June 07, 2008

Concealed carry

Man, nothing at all funny about this:

Japan's national broadcaster says two have died in a mass stabbing in downtown Tokyo.

Broadcaster NHK said the two dead men in the Sunday attack were 19 and 74 years old.

The attacker apparently went berserk in the popular Akihabara electronics and video game district, stabbing at least 14 people.

Public Broadcaster NHK said 17 ambulances rushed to the site Sunday in Tokyo's Akihabara, known as Electric Town. The electronics and video game district is popular among young people.

I wonder what set him off?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Weird World at 10:51 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
Post contains 94 words, total size 1 kb.

1 Oh crap....that is terrible.

This is an awful story but its timing is particularly bad.

Nevada Tan's release was just announced and the serial killer Myazaki's death penalty was just approved...putting both of them in the news.

Now this follows with another crazy knife wielding otaku...or at least somebody in the otaku mecca...

I hope this doesn't develop into a "Seduction of the Innocent" movement.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at June 07, 2008 11:55 PM (V5zw/)

2 Five deaths confirmed, according to Asahi Shinbun. He drove a (possibly rented) truck into a crowd of pedestrians, then jumped out and started stabbing.

My guess is that he planned to use the truck as his primary weapon, but couldn't get it past the barriers that turn Akihabara into a pedestrian mall on Sundays.


Posted by: J Greely at June 08, 2008 01:22 AM (2XtN5)


Are guns illegall in Japan? It does seem (at least here in the UK)  that knife crime is more common when guns are banned- at the moment there seems to be a fatal stabbing every week in London.


Posted by: Andrew Janes at June 08, 2008 03:36 AM (fnXpS)

4 Firearm possession is illegal in Japan (or so ridiculously restricted as to be the same thing).

Evil bastards will always find a way to inflict harm on another. A maniac in a crowd with a knife is more dangerous than one with a gun. It's silent, the wounds are often more grievous, and there is no practical ammo limit.

Posted by: Will at June 08, 2008 06:38 AM (sp407)

5 Now the report is 7 dead.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at June 08, 2008 07:58 AM (+rSRq)


I might add that Japanese kitchen knives of even reasonable quality are especially lethal.  They are made in a similar fashion to the old swords, meaning a hard, high-carbon edge that is razor sharp, with a softer, flexible core.  They are almost impossible to (reasonably) bend or break, they are much thicker at the spine than the knives we are used to, have a full tang, and are, in general, something to make Col. Fairbairn proud.  It is not atypical for knife assaults in the USA to end fairly quickly with the knife breaking.  In Japan, these guys tend to go on for a long time (some guy on a bus a few years back stabbed 27 people). 

Also, the honest truth is there is much less likelihood of the passersby stepping in to do anything (mostly for passive societal reasons).  The Japanese are as comprehensively disarmed as the British.  As there, using any item as a weapon proves intent and possession--ie, pick up a rock at the side of the road for defense and you are have now "voluntarily armed yourself "with an "weapon intended to do bodily harm."  When you buy even a kitchen knife, you are required by law to transport it home by the shortest possible method from point of purchase or you can be cited for illegal carry. It's just the vastly lower crime rate in Japan makes this disarmament less obvious, although it has not escaped the notice of the growing criminal class of illegal immigrants. 

And, oh yeah--in most urban locations, police response time is in the 11 to 16 minute range for an assault in progress.  Rural?  You might as well write for help.

As for cultural passivity, there was a recent incident on a train where an unarmed guy flashed a girl, and when she protested, he beat her up right in front of the other passengers and at the next stop stuffed her down between the train and the platform.  No one did anything to stop him during the act or his escape, and no one even stayed as a witness.  Yes, this does happen elsewhere in the world (however, non-involvement is the norm in Japan) but nontheless it always leads to a lot of extra soul-searching in Japan, as it should, since they pride themselves so much on their social responsibility and cohesiveness.  When one of the witnesses to the train flasher assault later came forward via anonymous phone call to a TV station, he said the reason he didn't want to get involved at the time was he didn't want to get hurt (the pathetic pussy) but worse, he would have been late for work if he'd stayed to be a witness for the cops.  He was dead serious with that excuse and had called in to make it clear he had a perfectly understandable reason for not getting involved.

Japan isn't what it used to be--the rot is setting in there.  A salaryman told off a group of loud high-school students on a train one night last year.  They got off with him at the next stop and beat him to death in an alley.  These were not punks, just "plain old" high school students.  The worst part is the system is not designed to deal with these problems, and the impotent flailing of the politicians and police is painful to watch.  As usual, the first step is to pass a bunch of laws banning any sort of self-defense....sigh.

And I agree I'd much rather be shot at than involved in a knife fight.  They say "the winner goes to the hospital, the loser to the morgue."  An old friend of mine has worked as an EMT in Canada and South Africa and flat out says "for god's sake, shoot me, don't stab me."

Hmm.  That was a little long.  Sorry, Steven.

Posted by: Toren at June 08, 2008 03:56 PM (t54xi)

7 Asahi Shinbun has an update. Short version: he didn't live in Tokyo, he picked Akihabara because he knew there would be a lot of people there, he planned to use the rented truck as his primary weapon, and he texted his plans and progress to a web-based bulletin board that the story doesn't name.


Posted by: J Greely at June 09, 2008 08:19 AM (2XtN5)

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