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Civic groups angered after kids handle assault weapons at U.S. Navy open house

111 Comments

At an annual open house event at the U.S. Naval Base in Yokosuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture, residents can enter and take a tour of the military facility and meet some of the soldiers. However, this year some Yokosuka residents are up in arms over a photo showing what appears to be a group of children on a tour holding assault rifles with the soldiers.

Although it hasn’t been confirmed, it’s safe to say that the weapons weren’t fired or even armed. However, local organizations in Kanagawa Prefecture were upset at the “shooting poses” that the children were taking. The groups claim that such experience is “teaching kinds the wrong things.”

On Aug 27, they sent a formal letter of protest to the commander of the U.S. Navy in Japan and requested to hear Yokosuka Mayor Yuto Yoshida’s views on the matter. At this time, the Yokosuka Naval Base released a statement saying “we cannot comment while we are still confirming the facts.”

Online readers chimed in at the news. “Agh I’m so jealous, I want to hold one too!” said one. “Aww man, that’s a cool picture. They look like their having so much fun. I envy them," said another.

Others went further, saying: “Civic groups are still around? Children, especially boys, like to play with guns. It’s natural.” While some pointed out “Touching a fighter jet is okay, but a gun isn’t? They’re both weapons.”

At the end of the day, it is a military base, not a marshmallow store. If you don’t want your kids near guns, then that would probably be the worst place in the world to send them. It would seem the parents of the children should have had some idea of what the kids were in store for when they went off to the base. Perhaps these civic groups have deeper issues with the Yokosuka base than this.

Source: NHK via Itai News

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Toys for Grown-Ups – Replica Sniper Rifles, Pistols and Grenade Launchers -- Visit a Factory For Some Shooting Practice -- We enlist at “Nation at War Tavern”

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111 Comments
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Seriously? Every morning the kids cartoon Anpaman teaches kids to punch and kick other people, how is this any different?

18 ( +24 / -5 )

Oh gimme a break. How come they are not angered by kids playing with toy weapons ?

13 ( +16 / -3 )

Who let them hold the guns? I think the parents are the ones who are responsible for this as they could've just told the kids that they couldn't do it.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Its common in Western cultures to go visit military sites and play with their weapons, so to speck. This kind of thing gets publicity and interest for kids who want a military career but it also has a side effect, the West, especially in America, lots of people use weapons in crime and random shootings. As kids we program in their minds that weapons are cool, they can be used as a tool, when they get upset they use one to mow down some innocent people…..

-28 ( +5 / -32 )

Some people are just too sensitive and try to be too PC, kids playing with guns has been round since before John Wayne was a cowboy, letting your kids go to the base you should expect they will come close to if not in contact with weapons.

As rightly stated in the article its a military base not a marshmellow store lol.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Tiger_In_The_Hermitage: Its common in Western cultures to go visit military sites and play with their weapons, so to speck.

Really? Where is that common? I'm from a "Western culture" and have never heard of someone doing that.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Let the kids have fun!! first, you cannot get guns in Japan , second, a few months ago I read a JT new where old people were suing a day care for too much noise, Damn if you don't , Damn if you do!!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Mission accomplished: new gun fetish recruits!

2 ( +8 / -6 )

I went to an open house at a JSDF base in Fukuchiyama, Kyoto and they had weapons on display that were chained to the table. Everyone could hold them, from light machine guns to pistols. I was the only non -Japanese there. I'm outraged, not.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Bastards! Weapons aren't toys.

Keep your guns to yourselves!

-22 ( +5 / -27 )

Toys stores sell realistic BB guns, cartoons here are way more violent (than I expected), bullying is rampant, samurai and war films are a constant diet. Parents who took their kids here allowed them to hold a real gun are doing the same as taking them to a toy store. I feel sorry in this case for Americans its just an easy kick for the locals. Nothing like holding a hand out and being spat on. Had it been a sword then they would complain it was not a Samurai sword. A twisty straw not a straight straw. Do not like it do not go. It a meet and great not a life changing experience. I bet none joined the NRA after.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

US badman

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

Didn't they just show for a couple of days on here on TV the JSDF live firing their tanks to a small crowd selected by lottery?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

We did the same thing here at a base open day but the rifles were chained to the table and the kids parents were also present. I think this is the important thing..parents should be present to supervise their kids.

What about all the BB guns you can buy in Japan? The only difference is they are not the real thing but sometimes it's hard to tell...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

These people who have no fun and are always walking around sticking comments where there opinion is not even asked for. Anal twats....

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

The things children learn from experience is boundless. Civic groups aren't complaining at all, it's the anti-American reds (leftists) that are complaining.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

The groups claim that such experience is “teaching kinds the wrong things.”

