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Gun tourism

38 Comments

In this photo taken on Feb 4, Japanese tourists are taught how to use firearms by range master Mike Aeta at the Western Frontier Village range in Tamuning, Guam. For many tourists from Japan, the biggest thrill is the chance to shoot a gun at one of Guam's ubiquitous ranges, dozens of which are tucked between upscale shopping centers.

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38 Comments
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The timing of this is a bit ironic, considering what happened there earlier this week.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Get a life. People really should have better things to do on holiday. Bang, bang.....sugoi.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

Never understood the need for firing a gun. They are on their holiday in a tropical paradise, they should be enjoying mojitos on the beach and getting a tan instead.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Don't try to be like those American gun crazies, Japanese.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Sure looks safe! No eye-protectors, no ear-protectors, and you don't need to stand behind the guy with the gun. Was this the ACTUAL range and a loaded weapon? If so, are they looking for more accidents and Japanese dead at a shooting range like in Busan a couple years back?

0 ( +7 / -7 )

yeah, no ear-protectors, but the guy's wearing rubber gloves?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

From what I understand, this is pretty big business in Guam - a lot of Japanese gun otakus make the trip especially for this reason; there are package tours!

A word of warning to those thinking about it in the USA though: while it used to be very popular, after 9/11 the Federal Govt made it a felony for anyone who isn't a citizen, or a resident alien registration holder (Green Card), or a locally licensed hunter (some states provide tourist hunter licenses) to even touch a firearm at a US gun range. The result can be stiff fines and felony arrests for the US side folks, and getting kicked out of the country for the poor, hapless visitor.

As to holiday activities - why not? An hour out of one's schedule? A chance to see what it's like, given all the movies and TV we've all watched? And so long as it's safely done and well supervised; could be a once in a lifetime experience. Can still go to the beach after...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This is a more realistic video game. The ringing sound in the ear last a bit longer and you find out it is not as easy to hit the target.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

His lips are puckered, but at least the tongue is contained.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Hope there are adequate controls at these ranges to avoid some nut case taking a weapon out and killing a bunch of people.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Smith, yet again.

No eye-protectors, no ear-protectors, and you don't need to stand behind the guy with the gun.

Assuming the range master is not just in the process of explaining how to hold the pistol when shooting or, shock and horror, just posing for a photo, neither of the other people watching are in danger of getting shot. I'm going to assume they are standing to one so that they see what the instructor is talking about. A reasonably safe assumption considering he is not transparent.

@Japan Times

Um, is there a connection with this photo and the incident from the other day? What are you trying to say?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Wonderful way to spend a holiday: "hey, honey... let's go to a range and fire some guns!" "Yay!"

Seriously, why would any bloke on a tropical island holiday take his wife/GF to a firng range? Silly.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Don't knock it till you try it, there is a thrill in firing real wepons if its done correctly and safely

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Don't knock it till you try it, there is a thrill in firing real wepons if its done correctly and safely

I've fired militrary weapons, and it's the thrill that worries me. People get to like the feeling of power.

Still think it's a stupid idea for a holiday.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I'm a shooter originally in Australia. There is nothing wrong with this.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I've never fired a gun. What kind of thrill is it? I'm not being facetious, I'm genuinely interested in the reasons why firing a gun is thrilling.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

When I was in my late teens in the early '80s, my dad (in the army at the time) allowed me to fire some of the weapons on the ranges alongside the squaddies. I fired all of the then-current infantry small arms. The thrill is in having a lot of destructive power in your hands - for example, using a belt-feed GPMG and watching it rip a wooden target apart was exciting. The adrenalin takes over and you just want to do it again and again. Stirling SMG, L1A1 SLR, Browning 9mm pistol... all of them. The thrill of that much power is like how I imagine a drugs high would feel.

In my later years I came to realise that what they did to the targets they could just as easily do to a person... and that frightened me. It's why I never joined the army (much to the disappointment of my dad)... I never want to touch one again, let alone fire one.

