Just in case you missed it, on Sunday, a knife-wielding man apparently inspired by some sort of pseudo-Darwinian philosophy of eliminating the weak, killed 19 people and injured another 45 at a facility that provides treatment for the mentally disabled in Sagamihara, Japan. The individual responsible apparently turned himself in to police after the murders.
Yesterday, two men armed with knives who were followers of the Islamic State, attacked a Catholic Church in the French province of Normandy during morning prayers. They took several hostages. One of them, 84-year-old Father Jacques Hamel, had his throat slit. Another victim was described as “being seriously injured and between “life and death.” French security services shot and killed both attackers, and another individual has been ‘detained’.
Finally, a patient at a university clinic in Berlin, Germany, pulled a gun and shot a doctor Sunday, then turned the gun on himself. German officials have indicated that there was no indication that the attacker had a “terrorist background” — whatever that means.
These three countries are often held up as prime examples of how well gun control works in “industrialized,” “wealthy,” “advanced” or “first-world” nations.
[Terms such as “industrialized,” “wealthy,” “advanced” or “first-world” used in the context of arguments about the right to keep and bear arms are simply code words for “rich, predominantly white European” nations, primarily intended to deter people from getting any ideas about comparing the rate of violence in the USA to places like Mexico, South Africa or Brazil.]
Germany, while nowhere near as restrictive on firearms ownership as its former wartime ally, still requires ordinary citizens to jump through a labyrinth of hoops before purchasing a firearm, including a burdensome licensing scheme before purchasing a .22LR-caliber rifle.
French firearms laws are along the same lines as Germany’s and are certainly less-restrictive than Japan’s or its neighbor across the Channel (although we’re grading on a curve here, so it’s a low bar.)
Naturally, nothing above is intended to imply that possession of firearms would be a panacea for people who find themselves under attack. Mistakes happen. Murphy’s Law remains in full effect. Stuff – as they say – happens. But what honest person would volunteer to be present at any one of the above three events without packing some iron?