As opposed to their parents who are supposed to be teaching them the right things?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

oww grow up!!! if you want your kids to not see/hear/speak any evil, lock them up in a windowless room!!! how is holding a (presumed unloaded) M16 any different than playing with a plastic model of the same. i have seen model guns in Japanese stores, they rival the originals in appearance!!! this is just plain hypocritical. no point in keeping your kid shielded, show them the guns and the tanks, but also tell them the misery caused by them...that is parenting.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I can see why people would be upset about their kids holding weapons, but like others here, I can't see why someone with those views would let their kids go to the base.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I think they should stop showing super sentai and kamen rider shows, and the selling of the weapons used in those shows, overreacting much?

I remember as a kid going to a similar thing , shooting an Uzi, Fall, Browning pistol and 50 cal machine gun was awesome!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Those Tokyo Marui BB-Guns you see in Toy-stores are age-limited and most can't be sold to under-18's.

Got a few as I do partake in simulated combat from time to time, not toys at all as most are gas or electricity powered.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Oh another thing, did those groups ever went to a toy store? They have a huge collection of pelet guns that look as real as the real thing.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

My grandfather had a shotgun in the garage. I once asked if I could hold it and he said simply, "No, guns aren't toys.".

And that's my objection to this photo, the guns are being treated as toys. They're not. They're tools. This photo shows a lack of respect for what is a deadly tool designed to kill people.

There's no respect for guns in the way that one respects a sushi knife. I certainly don't show my sushi knife off to anyone, or wave it around. It is incredibly sharp, I take very good care of it, I clean and oil it once I'm done using it, and it goes back in its case high in the cupboard. If a kid asked, "May I wave your sushi knife around like I'm a samurai", my answer would be the same as my grandfather's "No, sushi knives are not toys".

... that Marines cannot grasp this very simple idea, that a gun is not a toy, elegantly illustrates the lack of discipline and respect that is currently plaguing the U.S. armed forces. They don't understand or respect the tools of their trade.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

I tend to agree with the Civic Group... while it is really a cool thing for the kids to mess around with, it is still a weapon and I don't think the Base's Annual Open House should be about kids or anybody play acting with real, albeit, unloaded weapons. Maybe when they are 18 years or older but a real gun... the kid will go back to school and brag about how cool it was.... then other kids will want to handle a real weapon too. Save the handling of guns for war... that is what they're for.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

SenseNotSoCommon: Bastards! Guns aren't toys. Keep your guns to yourselves!

I'm confused. Is your anger directed at the soldiers protecting this country or the parents who took their kids to the base and allowed them to handle the guns?

CrazyJoe: Civic groups aren't complaining at all, it's the anti-American reds (leftists) that are complaining.

Get over it, Senator. Leftists are neither necessarily red nor anti-American.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It"S MEAUG. 30, 2013 - 01:46PM JST Those Tokyo Marui BB-Guns you see in Toy-stores are age-limited and most can't be sold to under-18's.

but there are smaler similar hand cocked ones available to all.

There appears to be a Marine behind every child, who is holding a weapon guarrented to be at least unloaded. As you know almost exact duplicates are available, who supervises those kids. I have been in parks with 10 going full auto on each other. The story is about bitching about an American base, not firearm safety.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Well said, Dana Lawton. Guns are for killing people. If you think that is cool, no army should want you.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Cricky.

Reread what I wrote and hand-cocking is per shot thus no auto. Also those guns have strong springs and aren't easily cocked by a 10yr old. Try one at a Toy-store. ;)

Guns and replica are not Toys for kids.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Is your anger directed at the soldiers protecting this country

Spare us the straw man twist, please. Soldiers have no business glorifying weapons to children.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Just making a point they look the same regardless of rate of fire. I was really surprised when my 4 year old grandson proudly showed me how he could do it. BTW I did not give it to him or teach him. And I do disagree with teaching guns are cool. Boys will be boys, some people spend days shooting each other with BBs. ;-)

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

"The groups claim that such experience is “teaching kinds the wrong things.” So true, if the kinds are taught the wrong things how do you expect the kinds to be nice kinds?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

“teaching kinds the wrong things.”

Um, I believe that should be 'kids' not 'kinds'.

It's a hard call on the morality of this one.

Should kids be able to play with guns? Definitely not.

Were the kids in a controlled environment with unloaded weapons and professional soldiers? Yes, they were.

Were the kids attending a military open day to see military weapons? Yes, they were.

Were the children's parents present? One would believe so.

Were the children ever in danger? Definitely not!

Children are children and are exposed to images of weapons and toy weapons from a very early age. Is it not better for them to handle weapons in a controlled environment with professionals than to experiment with them unsupervised? My conclusion is, there was no harm done by letting these kids play these weapons and the Civic Group should find something else to complain about.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Ah it's no big deal for some kids to have a hold of some rifles. They're not available to acquire in any capacity in Japan and the society here isn't full of sociopaths with easy access to assault weapons like in other parts of the world where school massacres, etc. are common.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Innocence lost.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

All you people complaining...give me a break! The guns were not real, they are made of rubber, but very life like. you all act like kids have never played with guns. Just like someone said, we don't see people screaming murder with Anpanman always punching people....or one piece with all its violence...kids will be kids...don't put this on the base or the military....if you don't want to see things like this, don't go to open base; which you complain so much about and that should be closed and rid Japan of military......

