*Read more from Max Fisher/ Washington Post:
"On Friday, 27 Americans, including 18 children, joined the casualties making up the highest gun-related death rate in the developed world. Those who died Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School are, statistically speaking, a drop in the bucket. So was the .223-caliber rifle that killed them. The United States of America has the highest rate of gun ownership in the world, followed by Yemen, where it is about half.
In July, after a horrific shooting at a Colorado movie theater, as journalists and others began asking whether America's unique and extraordinary gun laws had anything to do with its unique and extraordinary rate of gun-related deaths, I looked into Japan's gun laws in an article for TheAtlantic.com.
The contrast between the United States and Japan could not be starker. If the United States has the loosest gun laws in the developed world, then Japan has the strictest. Most guns are illegal, with onerous restrictions on the few that are legal. Police also have far broader search-and-seizure powers. But the country also has a remarkably low rate of firearm deaths. In 2008, when the United States experienced over 12,000 gun-related homicides, Japan had only 11, or fewer than half as many killed Friday in Newtown, Conn. That same year in the United States, 587 were killed just by accidental gun discharges. In 2006 in Japan, a nation of 128 million people, only two were killed by guns."*