As a social science researcher and activist, director Scott Goold has focused on reducing gun violence in America. In a recent online discussion, Mr. Goold explained why he believes the current discourse on this topic is ineffective. The Left pushes for removal of — or stronger restrictions on — weapons. The Right appears to favor increased mental health services. While each approach has merit, neither seems to be a workable plan for America at this time. Mr. Goold suggested what ultimately must happen is to Change The Will To Kill.
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German Lopez writing for VOX points out America is an exceptional country when it comes to guns. It's one of the few countries in which the right to bear arms is constitutionally protected. But America's relationship with guns is unique in another crucial way: Among developed nations, the US is far and away the most violent — in large part due to the easy access many Americans have to firearms. America has six times as many firearm homicides as Canada and nearly 16 times as many as Germany; America has 4.4 percent of the world’s population, but almost half of the civilian-owned guns around the world; There have been more than 1,500 mass shootings since Sandy Hook, which occurred in December 2012; On average, there is more than one mass shooting for each day in America; States with more guns have more gun deaths; It’s not just the US: Developed countries with more guns also have more gun deaths; Most gun deaths are suicides; Since the shooting of Michael Brown on August 9, 2014, police have killed at least 2,900 people; In states with more guns, more police officers are also killed on duty. [source]
Japan has one of the lowest rates of gun crime in the world. In 2014 there were just six gun deaths, compared to 33,599 in the US. What is the secret? They have strict gun control. If a citizen wants to buy a gun in Japan, they have to attend an all-day class, take a written exam, and pass a shooting-range test with a mark of at least 95%. There are also mental health and drugs tests. Your criminal record is checked and police look for links to extremist groups. Then they check your relatives too — and even your work colleagues. And as well as having the power to deny gun licences, police also have sweeping powers to search and seize weapons. [source]
That's not all. Handguns are banned outright. Only shotguns and air rifles are allowed. Police must be notified where the gun and the ammunition are stored — and they must be stored separately under lock and key. Police will also inspect guns once a year. And after three years your licence runs out, at which point you have to attend the course and pass the tests again. This helps explain why mass shootings in Japan are extremely rare. When mass killings occur, the killer most often wields a knife. If people want to harm others, they can easily find another way. We believe Japan is amazing because of Three Words: Mindfulness of Others. Please watch the video below.
Japanese police officers rarely use guns and put much greater emphasis on martial arts — all are expected to become a black belt in judo. They spend more time practicing kendo (fighting with bamboo swords) than learning how to use firearms. "The response to violence is never violence, it's always to de-escalate it. Only six shots were fired by Japanese police nationwide [in 2015]," says journalist Anthony Berteaux. "What most Japanese police will do is get huge futons and essentially roll up a person who is being violent or drunk into a little burrito and carry them back to the station to calm them down."
In the early hours of May 6, 2016, the lives of rookie police officer Stephen Mader and R.J. Williams intersected in Weirton, West Virginia. Both men were young fathers. Mader was a white cop holding a gun. Williams was a Black man holding a gun.
In the case of the death at the hands of police of R.J. Williams, it all started with a domestic disturbance call by Williams' girlfriend. Arriving first on the scene, Mader came upon Williams, who had his hands behind his back. The officer quickly asked Williams to show him his hands. Williams complied, revealing a gun. Immediately, Mader ordered Williams to drop his weapon. But Williams refused, repeatedly for Mader to "just shoot me."
Mader did not see a man with a gun. He saw a human being in crisis. Mader deduced that Williams was not what he might appear — a danger to others and to a responding officer alike. Mader saw that Williams was trying to commit "suicide by cop."
Rather than shoot, Mader returned to his military training and attempted to de-escalate the situation. He softened his voice, looked Williams in the eye, and said, "I'm not going to shoot you, brother. I'm not going to shoot you." With those words, Officer Mader connected to the humanity of Williams, a man in deep distress.
While Mader continued his attempt to convince Williams to drop his weapon, two other officers arrived on the scene. In a matter of seconds, one of the newly arrived officers fired four shots, killing Williams. It was at that point the officers discovered that Williams' gun was unloaded. Stephen Mader was correct. R.J. Williams was not a threat, but it didn’t matter. He was dead.
The Weirton Police Department fired Stephen Mader. source