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Doesn't the SDF every year in August have a training exercise open to the public that is featured every year on JT that shows tanks firing, missile launching, guns firing?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

SenseNotSoCommon: Spare us the straw man twist, please. Soldiers have no business glorifying weapons to children.

Oh dear, not the straw man refutation. Sorry dear, there's nothing straw-like about it. You're calling men who are here to protect Japan, and admittedly to protect America's interests in the region, bastards for showing kids guns when the parents of the kids had every opportunity to not go to the base and certainly, to not allow their kids to hold the guns if they oppose it. What is a military base but a giant cache of weapons? For you to call the soldiers "bastards" shows your true colors and it's got little to do with the supposed glorification of guns.

GetReal: Innocence lost.

Have you ever looked at the magazine rack of a typical 7/11 in Japan, watched a typical violence-filled kids program, been to a toy store? Get real, indeed.

I'm certainly no gun advocate but to call the soldiers bastards or to suggest that the kids in the photo have lost their innocence because they held an unloaded gun under the supervision of soldiers and presumably their parents is just a bit reactionary.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I guess the same people think its also a bad idea to teach children the truth about Pearl Harbour, Kamikaze and other war related things. Maybe they should stop children learning about atoms because it might be a bad influence and make them become another TEPCO CEO.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

If a kid asked, "May I wave your sushi knife around like I'm a samurai", my answer would be the same as my grandfather's "No, sushi knives are not toys".

Frungy, are you seriously comparing a sharpened knife to an unloaded gun in terms of safety? An unloaded gun is as dangerous as a toy gun. A sharpened knife is always dangerous. You can't unload a knife.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

I guess the children never went to a Game Center. Perhaps they should aim their frustration towards TEPCO. Tokyo Gas is the same. The Japanese government should liquidate both.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I bet the kids had a blast with the guns.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

RealJapan: "I guess the children never went to a Game Center."

Maybe it's the civic groups that never went to a Game Center!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Ok spell check got me I think we agree Thank you for the confirming response.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I think most of the anger is just in reply to the fact that it occurred on an American military base. If they went to an air-show and were allowed to tough a fighter jet (or sit in the cockpit), or sit on a tank, no one would complain, and there are plenty of other examples. I think the only thing that should be required is that any such tour makes it explicitly clear children are allowed, if they wish, to hold unarmed weapons. If they allow it, that is. If they don't allow it make that clear also. THEN there are grounds for complaints.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

darknutsAug. 30, 2013 - 03:42PM JST

If a kid asked, "May I wave your sushi knife around like I'm a samurai", my answer would be the same as my grandfather's "No, sushi knives are not toys".

Frungy, are you seriously comparing a sharpened knife to an unloaded gun in terms of safety? An unloaded gun is as dangerous as a toy gun. A sharpened knife is always dangerous. You can't unload a knife.

... An unloaded gun? You mean like when people unload their guns to clean them? Oh yeah, those are completely safe (MUCH SARCASM WARNING).

Just last month a 13 year old girl accidentally killed her brother with an "unloaded" gun. There are about 30 000 firearm accidents a year in the U.S.

That's not the point though, and you know it very well. You don't let the kids mess with a chainsaw, even if its off and there's no gas in it, because IT IS NOT A TOY.

Guns are not toys. If you treat guns like toys then you have a problem. I'm not saying we should ban toy guns, I had toy hammers as a kid, and I got chewed out if I banged them on the walls, or left them lying around. Likewise I got chewed out if I pointed a toy gun at any person or domestic animal (fake-shooting at birds was also frowned on by my mother).

But treating REAL guns like toys? Only a complete and utter blithering idiot would put a REAL gun in the hands of a child, regardless of whether they THOUGHT it was loaded or not. Accidents happen, and military personnel are not immune. I would no more give a child a sharp knife to hold than I would give them a real gun. It is simply grossly irresponsible.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

@Frungy

I guess we should remove toy guns from the arcades then, since they are not toys and may somehow actually kill someone.

Sorry but no one forced anyone to touch the gun and kids can't come on base without adult supervision.

Yeah what an outrage.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Those US military open days are massively popular among the Japanese. Hundreds of thousands show up in a day, the population of a midsize city.

However, the prefectural authorities always find something to complain about and make a big fuss. They got the air shows cancelled a few years ago, for example. It seems they prefer the population to be spending their summer weekends in smoke-filled pachinko parlors or shopping arcades.

2 ( +5 / -2 )

Judging from the picture's terrible quality you can't tell if they are the real thing or the rubber training ones. Also as long as they were handling them properly and not pointing them at anyone I don't see what the big deal is. Its a military base and a military expo what would you expect to find there?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

An unloaded gun? You mean like when people unload their guns to clean them? Oh yeah, those are completely safe (MUCH SARCASM WARNING).

Yes they are.

Just last month a 13 year old girl accidentally killed her brother with an "unloaded" gun. There are about 30 000 firearm accidents a year in the U.S.

