Regarding the Oct. 22 article "Hattori's mom appeals for wider U.S. gun control effort," I have always been heart-sickened by the death of this young man. Who knows what he could have created for his nation, his people, the world? That being said, those firearms she wants removed were a fundamental reason one of her countrymen refused to consider invading the United States in 1941.

As Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto was supposed to have said, "I would never invade America, there is a gun behind every blade of grass." This was a serious consideration of the Soviets as well years later. The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution gives us the right to speak out, to question the assumptions and statements of others, including our government. The Second Amendment gives us the power to defend those questions even if the government doesn't like them.

This is our heritage, this is a basic reason we became what we are as a nation and as a people. We ask for no one's approval. We ask for no one's understanding. We do ask to be left alone to walk our own path. A tragedy on a darkened sidewalk is just that, a tragedy. If he had been run down by the homeowner or some drunk driver, would this conversation even be happening?

You and your nation have my condolences, madam.

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.

jerome kavanaugh