These gun tourists will no doubt feel the same rush and excitement, and the thrill I felt the first time... I only hope they don't fall in love with the feeling.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Look at the stupid look on her stupid face.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Why visit the Tokyo Tower....because it's there and you can. Why shoot a gun at a firing range.....because it's there and you can.

With all the restrictions placed on ammunition and guns in Japan, many people simply don't have access to them. So for about 100 dollars people can get a 'basic' education about firearms, live out their Dirty Mama fantasy, and realize it takes a lot to fire a weapon. No harm, no foul.

finally a question: How many here would be willing to pay for an Iado seminar ending with you using a live sword various targets?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@thunderbird Great post. Thanks.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"I've never fired a gun. What kind of thrill is it?"

Fire one and find out.

Perhaps some day the Japanese will change their laws on guns so that they can fire them without having to leave the country.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

@Serrano I think keeping guns in Guam is better. Japan prides itself on its safety. I think the gun laws are pretty much how they should be.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Start out with a .22 and move up to the 9mm and 45. Could be a little shock to the wrists that you need to get used to. Need hearing protection (with digital ones you can hear people but will cut out the blasts) and safety glasses approved for gun.

A BB or .22/.177 pellet gun is a great way to start, but get one that takes CO2 or Nitrogen.

I have a Crosman Olympic (Challenger 2000) Pellet gun that is really accurate with the Italian peep sites.

http://hellovadasz.eu/images/CH2000g.jpg

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Target shooting is a SPORT. The only one involve in both the summer and winter Olympics (pistol, rifle and skeet in summer and biathlon in winter). Target shooting is very popular in many countries. No one needs to do archery either, or bungy jumping for that matter. That gun is a Colt 1911, comes in .45 ACP and .22. At ranges for beginners, they will start you with the .22 or if they use the .45 it will have a "light" load (reduced powder load). Still, it's a lot of fun an take hours of practice to get good at it.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Not sure why the fuss? It is their money and their time.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Target shooting is a SPORT. The only one involve in both the summer and winter Olympics (pistol, rifle and skeet in summer and biathlon in winter). Target shooting is very popular in many countries.

That's a proper use of guns, playing at Dirty Harry or an LA Gangsta isn't,

No one needs to do archery either, or bungy jumping for that matter.

True, except you don't see many Robin Hood wannabes running around randomly skewering people, and bungee jumping is massochism.

That gun is a Colt 1911, comes in .45 ACP and .22. At ranges for beginners, they will start you with the .22 or if they use the .45 it will have a "light" load (reduced powder load). Still, it's a lot of fun an take hours of practice to get good at it.

The FUN element is what worries me. Guns aren't meant to be fun.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I've never fired a gun. What kind of thrill is it? I'm not being facetious, I'm genuinely interested in the reasons why firing a gun is thrilling.

Guns kill people. The power to take someone's life is in your hand. Don't you have someone in your head you hate maybe you'd like to kill? That's poison. People constantly blame shooting video games these days because kids find video games to be a way to vent their anger. Apparently 'killing' is one way to curb anger but of course, that never solve any problems. And whose responsibility is this? People go to shooting range because they know the pleasure is very temporary. Punishment and guilt is eternal. People these days get excited by guns... when they just don't know how to deal with their anger.. Gunowners tell me that it's not the anger issue, then tell me why this hobby has fascinated you so much? Gun = Power Sure it may be thrilling to fire a gun, but point it at a person? Why, never! That is not the last I'd do. This is what I'd NEVER do. No matter how angry I get. Or Is this for defensive purposes? Choose love instead, not fear!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Seeing this pic reminds me of the ranges in Cambodia. Apparently you can fire fully automatic weapons and throw live hand grenades for ten or twenty bucks...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

With all the anger you will never be a great shooter. Great patience is needed. Same for archery and damn near everything else in life.

