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There’s a concept in international relations called “nuclear latency.” In short, this refers to countries that are “a screwdriver’s turn away” from possessing nuclear weapons. They have the materials, the technology and the data available to quickly assemble them if they choose to, but they’ve so far chosen not to.

Japan is probably the best example of this. After the horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan’s population is understandably anti-nuclear. But, that only applies to weapons. Other nuclear technologies for medicine and for the production of power are not only non-controversial, but are an essential part of Japanese life. This has led to a situation where Japan has all of the building blocks sitting there ready to go, but no completed nuclear weapons on hand.

Being in this position works for Japan politically. Opposition to nuclear weapons both domestically and internationally keeps them arming themselves, but at the same time, Japan faces nuclear threats from both North Korea and China. So, leaders like Shinzo Abe have had to walk a fine line on being ready for that threat and not stepping into political dog poop. Add in some protection under the United States “nuclear umbrella,” and they’re in an OK position.

Applying This Concept At The Individual Level

Often (but not always), good ideas that work on a large scale also work good on a smaller scale. Just as nuclear disarmament is gun control writ large, the idea of being “a screwdriver’s turn” away from a gun could be a good solution for many people living under strict gun control laws.

The fact is that anybody with a few hundred bucks can get a gun in 2024. If you can’t find someone to sell you one, you can get instructions online to build your own from unregulated parts and materials. With the possible exception of North Korea and Antarctica, this is true everywhere on the planet.

But, many people are hesitant to break the law. In some countries, mere possession of a firearm is enough to get someone locked away for a long time and ruin their lives. This doesn’t stop determined criminals who are already breaking other laws with big penalties, but it understandably makes a law-abiding citizen not want to take the risk.

2024’s technology gives that person in a “mini Japan” situation more options than “guns” and “no guns” though. It’s entirely possible now to have the materials and tools available to build a gun in mere days without violating the law in most countries. The plans themselves are outlawed in many places that don’t fully respect freedom of speech, but the plans can be either a download away or stored locally on encrypted media.

Laws obviously differ greatly from country to country, so if you’re outside of the United States and are reading this, be sure to consult with a lawyer. In some places, you’ll be able to have a nearly-completed gun without breaking the law while in others, you’ll need to be closer to raw materials and practice making other things to develop your fabrication and printing skills.

Being able to make a gun in hours or days obviously won’t be useful against a criminal attack like a completed one would, but if the fear is an invasion or a rogue government, the ability to get armed when things start getting too bad could still be life-saving.

What About Training? VR Can Help Greatly

The one big downside to this approach is that you can’t train with a gun that hasn’t been built yet. But, there are some ways around this.

In many anti-gun countries, airsoft is the go-to training alternative. With realistic operation, blowback systems to simulate real recoil and the ability to go head to head against other people, you can get fairly decent training. But, there are currently no airsoft guns available that simulate the FGC-9 and other printable firearm designs.

Another possible downside is that getting into airsoft could put you on a list of people a rogue regime or invaders would go after first. We’ll call this the “Red Dawn” problem. By privately using VR at home instead of going out to public places with airsoft, you can fly under that radar for the most part.

Another decent option that’s gotten better is virtual reality. With 3D vision, realistic motion tracking and now realistic controllers and range training software, it’s possible to get experience in the virtual world that translates to real-world skills. You can also do things you can’t practice in real life, like defend yourself from drones:

The only thing that’s needed is to build a housing for your controller to make it handle like the FGC-9 or whatever gun you’d intend on building. This would give the VR experience 95% of the feel the real thing does.

The end result would be the firearms equivalent of the “Japan Option.” Having the materials, skills and training ready, but being just inside the law, could make a world of difference for gun rights globally. If nothing else, dictators and rogue regimes would think twice before doing anything stupid.

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  1. Why not buy actual guns from private sellers? You won’t have time to mill and assemble a bunch of gun parts when the mob is heading down your street with their torches and pitchforks.

    The analogy with Japan and nuclear weapons is as vapid as it is speculative.

    • The japanese didn’t need nuclear weapons. They were extremely advanced, ahead of everyone else when it came to biological weapons. And they used them.

    • “Why not buy actual guns from private sellers? ”

      she just told you. You missed the context point of ‘globally’.

      • An American-based website about the American Second Amendment with a primarily American-based audience would find this post mostly useless.

        So this is what the new owners of TTAG meant by polling us to suggest “improvements” to the site.

        • An American-based website about the American Second Amendment which codified, for American citizens, a natural inherent unalienable right to defense and freedom from tyranny (by posession and use of ‘arms’ in our 2A, although arms are valid for defense and freedom from tyranny for all) that ALL people naturally have even if they are not American citizens. Its a shame other countries don’t recognize that natural right. And the fight for the 2A is no longer just American, global interests also want it vanquished.

          This is what makes the article relevant. Expand your horizons.

        • plus….people from other countries read here too, so informing them on some options is also in line with the intent of TTAG.

