Shanghai -- China's weapons laws are among the world's toughest. Its blanket ban on private ownership of rifles, pistols and even gun replicas is a core tenet of social policy. Still, a gun culture is taking hold.Cool...I'm for it! Mo' guns worldwide is better.
China may be freer from gun crime than many nations, and official statistics show overall crime on a continuous down trend. Yet, these days, reports about gun crimes turn up as often as several times a week even in the tightly controlled state-run media. The reports are often brief, without much follow-up as cases progress. Still, the splashy gunfights, murders, gun-factory raids and smuggling busts that get reported contrast with China's zero-tolerance stance on guns, and point to changes in criminals' behavior.
But the trend is about more than crime. Guns are now fashionable in paintings and movies, while Chinese-language Web sites and glossy magazines cater to gun buffs. And legal shooting clubs in cities let customers fire away at targets for a fee. Bored with golfing, some affluent businessmen slip into the countryside for hunts.
Even as China's government seeks to keep guns off the street, and shields its massive gun-manufacturing business behind state-secrets laws, it helps stoke the public imagination about guns. Schoolchildren learn to salute the flag shouldering imitation rifles, while state media celebrate the heroism of military and athletic marksmanship.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Chinese Gun Culture?
Pretty cool article from WSJ on the bizarre and unlikely rise of Chinese gun culture: