Re: violence

James Veverka (
Fri, 24 Sep 1999 08:43:02 -0400 (EDT)

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Brian.......can you point me in a direction concerning the Japanese handgun violence. I find that fascinating and always look for information to counter the handgun control people............ThanX...............jim

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Date: Thu, 23 Sep 1999 11:39:03 -0700 (PDT) From: Brian D Williams <> Message-Id: <> To:
Subject: Re: violence
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From: "Robert J. Bradbury" <>

>I think your own argument can be used against your position.
>Singapore has to have one of the most rigid top-down controlled
>environments in the world. I would be very interested if someone
>knows the details of things like gun laws, etc. there, but my
>suspicion would be that they are very strict. While on the
>economic side of things they are fairly relaxed and open
>I think things are much more regulated in terms of personal
>freedoms (driving a car, littering, drugs, pornography, etc.).

Singapore went through years of extreme civil unrest before the authorities exerted extreme measures. They now have "The Policeman Inside" and have traded strict police control for freedom.

Singapore's secret is swift effective punishment for wrongdoers, the same would work anywhere.

Find The William Gibson WIRED article (should be net-able) "Disneyland with the death penalty."

>And yet there is relatively little violence in Singapore to the
>best of my knowledge. Why? This is also generally true I
>believe for Japan. [While you might make the "martial law"
>case for Singapore, I doubt you can make it for Japan.] IMO,
>one could begin to make a case for either (a) genetics; or
>(b) cultural values as being the determining factors in
>expressions of violence. I believe that the three countries with
>the largest per capita prison populations are the U.S., China and
>Russia. Given the diversity of governments in these countries, it
>seems difficult to pin the violence card on the government. I
>will admit however that teasing apart per-capita prison
>populations is probably a poor approach due to the problems of
>political prisoners and really stupid (drug) laws.

Actually Japan has a surprisingly high crime rate, including a rising incidence of handgun crime, despite handguns being completely illegal there.

When I lived there in '79, when we visited large cities we were stopped every few blocks in various neighborhoods at little 2 man police stations where they would check our I.D's. When we got to the next station we were expected because they had radioed ahead our direction of travel, not exactly martial law but pretty darn strict.... we were polite and were always treated politely......

I agree that imprisoning drug offenders is useless, if they are to be punished at all, community service is sufficient.


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