Tragedies make bad laws

Taragi, Kumamoto

I wonder who the parents of the six children killed last year in April by a mobile crane in Tochigi Prefecture blame: the driver or the crane?

Regardless of the cause, does it not seem reasonable that Japan should consider a ban on mobile cranes? How about a ban on automobiles after a man ran down 16 people in Kyoto this April? According to the Japanese Constitution, people have no intrinsic right to mobile cranes or automobiles, so it should be no problem, right?

Obviously, overreacting to such tragedies with bans is ridiculous, yet the mother of Yoshihiro Hattori has spent the last 20 years campaigning to deprive U.S. citizens of one of their constitutional rights. American culture is built on defiance of authority, not deference to it.

While I sympathize with her tragedy, by virtue of her circumstances she is in the worst possible position to make an objective argument about U.S. gun control policy; it is too personal for her. I am willing to bet the families of the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks have much different opinions on what constitutes adequate airport security than the average American, but we don’t honor the memory of the dead by screwing up life for the living.

The man who shot Yoshihiro Hattori may have escaped criminal punishment, but he has recognized his mistake and is very remorseful, declaring that he will never own a gun again. That should be enough.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

joseph jaworski