties when they had nothing at all to do with the outrage.”