“Gun Laws in Japan
Even though Japan has about 127 million people, it has an average of only 10 gun deaths each year. Japanese law states that “no person shall possess a firearm or firearms or a sword or swords.”
Citizens can buy only shotgun and rifles – no handguns – because the only reason you can get a gun is if you are a hunter or for sport shooting at a range. Gun owners have to be trained in their use, attend a firearms class, pass a firearms test, have an in-hospital mental health check, and have their background thoroughly checked. Gun owners can also buy more ammunition only by turning in empty magazines. Every three years they must retake a firearms class and test.
Gun Violence is an addition to the “Get Informed – Stay Informed” series. Like the other books in the series, “Gun Violence begins with a comprehensive overview of the importance of the issue with some background and context clearly presented. The real value of the book is using this relevant and engaging topic to teach students important information literacy skills.
Consider All Viewpoints
One way to get a balanced view is to look at a topic from many different perspectives. Different sides in the gun violence debate include gun rights lobbyists, gun control groups, government committees, victims of gun violence, police, and hunters. You can also get a balanced view by understanding the effects on different groups. Gun violence affects everyone from children in schools to government officials.”
Some of the topics covered include: “How does gun violence, and mass shootings in particular, affect communities?”, “The history of gun laws in the United States and Canada”, “The impact of new technology on guns and gun crimes” and “Gun control measures, including those in other countries.”
An excellent inclusion to the “Find Out More” section at the back of the book are reminder points to help students critically evaluate the information that they find on the Internet. For example, “Is the site well known and up to date? A page that has not been updated for several years probably has out-of-date information.”
Another excellent feature is the inclusion of “Source Notes” which includes quotation references and other references used chapter by chapter.
Gun violence is a very emotional topic and, sadly, is frequently in the news. It is extremely important that students learn to be astute gatherers and users of information about this topic. Gun Violence does an excellent job of presenting the facts about gun violence and what to do about it from a variety of perspectives.
Suzanne Pierson, a former teacher-librarian, is currently instructing Library courses at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.