When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Enjoy unlimited access to quality journalism.

Limited time offer

Get your 30-day free trial!

TOPIC: gun culture

Society

Puerto Rico Faces Its Own Gun Culture Problem

Gun sales have soared since a 2020 law made the process faster, easier and cheaper.

BAYAMÓN, PUERTO RICO — The Puerto Rico Weapons Act of 2020, which made legally obtaining and carrying a firearm much easier, is now over two years old — and Puerto Ricans are buying guns as never before. Nearly 100,000 gun licenses were issued in 2020 and 2021 in total, compared to around 1,200 in 2017.

While the law may have brought Puerto Rico’s gun regulations in line with the Constitution of the United States, other factors underscored the push: a perception that crime is on the rise, that the police are helpless in tackling it — and that carrying a gun is an effective self-defense measure.

Crime and police data from the past 50 years, however, show that these perceptions don’t match reality: Violent crime has been in decline for two decades in Puerto Rico, and the number of police officers per capita is well above the U.S. national average.

Watch Video Show less

Shinzo Abe's Killing Is Part Of Japan's Long, Dark History Of Political Violence

There have been countless cases of Japanese politicians targeted over the past century, including Abe’s own grandfather, Kishi Nobusuke, who survived an assassination attempt.

Our reaction upon hearing the news of the shooting of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was one of shock and incredulity in equal measure. What followed was a frenzy of trying to piece news reports and gossip together to make sense of events, until his eventual death was announced a few hours later.

At first glance, Abe’s assassination harks back to the 1920s and 1930s when the assassination of sitting and former prime ministers (Hara Kei, Hamaguchi Osachi, Inukai Tsuyoshi, Takahashi Korekiyo, Saitō Makoto) was a feature of Japanese politics. We do not readily associate political assassination and violence with democratic and pacifist post-war Japan.

Keep reading... Show less

Uvalde And Moi: Reflections From The French Niece Of A Gun-Owning American

There is perhaps nothing more foreign about America than its "gun culture," and of course its plague of mass shootings. For a French-American who has lived her life in Paris, there is a search for understanding with her family in Louisiana.

-Essay-

PARIS — The daughter of a French mother and American father, I’ve lived my whole life in France. Still, having attended the American School of Paris, where my dad was a teacher, I was surrounded throughout my childhood by kids from the 50 States, learned my U.S. history and sold cupcakes at pep rallies. It was like going to school in America, but with the Eiffel Tower just a metro ride away. And, yes, without school shootings.

Keep reading... Show less