Um...If there's a round in the chamber, it's a loaded gun.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The US example is an anomaly, due to a constitution confusion. No other STABLE country has such gun deaths. You do not need an automatic weapon to protect yourself- unless it's a Zombe attack. And as we all know it's a frequent occurance in America. ;-)

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Frungy,

Guns are not toys. If you treat guns like toys then you have a problem.

EXACTLY!

You COULD open an envelope with a sushi knife. You COULD pick your teeth with a sushi knife - though I wouldn't recommend it.

The only thing, the ONLY thing you can do with a gun or assault rifle is to end someone's life.

Why on Earth is it not OK for kids to see pornography, but it's totally OK for them to watch movies where people get mowed down like flies?

Not that I think it's OK for kids to see pornography!

I question the thinking of the parents who would take their kids to a military installation in any case.

This is sick!

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

ForceForwardAug. 30, 2013 - 05:05PM JST I guess we should remove toy guns from the arcades then, since they are not toys and may somehow actually kill someone.

I already clarified this. Perhaps you should go back and re-read.

darknutsAug. 30, 2013 - 05:45PM JST Um...If there's a round in the chamber, it's a loaded gun.

... if you can't know that sometimes a round gets stuck in the chamber, and that sometimes people miss it (or entirely forget to check) then I really don't think you're really a person who should be commenting on anything relating to guns. Who checked these guns? How many times? You know what, it doesn't actually matter. Real guns and kids don't mix. They are not toys.

Also, the Marine in the top left has his gun aimed down at the bare-headed marine's legs... that's bad gun discipline. The little boy in the green shirt is copying his example, aiming the gun at the photographer. It's gun discipline 101 fails left right and center.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

It seems that Japanese do not want children touch the real weapons/guns even if these are not loaded bullets because parents always want children to stay away from such things and there is ever no good news about guns.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

When I visited park Spana in Suzuka, Mie Prefecture, there was a gift store there which sold plastic guns, my son started playing with another kid there like if they were firing each other, I'm not sure If it was because that was a park for children to see good things or because my father used to have a gun at home and i was always terrified of it, I did not like to see him playing with such toy that looked real so I immediately told him to stop playing that and told a lady who worked there that they should not have toys like those because it wasn't a good example, she glanced at her partner and they just gave me a nasty smirk... People these days are lost and do not have a sense of what is right and wrong!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Nice assault rifles. Navy really are well equipped. Recruits look a little young though.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

... if you can't know that sometimes a round gets stuck in the chamber, and that sometimes people miss it (or entirely forget to check) then I really don't think you're really a person who should be commenting on anything relating to guns.

Frungy...rounds don't get stuck in the chamber. When you cock a gun, a round gets chambered. Even if you take out the magazine, a round is still chambered therefore, it's a loaded gun. You understand now? An unloaded gun means there's no rounds chambered or magazine loaded.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Good old fashioned fun. Get over it haters! :) Those guns are what is keeping you alive.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

it's almost a form of superstition the level of venom against guns. I'd almost say a crucifix against vampires, but that's not right...

A gun is a tool. Designed to kill, but a tool no more. No less. If you are to pick one up, it must be used responsibly, or don't pick one up. At all.

It's not magic people. it's not going to come after you in the night and go boo.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

When I was in my late teens my dad (who was a Warrant Officer in the British Army) would allow me to go with the squaddies to the ranges, where I would be allowed to fire the SLRs, Stirlings and GPMGs... even a training version of the Carl Gustav AT weapon.

It was exciting, of course, but it has left me with a fear of guns. I know the damage they can do... admittedly to wooden targets, but bullets can rip a body apart just the same. I hate guns, and I think they should only be permitted to be carried by the armed forces and police when required.

Kids have a fascination with guns, of course, but they need to learn that they are designed for one purpose - to kill. They should never be made an object of desire or a status symbol.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

BertieWooster...I get it..you're a pacifist. I agree with most of your posts. But the world is ruled by humans with egos. Obama is a fake. Abe is a fake. Yes, guns are designed to kill people. There should always be the fear in leadership that the people can overthrow them, without that, you get dictators. And that's exactly what Abe and Obama are. I hope for another Gandhi.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"At the end of the day, it is a military base, not a marshmallow store. If you don’t want your kids near guns, then that would probably be the worst place in the world to send them. It would seem the parents of the children should have had some idea of what the kids were in store for when they went off to the base. Perhaps these civic groups have deeper issues with the Yokosuka base than this."

Exactly, exactly.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

And then you have cowards who give you the thumbs down with no comment. They are worst.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How do you know the gun was not loaded? After all, military men who are trained to shoot proudly showed to kids.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Every round of ammunition on that base is tracked as if it were a nuclear weapon. Anyone 'loses' a round, they're pretty much guaranteed to lose a paygrade. And every time a weapon is fired it is taken apart and cleaned. Since those weapons were going to be handled by civvies, they were likely double and triple checked as well, first by the armory and then by an officer or chief. Someone didn't just say "Hey, let's let these kids handle our weapons!" Since that's a good way to go see the Captain and lose paygrades, too.

