A 25-year-old Tokyo man, describing himself as “tired of living,” yesterday killed seven and injured 12 more people.

He did it without a gun.

He would have killed and injured more, but he was stopped by the mere threat of a policeman’s gun.

My point?

Japan has among the very strictest gun control laws in the world. And that is precisely why one disturbed young man with a truck and a knife could wreak such carnage in a bustling neighborhood.

Tomohiro Kato drive his truck into a crowd of pedestrians shortly after noon, then jumped out of his vehicle and began stabbing any strangers he could reach.

One policeman, armed only with a baton, managed to duel with the assailant for a time – perhaps slowing down the violent rampage. But it took another officer with a firearm aimed at Kato’s head to stop him.

People who believe gun control will result in less violence should be forced to live in societies where only criminals have guns – or where, like in Japan, police have broad search-and-seizure latitude to hunt down any illicit weapons.

They should be forced to keep signs on their homes that say: “No firearms kept in this house.”

They should be forced to watch hours of newsreel footage of the genocides of the 20th century, all of which were preceded by massive campaigns of government firearms confiscation.

While no one could have prevented Kato from plowing his truck into a crowd of pedestrians anywhere in the world, there is simply no excuse for the kind of slaughter that followed. A community that protected its citizens’ safety and respected the natural inalienable right to self-defense by firearms would have limited the carnage.

Imagine Kato trying to kill as many people as he possibly could in Tel Aviv.

Imagine Kato pulling the same bloody stunt in Texas.

Imagine Kato attempting to crash his truck into a gun shop, a police station or a military armory.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to live in a place where the government has a monopoly on firearms.

It’s not safer. It’s more dangerous – and less free.

There are really only two alternatives to a free society that respects the right of armed self-defense: One is chaos and anarchy and the other is a repressive police state like the people of Japan live under.

Which of those options would we prefer here in the United States – one of the few nations in the world that recognizes the God-given right of every person to defend himself or herself?

It is very unlikely a policeman is going to be around to protect you or your family member when you are attacked. But in a civil society in which ordinary citizens are free to bear arms, there is an excellent chance either you or some other law-abiding person will be in a position to help.

The gun-control crowd often acts like it is the compassionate and caring side in the debate about crime. It is not. The gun-control activists would leave the most vulnerable members of society even more helpless. Their program would result in more death, more mayhem, and more violence.

It’s not a matter of speculation. It’s a matter of observation. It’s a simple matter of analyzing the failed social experiments of the past – honestly and objectively.

We can learn from Japan, all right.

The lesson to be learned is not to repeat the mistakes that country has made on guns – trading freedom for safety and getting neither.

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