For some reason I was not really happy today either. Could be that Russian meteor or some sort of stellar event. I would stay inside today if you can. It felt very ominous.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What's the problem here ? Tourists do what they can't do at home, shooting a gun is one of them for Japanese. Something they can talk about after they go home.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

smithinjapanFeb. 15, 2013 - 04:05PM JST Sure looks safe! No eye-protectors, no ear-protectors, and you don't need to stand behind the guy with the gun. Was >this the ACTUAL range and a loaded weapon? If so, are they looking for more accidents and Japanese dead at > a shooting range like in Busan a couple years back?

Of course it's safe. They aren''t firing anything. The American rangemaster is giving instruction in proper stance, holding and aiming at the actual range with an unloaded handgun. If they were wearing ear protectors nobody could hear what he was saying.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Thunderbird2Feb. 15, 2013 - 05:50PM JST Wonderful way to spend a holiday: "hey, honey... let's go to a range and fire some guns!" "Yay!" Seriously, why would any bloke on a tropical island holiday take his wife/GF to a firng range? Silly.

Lots of women enjoy shooting. Lots more are willing to "try it" without intent to adopt it as a hobby. In some countriues you couldn't make a hobby of it if wanted to. You really ought to try it before you knock it. The more people who actually "touch" a real gun and learn how it operates and safe usage, the less people there will be who break out into convulsions at the mere mention of the word "gun" and believe they are some magical objects that load themselves, point themselves and kill people on their own.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is popular in Hawaii as well. It's rather amusing since I grew up in the country learning how to shoot (and where steak comes from too, BTW). But it's harmless fun for these folks. Seeing all the over the top comments about how horrible shooting is - that's reallly crazy. Where I come from guns are tools like chain saws are tools. I don't understand the fun in lumberjack competition but I do like the skill involved in sub-MOA groups at 100m. But there are always people who will condemn what they don't understand. It's called being closed minded.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

In Hawaii this is big promotion on the streets.. Its terrible to see low life walking around with sandwich boards promoting shooting range.. the same week as children were shot and killed in American schools... no shame promoting on Kalakaua Ave.. in front of the designer stores and DFS.. if people want to shoot at a range fine.. but having deranged looking homeless dudes shoving papers at Japanese tourists make both look stupid. JTB HIS and DFS... should object and this would clean up the street and stop promoting gun violence.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

OK kringis, what's wrong with her face? She looks fine to me.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Why not give it a try. Try something that you can't do in Japan. Most of them will probably never do it again but can say they did it once. Just like these guys that come to Guam and pay $200 to pilot a Cessna for 20 minutes. It's something exciting to do on vacation. I see more people at the shooting range on Guam than I do waiting to get on the 'Slingshot'. Now THAT'S crazy to me.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Wouldn't find me anywhere near a Japanese person holding a gun. They can't even ride bicycles responsibly or safely so seeing this photo gives me goosebumps. I can just see her standing there all knock kneed with a stupid pout on her face and BANG..cue juvenile retorts of "suugoiiii!" and silly staggering about, finally twisting the weapon about to find the safety. Frightening.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I hope the tourists enjoy themselves & have fun with the guns.Now then Japanese anti-gun posters & others from my country & from the other parts of this world,I'll explain why people shoot guns: 1.The challenge of accurately hitting a taget,whether fired from a bolt-action or semi-auto weapon on range. 2.The competitiveness of shooting-sports.Ive found it quite addictive & it has various disciplines,within it. 3.A chance to own a piece of history,such as a Arisaka rifle or an Enfield.303,which are no longer made.Rather than destroy the obsolete weapons,they have been given a new lease of life & are used in competitions,much like Routemaster, Leyland Titan & Atlantean buses were reconditioned & used as tourist buses in London or used at festival shows,for museams,historic groups,etc.I view any WW2 relic as an important piece of history,which it is & needs to be preserved in working order. 4.Its a sport that can be played equally by all sexes & disabilities. 5.Skeet & trap-shooting is no diffent to hitting paper-targets with a pistol. SloanAkira,not every person who uses a gun is a person who possesses qualities similar to those that you mentioned.Peter Wilson won a gold at the Olympics in London & he is a normal guy,who likes drink & has a girlfriend. Wilson was shooting to win a medal.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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