Oh, the rubber training guns are blue or red. Never black.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

darknutsAug. 30, 2013 - 07:04PM JST Frungy...rounds don't get stuck in the chamber. When you cock a gun, a round gets chambered. Even if you take out the magazine, a round is still chambered therefore, it's a loaded gun. You understand now? An unloaded gun means there's no rounds chambered or magazine loaded.

... allow me to enlighten you on gun cleaning procedure, since obviously you've never done it before. You lay out your cloths and your oils on a nice level surface on a nice brightly colored cloth. You lift up your gun, check the safety is on, then (keeping your finger well clear of the trigger) slide the magazine release and put it down on the table. Then you cock the gun and actually peer down the the chamber and barrel. Why? Because carbon residue from firing can result in a chambered round being stuck in the chamber, or sometimes even a little way up the barrel (it can shift if you don't pay attention when re-cocking the gun). If that's clear then you take out your brushes and pipes and carefully clean and oil your gun. During this process some people strip the gun entirely, but most people don't (and it isn't really necessary every time), and they get to the tough to reach places by moving the slide... if you forgot to visually check the chamber and barrel this cleaning process can dislodge a round stuck somewhere in the feed, or the chamber, or the barrel and put it in the chamber...

... you now have a loaded gun and someone who's cleaning every part of the gun, including the safety and trigger.

Kids likewise fiddle. They're unlikely to be able to move the slide on an assault rifle, but if the round is already chambered they just need to flick the safety off and pull the trigger.

THIS is why kids and guns is a bad idea. I hope I've explained it clearly enough. This is gun basics 101. Knowing how to clean a gun safely is essential for any responsible person who owns a gun. Only people who've never owned guns, or are completely irresponsible and do own a gun, don't know this stuff.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@Ambrosia,

I'm annoyed that kids are getting a dopamine rush from something they don't understand.

These killing tools are being glorified, like some ghoulish idolatry. Killing is not cool. Guns aren't cool.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Of these civic groups, what percentage of the members are women? 99.99999%?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If Japan were Korea, Israel, or Switzerland, each and every kid would eventually have to pick up a rifle and learn hw to use it. It's not a bad idea for people to go to a military base and play with tne equipment, after all, they paid for it with their tax dollars. The guns and the soldiers themselves belong to the people, it would be nice if everybody understood that.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Letting kids pose with real guns in those posses is freaking moronic. Way to go U.S. Navy.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

ExNavyAug. 30, 2013 - 11:05PM JST Since those weapons were going to be handled by civvies, they were likely double and triple checked as well, first by the armory and then by an officer or chief. Someone didn't just say "Hey, let's let these kids handle our weapons!" Since that's a good way to go see the Captain and lose paygrades, too.

... and what was the first rule you were taught by you dear, beloved drill sergeant. DON'T POINT THAT WEAPON AT ANYONE!!!! It is literally the first and most important rule of handling a firearm. You never point your gun at anyone or anything unless you want that person/thing dead. ... Yet here we have a picture clearly showing the marine pointing his rifle down at the other marine's leg, and the kid pointing the rifle at the camera man... and nobody is doing jack.

Quite possibly in your day and on your base discipline was good (and good discipline makes life happy and safe for everyone), but one look at that picture and you can see that the discipline on that base is non-existent.

As for "tracking rounds like they're nuclear weapons" and someone getting demoted for a single round. You've got to be joking. You just say you fired it off at the range and its all good. I remember sitting down in a U.S. military Jeep once and feeling something poke me, so I got up and found two rounds of rifle ammo wedged in the back seat. Apparently some had been transporting spare clips and the bouncing had dislodged a couple of rounds. There was no fuss, I just handed them over and the Marine stuck them in his pocket pretty casually. He wasn't going, "OMG! Thank you!! You just saved me from getting demoted!!".

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Much ado about nothing.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Every round of ammunition on that base is tracked as if it were a nuclear weapon. Anyone 'loses' a round, they're pretty much guaranteed to lose a paygrade. And every time a weapon is fired it is taken apart and cleaned. Since those weapons were going to be handled by civvies, they were likely double and triple checked as well, first by the armory and then by an officer or chief. Someone didn't just say "Hey, let's let these kids handle our weapons!" Since that's a good way to go see the Captain and lose paygrades, too.

Oh, the rubber training guns are blue or red. Never black.

Someone who actually knows what he is talking about. Thank you!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Those black body guns look like the ones that was used in Vietnam War where Vietnamese people were killed and their farms were destoyed. They don;t look like guns used in middleEast, Enlarge the photo on top and see.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Why don't you demand ban all imitation weapons selling and producing in Japan?

I'm tiring of right group. Posing with gun is not big deal as long as they have taken safety precautionary procedure before the let children to touch the weapon. There is no evidence clinical study on children who exposed to weapons at early age becoming criminal in future. Get over it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The only thing, the ONLY thing you can do with a gun or assault rifle is to end someone's life.

