This is a story about an international couple raising and home educating three young boys on a small island in Japan, half living in buses, engaged in organic, self-sufficient farming in the middle of a mountain forest while dealing with climate, cultural, and personal challenges. These pages are about pretty much anything and everything all guided by our family motto, Taking Chances, Making Changes, Being Happy. Thank you very much for joining us on our ongoing crazy adventure.

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Ban Guns

I spent many days trying to figure where to begin this topic. I am one of the possibly few Americans who do not own a gun and in fact, have never even fired, or held one for that matter. I am not an expert in guns and barely knew the difference between "ouzo", a distilled beverage, and an "uzi", a submachine gun. The one thing I do know is what the use of a gun can do to people and to a family.

Many years ago, while at his place of business in Buffalo, New York, a thief shot my uncle in the head and killed him. Although I was very young at the time, I can vividly remember the affect his death had on my immediate family and relatives. Things were never the same in my family after that. Growing up, I often wondered why people were allowed to own guns in the first place when their only purpose is to INJURE or KILL. The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution, or shall I say the misinterpretation of it, is totally to blame for the unchecked rise in the possession of guns in America.
2nd Amendment

The majority of Americans continue to uphold and embrace The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution (an outdated set of laws) which reads: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed". The intent of the Second Amendment was for Americans to be armed against a possible overthrow of the newly established government, not to be armed with semi-automatic assault weapons, which are being used time and time again to murder and massacre thousands of innocent American citizens across the country every year.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg expressed this sentiment very eloquently while speaking in an interview on public radio station WNYC, when she called the Second Amendment "outdated," saying:

When we no longer need people to keep muskets in their home, then the Second Amendment has no function ... If the Court had properly interpreted the Second Amendment, the Court would have said that amendment was very important when the nation was new; it gave a qualified right to keep and bear arms, but it was for one purpose only—and that was the purpose of having militiamen who were able to fight to preserve the nation.

The right to keep and bear arms (often referred to as the right to bear arms) is the people's right to possess armaments (arms) for their own defense, as described in the philosophical and political writings of Aristotle, Cicero, John Locke, Machiavelli, the English Whigs and others.

Inclusion of this right in a written constitution is uncommon. In 1875, 17 percent of constitutions included a right to bear arms, yet, since the early twentieth century, "the proportion has been less than 10 percent and falling". In their historical survey and comparative analysis of constitutions dating back to 1789, Tom Ginsburg and colleagues "identified only 15 constitutions (in nine countries) that had ever included an explicit right to bear arms. Almost all of these constitutions have been in Latin America, and most were from the 19th century".

Generally, where modern constitutions refer to arms at all, the purpose is "to allow the government to regulate their use or to compel military service, not to provide a right to bear them". Constitutions which historically guaranteed a right to bear arms are those of Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Liberia, Mexico, Nicaragua and the United States of America. Nearly all of Latin American examples were modeled on that of the United States. At present, out of the world’s nearly 200 constitutions, three still include a right to bear arms: Guatemala, Mexico, and the United States; of these three, only the United States does not include explicit restrictive conditions.
Guns should be illegal

The possession of guns should be illegal in the United States. GUNS ARE FOR INJURING AND KILLING, NOTHING MORE, and should not even exist in a civilized society, simply look at the numbers. The United States population owns an estimated total of 300 million guns, averaging approximately 112.6 guns per 100 residents putting the U.S. in worldwide undisputed first place, with its' closest rival being Serbia with 75.6 guns per 100 residents. Even scarier is America has an average death rate of approximately 10 people per 100,000 population per year which puts the U.S. in close competition with South and Central American countries like Panama. The 2016 shooting in Orlando, Florida which killed 50 and injured 53 and the San Bernardino, California shooting of 2015 which killed 14 and injured 21 more could have easily been prevented if guns were not so easily available.
Case Studies

Simply look at a few countries who changed their gun laws and you will see the kind of America which could exist if gun laws were changed, or better yet, if guns were made to be illegal altogether. Will killings and suicides continue without guns?....of course, but the massacres occurring in our public places, such as shopping malls, restaurants, and even schools, would go away.
Case Study #1 - Japan

The possession of a gun by a private citizen is illegal. I have lived in Japan for a long time and cannot tell you what it feels like to go anywhere in this country without the fear of being shot, even in the inner city areas. In addition, Japan is a cash society with few people using credit cards for purchase yet there is still an extremely low crime rate. This is partly due to Japanese culture, another subject entirely, but much can be attributed to the lack of guns in this peaceful society.
Case Study #2 - Australia

Between 1979 and 1996 Australia had 13 mass shootings including the Port Arthur massacre in Tasmania where 35 people were killed by semi-automatic weapons. The federal government implemented new gun control legislation which banned most weapons and instituted a mandatory gun buy back program. No mass shootings occurred for 19 years after the laws were changed.

Americans will eventually need to get rid of the "gun culture" and abolish ALL guns in circulation if they ever want to live in a safe and civilized society.
Additional Reading