Around world, gun rules, and results, vary wildly
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After a tragedy like the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the statistic is always trotted out. Compared to just about anywhere else with a stable, developed government and many countries without even that the more than 11,000 gun-related killings each year in the United States are simply off the charts.
To be sure, there are nations that are worse. But others see fewer gun homicide deaths in one year than the 27 people killed Dec. 14 in Newtown, Connecticut.
As Americans debate gun laws, people on both sides point to the experiences of other countries to support their arguments. Here's a look at two success stories with two very different ways of thinking about gun ownership and one cautionary tale.
JAPAN THE NANNY STATE
Gunfire rings through the hills at a shooting range at the foot of Mount Fuji. There are few other places in Japan where you'll hear it.
In this country, guns are few and far between. And so is gun violence. Guns were used in only seven murders in Japan a nation of about 130 million in all of 2011, the most recent year for official statistics. According to police, more people nine were murdered with scissors.
Though its gun ownership rates are tiny compared to the United States, Japan has more than 120,000 registered gun owners and more than 400,000 registered firearms. So why is there so little gun violence?
"We have a very different way of looking at guns in Japan than people in the United States,'' said Tsutomu Uchida, who runs the Kanagawa Ohi Shooting Range, an Olympic-style training center for rifle enthusiasts. "In the U.S., people believe they have a right to own a gun. In Japan, we don't have that right. So our point of departure is completely different.''
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