Not true at all, you can target shoot with them.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm not a fan of guns at all, but even I looked at guns as a kid and went 'Mommy! I wanna touch it!' Kids are curious. It's better to let them satisfy their curiosity and be properly educated about gun safety then pretend guns don't exist.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

SenseNotSoCommon: I'm annoyed that kids are getting a dopamine rush from something they don't understand.

You're annoyed because it's US military showing the kids the guns when your anger should be directed at the parents who took their kids to the base and allowed them to handle the guns. If the parents had a problem with this they would have gone elsewhere or had their kids do other activities available on the base that day.

These killing tools are being glorified, like some ghoulish idolatry.

Tools being the operative word here. When you are a carpenter a hammer and lathe are some of your tools. When you are a teacher a whiteboard and texts are some of your tools. When you are a soldier guns are your tools. Showing the kids their tools hardly means they are being glorified or idolized.

Killing is not cool.

Who said it was? Is anyone in the photo killing someone? Am I missing something?

Guns aren't cool.

I don't find guns to be particularly cool either but I know that plenty of people disagree with me and they are free to do so, just as you are free to keep making hyperbolic statements that have little to do with reality. Just try not to let that knee hit you too hard in the face when it jerks up on you the way it has been.

Has it occurred to anyone that rather than the weapons being "glorified" the soldiers are explaining some gun safety points to the children? Just something to consider.

The angry civic group needs to redirect their complaints to the parents. If no one showed up at the area where the guns are being shown, the military would take it to be an unpopular activity and would probably stop it. It's a bit like taking your kid to a brothel and complaining that the prostitutes are promoting sex.

iceshoecream: Letting kids pose with real guns in those posses is freaking moronic. Way to go U.S. Navy.

I think you're giving the US Navy a little too much credit. As far as I know it's still the parents in Japan who decide where their kids will go on the weekends and what they'll be allowed to do, not the US Navy.

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Let the kids have some fun yea? Besides why bring your kids on a Military base if your going to complain, in the picture they look like their having fun so let them. <.<

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I'm sure parents or guardians were there too and consented to the activity besides people weren't there touring for scenery... they were there to meet the soldiers and check out the weapons including rifles and side arms.

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FrungyAUG. 31, 2013 - 12:31AM JST

Never said anything about where the weapons are being pointed, just the fact that they're obviously intended for public handling. Personally, I think the reaction of the local alarmists should have been evident beforehand, but it was likely the idea of some junior-ish officer who thought it would be cool for the locals to handle the least destructive weapons on base.

And this may be anecdotal, but in my very recent experience (I left Yokosuka about a year and a half ago), yes, ammo is tracked like nukes. I personally saw an entire armory shift and security watch section locked down and sent to Disciplinary Review Board over 5 shotgun shells. That turned up in a watchstander's pocket. He did lose paygrade on that, and the armory watch lost their qualifications across the board (as well as losing significant liberty privleges). It wouldn't have mattered if it was one or five, though it would have mattered if it was 200 (a handful is incompetence, hundreds is theft). Throughout the entire situation until the idiot found the shells in his pocket, the rest of the security force got the fifth degree about what would happen if those shells were used Off-base.

Weapon and munition control has gotten a lot tighter in the years since 2001, the services no longer tolerate guns and ammo getting 'misplaced' as much as they used to.

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This is silly at best, Japan is the home of the real looking weapon. They are so real they can get you killed. So what they were handling weapons? Maybe one day they would want to go into the Self Defense Force. This issue is American bashing at best.

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Grungy, your knife is a loaded weapon. The ones the kids were holding are not. So what's your point?

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It's not like if you touch a gun, you get gun fever and have to get one. As for glorification of weapons, just look at the anime and mange aimed a boys. If the main character is brandishing a huge sword, they may have guns. What about that article on "SDF sees surge of popularity thanks to anime tanks" . The anime was "Girls und Panzer". Not sure why they thought it necessary to German mixed in. It's not because Japanese can pronounce German well. Before they complain about display of the tools of the trade on a military base, maybe they should look into themselves to see why the boys were so happy to handle what may be real or not weapons and other things. Why there is such a reverence for a ship as Yamato. The glorification of weapons started long before any of the boys in the picture ever entered that base.

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Those guns look like second hand old guns cowboys used over 50 years ago. The gadget whicih inspect guns with computer equipped tracker which also track pellets and determined how much liquid is needed to clean up is used instead of training soldiers to become gunsmith because new guns in middle east are quite different,

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hereforeverAug. 31, 2013 - 08:23AM JST Grungy, your knife is a loaded weapon. The ones the kids were holding are not. So what's your point?

The point is that they're not toys. Treating them like toys sends the wrong message. That's the point. ... but if you'd bothered to read my previous comments you'd know that.

ExNavyAug. 31, 2013 - 07:17AM JST Never said anything about where the weapons are being pointed, just the fact that they're obviously intended for public handling.

But you'll admit that the marine should know better, and if he was still in basic and pointing his weapon at someone in front of his drill sergeant he'd be punished?

