• San Francisco


Regarding the Oct. 22 article “Hattori’s mom appeals for wider U.S. gun control effort,” as a lifelong member of the National Rifle Association and a certified pistol and personal protection instructor, I would like to comment on this matter.

It would be foolish to think that there is no crime in Japan but I do think that the crime there is nowhere in number or diversity as it is in America. I read from time to time about knife attacks in Japan, and these are relatively unknown in the United States. In Japan, it would appear that people are more law abiding and civil to each other unlike in the U.S. We have a huge diverse population, and such population expresses anger, resentment, jealousy, hostility. Our country is huge and in many places remote. Law enforcement appears to be everywhere but in reality is more sparse than in Japan, where people rely on local law enforcement in a different manner.

People in America have firearms as a means of self-defense from the criminals who are just as willing to attack them, knowing that the law will be coming, at some later time. Unfortunately with 300 million people in America and roughly 270 million firearms in the hands of the public, it’s not reasonable to think that every citizen is going to act rationally.

I personally followed the case that took place in which Hattori was killed. The shooter was a fool, acting in a foolish manner. He and his wife were not in a state of danger and were not under any direct threat. His firing a handgun, and a very large caliber at that, was unjustified, but the jury in the matter found otherwise. It’s an unhappy decision for the family and they could have proceeded with a wrongful death action in court had they chosen to do so. There are laws covering such situations, which might have been more effective than to campaign against firearm ownership in America.

Japan once was an active producer of firearms until the population was disarmed, as it remains today. In America an armed population may do terrible things with the use of firearms but the overall ability to resist government tyranny is probably the major reason we have the constitutional protection of the Second Amendment.

I sympathize with the Hattori family for their loss but think that their continued drive for gun control in America is falling upon deaf ears and will go nowhere.

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.

andrew betancourt

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