Plenty has been said already about the Virginia Tech shooting. It’s an unspeakable tragedy in terms of violence, premeditation, and scale. An offshoot of all of this has been renewed debate about gun control in the US. Great Britain, perhaps the best-known country that doesn’t allow firearms seems to have fairly low violent crime rates, but I found this other story more interesting:

The mayor of Nagasaki, Japan was gunned downed by the Yakuza yesterday for apparently not approving the reimbursement of some damage to a Yakuza member’s car when he drove into a hole near a public works project.

That’s the scary part.

The interesting part is this:

Organized crime groups are behind most shootings in Japan, with two-thirds of the country’s 53 known shootings last year being gang-related, according to the National Police Agency. Police estimate there are about 84,500 gangsters across Japan.

In a country where firearms are illegal, and only the gangs (and I presume police) seem to have them, there were only 53 known shootings for the entire year. 53!

I did a quick search on the internets and found that the U.S. led the world in gun-related deaths (U..S..A! U…S…A! U…S…A!) Here, in the country where we have the right to bear arms, about 30,000 people are killed in murders, suicides, and accidents, and an additional 65,000 are simply injured by gun-play (I got to use “gun-play” in a sentence). In a survey of 36 countries (in 2004) the US accounted for 45% of gun deaths in the world.

Call me crazy, but this seems like a big number. An entire smallish city is wiped out each year just because we point grown-up cap-guns at each other.

As much as I like going to the shooting range with my Dad from time to time, given these statistics, is the 2nd Amendment really worth it? It’s been a while since I’ve seen any invading Redcoats…

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