The Twelve Steps

In his 2015 movie “Where To Invade Next”, Michael Moore asked three Scandinavian women, “Would you move to America?” All three women practically laughed in his face. “We have a social safety net, gender equality, and no violence here.” After the recent Supreme Court decisions regarding abortion and gun rights, those women would laugh longer and harder.

It’s not only Scandinavia. News reports following the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Abe noted that in that country of 125 million people, there was exactly one gun-related death last year. America has three times Japan’s population. Still, in 2019 (the most recent year with complete data), we suffered roughly 15,000 gun-related deaths (not including suicides) with 700 of those deaths children under age 11. Three times the population. 15,000 times the gun deaths. USA! USA!

Japanese citizens must complete twelve steps before legally purchasing a firearm. Among the steps are a gun safety class, a written exam, a mental and physical health evaluation, a background check, and installation of an approved gun and ammunition safe. Passing those hurdles allows you to shoot clay targets. Hunting requires an additional license. Assault weapons, extended ammo magazines, and all the accoutrements that make mass murder so easy are, of course, illegal for civilian purchase.

Meanwhile, here in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, any 18 year old, even one who has threatened violence, can purchase an AR-15 and all the ammo he needs to shoot up a supermarket, a school or a July 4 parade. Oh by the way…thanks to Trump’s Supreme Court, that unhinged 18 year old can strut down the street carrying that weapon and ammo in open view and the police can’t ask him what he is up to.

It is no wonder why people from Scandinavia and Japan are not beating down the doors to come to America.

By Ed Dufton


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Lynette Dufton

These posts are written by my father, Ed Dufton, who has an incredible knack of condensing the day’s news into a witty and insightful commentary on society.