If I Had Written to the Japanese Ambassador
By George L. O'Brien
Exclusive to The Libertarian Enterprise
A separate point I might make in "An Open Letter to the Japanese
Ambassador" (The Libertarian Enterprise, Issue #38):
"We are aware that Japan has a long history of disarming the
common individual to make them defenseless against the ruling order.
In feudal Europe, as well as in Japan, it was always a sign of class
and status for someone to be armed. But an armed citizenry is
fundamental to a society where where everyone is equal under the law.
"A defenseless and demoralized populous might be comforting to
feudal elite under the shoguns, but it left Japan weak and stagnant.
It took American gunboats in 1853 to shake Japan from its stupor.
Later, it would take the American occupation under McArthur to
overcome the mindless acceptance of Japanese militarism by the
"America's tradition of an armed citizenry has corresponded with a
healthy skepticism about government leaders. Japan's tradtion of
disarming its citizens has meant the extention of feudalism, the
acceptance of militarism, and now the acceptance of a government elite
best known for its continuing corruption and scandals. (I do not
think it a coincidence that American gun regulation is being pushed by
the most corrupt administration since Harding).
"By what moral authority do you attack the right of peaceful,
honest people to possess firearms? The country with a 20th century
history of invading Manchuria, bombing defenseless cities in China,
carrying out a sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, enslaving Korean women to
be used as prostitutes, and routinely torturing prisoners (during the
Battan Death March, for example) should think twice about preaching to
others about what is best. Current Japanese policies of mistreating
Korean guest workers, impoverishing its own workers through high trade
barriers, subsidizing politically connected but useless businesses,
routinely changing leaders when the old group gets caught taking
bribes, and so on, are hardly the basis for any claims to moral
"At the same time, your claim that copying Japanese disarmnament
is social beneficial is even more suspect. In America, towns with
strict gun regulations have higher crime rates than others, while the
concealed carry of firearms has led to lower crime rates.
"So, if you imagine that crime is caused by too many people
possessing firearms, why aren't you lecturing the Swiss -- whose
citizens each have far more firepower than Americans? Perhaps it is
because Switzerland has an extremely low crime rate. And unlike
Japan, the Swiss are not overwhelmed by the impact of organized crime.
It is hard to extort money from people armed with automatic weapons.
"Of course I can understand why Japanese officials would rather
preach about gun confiscation than about economics -- now that the
Japanese government has created such a mess of things through trade
restrictions and bad industrial policy. Considering how big a mess
Japanese politicians have made of things, perhaps we can understand
why they are so afraid of an armed public."
George L. O'Brien, longtime political strategist and veteran of the
Libertarian movement is a spokesman for the anti-civil forfeiture
He lives and works in Phoenix, Arizona.