U.S. Gun Laws Are A Global Outlier

Firearms killed more than 31,000 people in the U.S. in 2010.

In Japan, a country with a population of 130 million, there were just seven gun-related homicides in all of 2011.

What's the deal?

The Associated Press gives us the run-down:

First, anyone who wants to get a gun must demonstrate a valid reason why they should be allowed to do so. Under longstanding Japanese policy, there is no good reason why any civilian should have a handgun, so - aside from a few dozen accomplished competitive shooters - they are completely banned.

Virtually all handgun-related crime is attributable to gangsters, who obtain them on the black market. But such crime is extremely rare and when it does occur, police crack down hard on whatever gang is involved, so even gangsters see it as a last-ditch option.

Rifle ownership is allowed for the general public, but tightly controlled.

The AP goes on to explain the strict gun laws in Switzerland and Brazil, which also have extremely low rates of gun-related violence.