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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Side-by-Side Comparison Of Gun-Related Deaths in Japan & US And Why Gun-Control Is Exponentially More Important Than Terrorism As An Issue In The US

Every year somewhere between 40,000 to 60,000 people die as a result of firearms-related incidents in the US, yet, we continue to pride ourselves and even glorify in our "God-given right” to gun ownership.

Why don’t we create a branch of government specifically devoted to the prevention of firearm-related deaths, as opposed to a Department of Homeland Security devoted to fighting "terrorism," which, by and large, has proved to be non-existent since 9/11? Where is the threat, and why are we so worried about it? Our foreign policies have done more to encourage terrorism against the United States than they have to curtail it since 9/11.

As of 2013, there have been 24 fatalities due to terrorism attacks in the US since September 11, 2001. That's not to diminish or downplay in any, way, shape or form the loss of 24 sentient human beings though the evidence suggests that there are other matters that should be getting a lot more attention that we, as a society, are giving them.

Or, perhaps it's that the "Muslim threat" has replaced fear of the Hun and the Red Scare as a group of people that we've been so conveniently mobilized and manipulated to hate--to scapegoat. One of the advantages of scapegoating other people(s) is that this activity has the tendency to coalesce a group or an entire society by getting the larger society to focus their hatred on another group. It's ironically worth noting that the world's largest oil reserves are located in the Middle East. What a coincidence.  

“Civilization, in fact, grows more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes; the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary. Wars are no longer waged by the will of superior men, capable of judging dispassionately and intelligently the causes behind them and the effects flowing out of them. They are now begun by first throwing a mob into a panic; they are ended only when it has spent its ferine fury.”

― H.L. Mencken, In Defense of Women

Fear of unseen, unknown threats is, specifically, known to be the most effective propaganda tool ever devised to manipulate human beings and get them to do another groups bidding. Incendiary, inflammatory appeals to angry emotions are also quite effective. The US government learned a long time ago that people respond very well to the manipulation of their emotions, much more than they do the actual facts surrounding a specific situation, thus, there are the consistent appeals to angry, negative emotions and, especially, whenever and wherever possible, mass hysteria.

Credo Mobile Petition Demanding that TV Networks Not Make Celebrities Out of Mass Shooters

There are around 30,000 firearms-related deaths each and every year--numbers that don't include accidental firearms-related deaths, by the way. You may be shocked to learn how few deaths of these types there are in Japan, a land where they're taken stringent measures to make acquiring guns more difficult and only with very few, very specific purposes in mind.  During one recent year in Japan, as few as two firearms-related deaths were recorded.

The argument that the citizenry needs them to protect their freedoms no longer holds true. It no longer applies in the same way it did during the Revolutionary War era. In those days, guns were a must when it came to national defense as they were the weapon of choice for the militias that were called upon to defend the nation in times of war and conflict. Guns were also a very important tool for hunting for almost everyone during that era. Furthermore, in today’s world, against the most lethal and most sophisticated military force on the planet, even those infamous assault weapons that are so controversial these days look like little more than mere child's play by comparison.

By the way, that's approximately a 30,000 to 2 ratio between gun-related deaths here in the US and Japan.

I don't know about you, but I'm willing to give up my butter knives if it will save 30,000 people every year. How 'bout you?    (Japan, a Land Without Guns: How Japan Has Virtually Eliminated Shooting Deaths--The Atlantic)