        • and…. if you want to start your own free access website about the American Second Amendment with a primarily American-based audience … you are free to do so, then you can dictate what will be.

        • We already have plenty of Second Amendment-centered websites here, in America. No need to start another one.

          I’m looking forward to yours.

        • I’m not going to start one, never said I was. but I don’t spend my days complaining about sites and people who write the articles for them, and provide that at no cost to the readers, like you do. so I thought you would be happier just making your own site where you could complain all day long about anyone and everything and troll your own site.

        • “We already have plenty of Second Amendment-centered websites here, in America. No need to start another one.”

          Kinda like when senile Joe said on camera while at a store “Nobody needs 27 different kinds of deodorant.”

          How many should be allowed? Be specific.

          Thanks for outing yourself as an actual, fascist, Leftist Scum ™ who thinks they should be in control of everything, ‘you don’t say’… 😉

        • Hey Phillip — leave? I will when you will. I haven’t seen you contribute anything to the discussion that isn’t fucking useless.

        • “How many should be allowed? Be specific.”

          I didn’t say anything about how many should be allowed. I expressed my opinion that we have plenty from which to choose without my starting another. (Context — it’s what’s for dinner.) Criticism of a site is also an opinion; only a fascist would deny someone the opportunity of criticizing anything on the internet. If expressing my opinion makes me an “actual fascist leftist scum,” then you should apply that same standard to anyone here who expresses an opinion.

  2. I believe a former prime minister in japan was assassinated. With a gun that used the “high-tech technology” of duct tape to assemble his weapon.

    Yes, 3D printing and the other 21st century, manufacturing methods are certainly more efficient and faster. If they could make everyone go back to the days of “stone knives and bear skins” , they would certainly do that.

  3. btw
    Atomic bombs weigh several thousand pounds in 1945. And biological weapons don’t weigh nearly as much. They just needed to figure out a way, to disperse them onto the western United States.

  4. Since we are speaking about Japan. Lets cut down some Far Right myths on the Japanese not being allowed to own rifles and shotguns. I was watching “Journey’s in Japan” last week and a Canadian Actor went there and while walking down a rural road ran into about a dozen Japanese walking hunters and guess what they all had rifles. He asked to see one because they were carrying them in soft and or hard cases (Japanese unlike American Hillbillies take very good care of their firearms). One man uncased his gun and it was an FN BAR semi-auto high powered rifle and not a scratch on it and the bluing looked still new.

    Several years ago I saw a TV show that interviewed and American Expat now living in Japan who went step by step through the paperwork he filled out to get a rifle and a shotgun. Even the mandatory gun safe is required and must meet a certain standard and its location in the home given to the police.

    Japan has one of the lowest gun homicide rates in the world and its mostly due to its tough gun laws. You cannot get a gun before you get 3 interviews with the police background checks and they also interview your coworkers and your neighbors as to your character and sanity.

    Japan also has safe storage laws and of course Universal Background Checks, no gun gets sold without paperwork.

    There is mandatory safe firearms training and training in all gun laws.

    I might add deer and bear hunting in Japan is popular with hunters who all have either shotguns or rifles.

    And I have so far never heard of a Japanese nut case with a rifle or shotgun mass murdering people. I guess their gun laws prove they work and work well.

    • “And I have so far never heard of a Japanese nut case with a rifle or shotgun mass murdering people.”

      Ah so desu ka. Only a baka uses a rifle or shotgun when there are other weapons that are just as destructive.

      “A 41-year-old man shouting “you die!” ran into an anime studio in Kyoto and set it ablaze Thursday morning, killing 33 people and injuring 36 others.”

      “In 1995, members of a Japanese religious cult released sarin gas in the Tokyo subway during rush hour. Twelve people died, and more than 6,000 people sought medical attention.
      The same group killed eight people and harmed more than 200 the previous year, also using sarin gas, which was released into the air in a residential neighborhood near the homes of judges who were working on a court case involving the cult.”

      “Unemployed former janitor Mamoru Takuma, 37, entered an elementary school in Ikeda, Osaka prefecture on June 8, 2001 and began stabbing teachers and students. Eight children were killed, including seven girls in second grade and a boy in first grade. Thirteen other kids and two teachers were seriously injured.”

      “In June 2008, 25-year-old Tomohiro Kato drove a rented truck into a pedestrian area in Akihabara, a shopping district known for electronics and video games in Tokyo, before he jumped out of the vehicle and began stabbing onlookers, some of whom were helping other victims. He killed seven people and wounded 10.”

      “In December 2010, Yuta Saito, a 27-year-old man, boarded a crowded bus outside the Toride Station in Tokyo’s Ibaraki prefecture and began stabbing passengers. He continued the attack on a second bus. Fourteen people, 11 of whom were students at nearby schools were injured in the attack.”

      “In July 2016, a 26-year-old man named Satoshi Uematsu entered a disabled care center in Sagamihara, south of Tokyo, carrying a bag of knives and sharp tools and began attacking patients. Nineteen people were killed”

      • You don’t say:
        You forgot to mention the obvious conclusion. If more ordinary citizens in Japan were armed with pistols, some of those knife attackers could have been stopped dead in their tracks.

      • to You don’t say

        You ignore the fact that if these people had been armed with high capacity assault rifles the death toll would have been 100 times higher.

        Paddock at Los Vegas gunned down 413 people in seconds

        The Orlando Night club massacre killed 53 people.

      • to You don’t say

        You ignore the fact that if these people had been armed with high capacity assault rifles the death toll would have been 100 times higher.

        Paddock at Los Vegas gunned down 413 people in seconds

        The Orlando Night club massacre killed 53 people. bb

      • just to note…there is a lotttttt in the GVA that is flat out wrong and false, for example, just one small bit of that lottttt…there are 147 incidents counted in their ‘mass shooting’ numbers where there were no shots fired and no gun present…. they should learn to not rely on MSM for stuff.

        • Japan “reportedly” had a crude atomic bomb but no way to deliver it. An “eyewitness” prisoner claimed to see a great explosion in Korea on the date of Japan’s surrender August 12 or so. “Heavy water” & detailed schematics shipped from Deutchland before they surrendered. No way to verify but the Japanese were pretty smart & arguably worse than Not-see’s(as in torture,rape,genocide & cannibalism).

        • “Japan “reportedly” had a crude atomic bomb but no way to deliver it.”

          Incorrect, they never figured out how to concentrate enough fissionable-capable nuclear material. It took a *massive* amount of energy, effort, and money for us to get just enough for 2 or 3 bombs…

  5. Regarding the’Japan option’, remember that the Ukraine agreed to surrender their share of the Soviet Unions nuclear weapons in exchange for promised protection from the EU or some other entity. I guess it didn’t work out that well for them. Would they be in their present situation if they still had their nukes?

  6. Ukraine also practiced gun control, not allowing private citizens firearms, guess it did not work out. On day one of Biden taking office, he crippled the USA oil/fuel energy structure, resulting in the U.S. to buy Russian oil at mini bar prices, this allowed Putin to build up his war chest and invade Ukraine. Elections have consequences.

    • And stolen elections have consequences, as well. However, the American people seem satisfied with those consequences as they haven’t bothered to mount any serious opposition to the usurpation of their rights. Welcome to the “new normal.”

      • “And stolen elections have consequences“

        Hilarious self-delusion.

        So why haven’t you presented your evidence, every court in the land has kicked the claims to the curb because you failed to present your crucial evidence.

        And your inaction his cost Mike pillow $5 million plus legal costs.

        “Supreme Court leaves sanctions in place against Sidney Powell and others over 2020 election suit in Michigan
        By Melissa Quinn
        February 20, 2024 / 11:41 AM EST / CBS News

        Washington — The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to take up a bid by a group of Trump-allied lawyers who faced monetary and professional sanctions in Michigan as a result of their baseless claims raised in a lawsuit that the 2020 presidential election was rife with fraud”

        “Judge says Mike Lindell must pay $5 million to man who won his ‘Prove Mike Wrong’ challenge
        The ruling paves the way for Robert Zeidman to begin collection efforts after winning the MyPillow founder’s challenge to debunk his stolen-election claims.

        Feb. 22, 2024, 12:49 PM EST
        By Dareh Gregorian
        A federal judge is giving MyPillow founder and election denier Mike Lindell 30 days to pay a $5 million arbitration award for losing his “Prove Mike Wrong” 2020 election challenge”

        • Polling shows that the majority of Americans believe that the 2020 elections had significant irregularities, and more than half believe that the 2024 elections will involve cheating. A majority prefer Trump over Biden in the general election, nearly two-thirds see Biden’s mental decline and question his ability to hold the job, and less than a third see America heading in the right direction. (Rasmussen)

          I have more faith in the intelligence of the American populace than I do in anything that you, a proven dishonest liar, say about any subject.

  7. “By privately using VR at home instead of going out to public places with airsoft, you can fly under that radar for the most part.”

    This is not correct. Top players in VR right now: Meta (Facebook), Apple, and China.

    If you’re using VR through one of these major ecosystems, you are not under the radar. You live inside the radar. Your data is on file. Your virtual practice sessions are known. In fact, they can even “fingerprint” you through your movement patterns:

    VR is cool and fun and has a lot of great potential, but like all of tech, it has been co-opted by a cartel of bad actors that prefer having you as a product to having you as a customer.

      • I suppose that could work? Now solve search history abuse, eavesdropping and theft as a business model, AI-generated information fraud, and dopamine addiction and anger as strategies for user engagement…

        Not enough pebbles…

  8. seems like it would be harder to make ammo, that would be a serious issue. I guess with some knowledge of chemistry one might make gun powder.


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