And honestly, these aren't toys. There's always a remote chance that there IS a round in there. Accidents do happen. They're lethal weapons for goodness sakes, not toys.

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Strange that some Japanese parents allow their kids to play with firearms of a former enemy. They have no a plain self-respect.

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@Frungy: I applaud your comment. No, it is not a toy. The probability of killing or injuring a person? toys 0, Mangas 0. Real guns 100% Now-a-days, even yakuza chimpiras do not carry guns, So why expose real guns to children?

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this is interesting- in the US at the open houses/air shows and the like they have the small arms on displays with Armed Guards- so no one can touch anything,

so if i am in Japan i can handle the weapons - if i am in the US i cannot...

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Given the quality of the picture, I'm not sure where that M-4 is being pointed. But I will say the kids apparently have better trigger discipline, from what we can make out of the picture.

Yes, there is a non-zero chance some idiot left a round in. For that to have been the case, the weapon would have had to been put in Condition One instead of the Regulation Condition Three, the round would have had to have been accounted for erroneously by the watchstander and armory watch when turned in, armory chief during the daily inspection, missed in the pre-event weapon check, and missed again by whoever did the final check on all weapons (an officer or a chief). A non-zero possibility, but not all that likely.

Now, if you want to know what I think of the situation? It's a nightmare only a gungho JO could think up. You have civvies from a country with strong taboos about guns handling firearms, oh, and the country in question has a love/hate relationship where every single little thing gets over analyzed.

Then you have the fact that no positive control is evident in the one picture we have. The first rule of firearms is respect, the Marines almost certainly have respect for theirs, but they may be taking for granted that the kids see these as the coolest toys they've ever laid hands on, bar none.

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Stupid PC groups. It is a military base, for crying out loud. What do they expect find there? Barbie dolls? If these people are so anti-military they should not send their kids on the tour in the first place.

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ExNavyAug. 31, 2013 - 02:14PM JST Yes, there is a non-zero chance some idiot left a round in. For that to have been the case, the weapon would have had to been put in Condition One instead of the Regulation Condition Three, the round would have had to have been accounted for erroneously by the watchstander and armory watch when turned in, armory chief during the daily inspection, missed in the pre-event weapon check, and missed again by whoever did the final check on all weapons (an officer or a chief). A non-zero possibility, but not all that likely.

Sure, I admit its not likely, but a non-zero possibility is all that is needed to illustrate my point, that these aren't toys.

Now, if you want to know what I think of the situation? It's a nightmare only a gungho JO could think up. You have civvies from a country with strong taboos about guns handling firearms, oh, and the country in question has a love/hate relationship where every single little thing gets over analyzed.

Precisely. This entire idea was a bad idea. Its bad for everyone involved.

Then you have the fact that no positive control is evident in the one picture we have. The first rule of firearms is respect, the Marines almost certainly have respect for theirs, but they may be taking for granted that the kids see these as the coolest toys they've ever laid hands on, bar none.

With all dues respect, anyone who understood the function of these weapons, who respected them and who weighed the potential pros and cons would NOT have put these weapons in the hands of kids for a publicity stunt. Personally if it was my gun, even if I was 110% certain it was unloaded (which you can never be, best case 99.9999%) and safe I wouldn't let some sticky-fingered little kid yank on the trigger like it was a toy, because my life might rely on that weapon and if the kid has managed to stuff it up in some new and imaginative way (and kids are good at that) then its my ass on the line.

And has anyone paused to think about security for a second? All that's missing is a clip of rounds, which is much easier to smuggle into a base than a full assault rifle.

There's no respect being shown in this picture. Not for the weapons. Not for the prevailing attitudes in Japan. Not for the safety of the kids. Not for the security of the base. Not for anyone. That's what bugs me most here. The Marines go on and on about respect being a core value, but you see very little of it when you interact with them.

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Thanks, Ambrosia

I'm annoyed that kids anywhere should get a dopamine rush from guns when they can't fully grasp their function.

Guns are designed to orphan children and widow their mothers. A single bullet can break many hearts and shatter multiple livelihoods.

Given the rationale that soldiers should be free to show their tools to children (unfortunate phrasing), why not let them play with anti-personnel devices and daisy-cutters? Where does it get too real?

The kids would have been as happy as piglets in sh*t playing on humvees and assault courses, and the military would have had a far more successful outreach event.

Just keep the weaponry locked up where it belongs.

Peace to you, brother.

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Life now is so complicated. Some people are putting a different meaning to a simple military event. Isn't it those kinds of events bridge the gap between the military base and the community surrounding it aside from enticing the young people to be part of it . And I agree with Yuri Otani San.

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a non-zero chance some idiot left a round in

Double plus good!

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WillieB: Mattel was sued by Donna Douglas for using her as a model of Bobbie Doll that US Military can;t use Bobbie. Donna Douglas who played a cute Tomboy Elley Mae Crumpet in Beverly Hillbillies TV series years ago. So, they must be displaying out-of-dated guns to exhibit. At least they are not showing guns that are used in Middle East Atabic countries.

