Thirty years have passed since the 1992 shooting death of 16-year-old Yoshihiro Hattori, a Japanese student studying in the U.S. Instead of the U.S.’ gun problem improving, the number of gun-related crimes has continued to increase at an even worse pace. It must be checked with drastic gun laws.
This November, over the course of 10 days, there were a succession of shooting incidents at universities, nightclubs and supermarkets, collectively resulting in dozens of casualties.
Among these incidents, a highly lethal AR-15 rifle was used during a random shooting in western Colorado at an LGBT nightclub, killing five people. Semiautomatic guns were a familiar culprit in more than 600 random shooting incidents over the course of the year.
In recent years, the number of gun-related deaths, including suicides, has surpassed 40,000 annually. According to a summary from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, in 2021 the number increased by 8% to over 47,000 deaths (a record high), and in 2022 as well, that total surpassed 40,000. It has been pointed out that the backdrop to this situation is an increase in social and economic anxiety because of COVID-19.
The U.S. is a society flooded with 400 million guns, even more guns than the population. Gun sales have increased each time mass shootings have occurred. People rush to protect themselves as law and order deteriorates.
Business is brisk for the small arms industry, and according to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, in 2020, 1.3 million firearms were manufactured, a number which has nearly tripled over 20 years.
In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a New York state law regulating the right to carry arms violated the U.S. Constitution.
The law is protected by a constitutional clause that guarantees the right to maintain guns for the sake of self-defense, but it must be said that the ruling treats the clause as a hard-and-fast rule that does not take into account the grave reality of gun crimes.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Congress passed, and U.S. President Joe Biden signed into law, a gun regulation bill centered on stricter identification requirements for gun buyers under the age of 21.
It was the first time in 28 years that any gun law has passed. It is a step forward, but it does not go as far as banning the sale of highly lethal firearms such as the AR-15.
We hope that the U.S. will become aware of how abnormal its gun politics are and make efforts to reform.
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