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Gun Control In The United States vs Japan: Background Checks Matter

Raffaella Jarvis, Reporter

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62% of gun deaths occur in the US. The gun homicide rates in America are 25 times over every other country in the world. In 2017 there have been at least 15,549 deaths. Every year there are 13 000 deaths by gun, on average. About seven children and young adults are killed every day. Every month 50 women are killed by their male partners. Black men are 12% more likely to be shot than white men. There are so many gun deaths in the United States all the time and the government has been reluctant to do something about it. Japan, on the other hand, has more than 127 million people, which of course is less than the US but, they only have 10 gun deaths per year. Japan has an extremely long procedure to acquire a gun. First if a Japanese person wants to buy a gun they have to go to an all-day class, then pass a written exam, then get at least a 95% accurate shot at a shooting range test. They then have to go through a mental-health evaluation at a hospital. Then they have to pass a security background test which includes the government looking into the buyers criminal record and interviews all friends and family. Handguns are illegal to purchase, only shotguns and air rifles are allowed. All gun owners must then retake the all-day class and the initial exam every three years. Also when gun owners die, the guns must be returned to the government not passed down to their children. Japan also have much fewer guns in circulation, which prevents many people from buying them.
The US doesn’t have nearly as much precaution and this is partly what leads to gun murders. All you have to do in the US to purchase a gun is to go to a gun shop and buy one. Like the 19-year-old boy who shot and killed 17 of his former classmates and injured dozens more. People need to pay more attention to a child’s mental state, and step one is to keep dangerous weapons away from all minors as well as adults. When buying a gun it’s important to know a person’s mental history. If they aren’t of sound mind or have a criminal record they should not be allowed a weapon no matter how normal they may seem. Background checks are important and those checks are only legal if the government does something about it.

Photo provided by the reporter

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Gun Control In The United States vs Japan: Background Checks Matter