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Kids had fun I imagine!

Still, not the best idea.

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I don't think the parents are the ones complaining. It said Civic groups. Parents wouldn't take kids to military bases then compalin about it.

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quercetum: I agree with you. Parents more likely avoided to bring their children to US military base,

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Not for the prevailing attitudes in Japan.

Curious, what is the prevailing attitude in Japan about these open house events?

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NolivingSep. 02, 2013 - 02:29AM JST Curious, what is the prevailing attitude in Japan about these open house events?

... you know that I was talking about the prevailing attitudes about guns.

And the prevailing attitude about guns is that they're barely okay if you need them for your job (like a police officer or a hunter), but they have no place near kids or in public. Even cash in transit guards get foul looks from obaachans if they put their hand anywhere near their guns.

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@Frungy,

Even cash in transit guards get foul looks from obaachans if they put their hand anywhere near their guns.

Does these guys have guns? News to me.

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Get RealSep. 02, 2013 - 07:54AM JST @Frungy,

Even cash in transit guards get foul looks from obaachans if they put their hand anywhere near their guns.

Does these guys have guns? News to me.

They do last time I looked. It probably varies from company to company, but the guys in my area are definitely carrying.

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... you know that I was talking about the prevailing attitudes about guns. And the prevailing attitude about guns is that they're barely okay if you need them for your job (like a police officer or a hunter), but they have no place near kids or in public. Even cash in transit guards get foul looks from obaachans if they put their hand anywhere near their guns.

Yes but there are grey areas as well. For example what is the prevailing attitude among Japanese about going to a gun range in Guam or Hawaii or LA or Las Vegas?

So what you are saying is that the prevailing attitude among Japanese is that it is wrong to handle a firearm at an open house base event? The attitude applies to out in the public or at ones private residence. So what is the prevailing attitude about guns at a open house event at an America military base?

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I'm definitely not pro guns, but it's a bit silly to get upset about this. The parents knew where they were sending their children so I doubt it's the parents who are upset. If they are, it would be similar to having a vegan going into a BBQ restaurant and then get offended that the menus have only meat. I think there are just too many people who can't mind their own business.

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Those aren't guns, they're rifles. A gun is an artillery piece. (My pedantry for today.)

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Tempest in a teapot...

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NolivingSep. 03, 2013 - 02:49AM JST Yes but there are grey areas as well. For example what is the prevailing attitude among Japanese about going to a gun range in Guam or Hawaii or LA or Las Vegas?

So people go into a private place to enjoy doing something that's illegal back home... sounds a lot like something else.

So what you are saying is that the prevailing attitude among Japanese is that it is wrong to handle a firearm at an open house base event?

Yes.

The attitude applies to out in the public or at ones private residence. So what is the prevailing attitude about guns at a open house event at an America military base?

... asked an answered. As for private residences, in Japan (which is where this base is located... this is not an embassy, they're still on Japanese soil and obeying Japanese laws), it would be illegal for a gun owner to allow someone else to hold their gun, even for a few minutes (both the person handling the gun and the person who's gun it was could be charged - see the case of the police officer who left his gun in the toilet a few months ago).

What those marines did was a crime in Japan, and whatever idiot authorized this fiasco should be court marshaled.

yyj72Sep. 04, 2013 - 12:24PM JST Those aren't guns, they're rifles. A gun is an artillery piece. (My pedantry for today.)

The dictionary disagrees. Gun - from the old Norse Gunn, meaning war. Later generalized to mean any instrument of war (e.g. a sword), later became specifically a tube from which bullets, shells, etc. emerged. I'll agree that etymologically your definition is closer to the original meaning, since rifles are for civilian use in many countries and hence not weapons of war, but the dictionary defines the term much more broadly.

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Frungy: You are right. They say Gun Control to specify any sort of guns even in USA.

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which is where this base is located... this is not an embassy, they're still on Japanese soil and obeying Japanese laws

I did not know that Japanese rule of law applied to US military bases.

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Perhaps the civic group enjoys the low number of gun homicides in Japan, especially compared to the US. That would provide motivation and reason to wish to keep real guns out of the hands of children.

USA 360 per 10 million people Japan less than 1 per ten million people (listed as zero) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-related_death_rate

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NolivingSep. 05, 2013 - 12:25PM JST

which is where this base is located... this is not an embassy, they're still on Japanese soil and obeying Japanese laws

I did not know that Japanese rule of law applied to US military bases.

... I can't tell if you're sarcastically commenting on the U.S. military's happy habit of just ignoring Japanese law and harboring fugitives from justice, or whether you're actually confused about this.

The U.S. military doesn't even technically "own" those bases. They're paid for and maintained by the Japanese government, and in terms of the 1960 security treaty the U.S. merely has the use of those bases. As such Japanese law VERY DEFINITELY applies to those bases, the people inside them and the activities that take place at those bases.

That picture up there? It is exhibit A in a crime. .. apparently whatever officer authorised this fiasco slept through the briefing on Japanese laws too.

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