Replicating the lack of gun violence in Japan here in the United States.

On January 10, 2017, the British Broadcasting Service published a blog on how Japan has almost eradicated gun violence. It sets forth that in 2014 there were just 6 gun deaths in Japan, compared to 33,599 in the U.S. In 2015 there were 372 mass shootings, killing 475 people and wounding 1,870 in the U.S. according to Mass Shooting Tracker. There were 64 school shootings in 2015. Some 13,286 people were killed in the U.S. by firearms in 2015 and 26,819 people were injured. These figures exclude suicide. Of all the murders in the U.S. in 2012, 60% were by firearms compared with 31% in Canada, 18.2% in Australia and just 10% in the U.K. (BBC-Guns in the U.S: The Statistics Behind the Violence). The death toll between 1968 and 2011 eclipses all wars ever fought by the United States. There were about 1.4 million deaths in that period, compared with 1.2 million deaths in every conflict from the War of Independence to Iraq.

Before you can get a gun in Japan where only shotguns and rifles are allowed, there are mental health and drug tests. You must attend an all-day class, take a written exam, and pass a shooting range test with a mark of at least 95%. Handguns are banned outright. The law restricts the number of gun shops. You can only buy fresh cartridges by returning the spent cartridges bought on your last visit. The police must be notified where the gun and the ammunition are stored-and they must be stored separately under lock and key. The police will inspect guns once a year. Your gun license runs for three years at which point you have to attend the course and pass the tests again.

Japanese police rarely use guns and put much greater emphasis on martial arts. All are expected to become a black belt in judo. They also practice kendo–fighting with bamboo swords. In 2015 only six shots were fired by Japanese police nationwide. If a person is being violent or drunk they will get huge futons and essentially roll up the person who is being violent or drunk and carry them back to the station. The police never carry weapons off-duty, leaving them at the station when they finish their shift. They are required to account for every bullet shell.

The U.S. spends more than a trillion dollars per year defending itself against terrorism which kills a tiny fraction of the number of people killed by ordinary gun crime. According to an article in the L.A. Times, Melissa Healy sets forth that over the last 10 years influenza has claimed on average just short of 33,000 lives a year, motor vehicle accidents just over 35,000 lives each year, and cancer of the urinary system just over 32,000 lives. Gun violence claims an average of about 33,000 lives a year. All but gun violence have a large and active community of medical or public health research, fueled largely by federal funds, exploring ways to reduce or prevent fatalities. In a 1996 funding bill, gun rights advocates and their allies on Capitol Hill forbade the use of any money being appropriated for the Centers of Disease and Control and Prevention “to advocate or promote gun control.” Over the ensuing years, that ban was extended to other agencies, including the National Institute of Health.

The recent shooting in the Fort Lauderdale airport shooting is an example of how the police authorities (FBI and local police) appear to be without a lawful means and/or are powerless to seize a mentally unstable person’s weapon. The shooter told authorities in Alaska he had watched Jihadist videos and they were controlling his mind. Sources quoted the police as saying he clearly stated “he did not intend to harm anyone.” They referred him for a psychiatric evaluation. This former soldier ended up killing five people and injuring eight at the Ft. Lauderdale airport. Last year a man inspired by IS killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, FL. The FBI had been given information about him prior to the killings. The carnage appears to be rampant as it is constantly being reported by the media.

You might say to yourself there is no chance of gun control because the gun lobby in the U.S. is too powerful. I’m sure the same sort of language of hopelessness was used when the Federal Civil Rights Act was first introduced and later enacted in 1968. The school shootings, mass killings, and senseless killings will continue in the United States as long as there is a proliferation of guns. Congratulations to the Japanese people and their legislators to almost eradicate gun crime in their country.

Please review some of my prior blogs:
Civil Liability for Negligent Storage of Firearms;
Father Faces Prison Sentence for Negligent Storage of His Firearm;
Guns–One of the Leading Causes of Death in Children Under 18 in the United States-Part 1 andPart 2;
Who Should be Held Responsible for a 5-year old killing his 2-year old sister;
Ten-year old Takes Semiautomatic Gun to School.



Learn how to keep your children safe on smartphones. Do they really need snapchat?

A 16-year-old male student in Plano, TX, wrote his Snapchat user name on top of an algebra test. His 23-year-old female teacher replied using Snapchat. Their relationship developed into exchanging nude pictures of each other and sexual intercourse on several occasions. The first sexual liaison with the student took place when the teacher’s fiancé was away for the weekend. She explained she intended to break off her relationship with her fiancé. She told the police she knew the relationship with her student was wrong but it felt right at the time. The teacher resigned from the school district and is facing serious criminal charges.

Adults, whether they are teachers, coaches, youth ministers, scout leaders, or a Big Brother/Sister, who socialize with minors can become sexually attracted to them. The minors feel special and will participate in sexual acts with the adult. This behavior will continue to take place until the minor eventually discloses the relationship.

Would this destructive behavior between the teacher and student have taken place without the communication on Snapchat? Most probably not. Adults and teenagers foolishly think they can secretly communicate and exchange nude or inappropriate pictures without consequences.

Apps like Snapchat can be very destructive. Do not permit your minor/s to have Snapchat on their phone. I believe a large number of minors are using Snapchat and other Apps like it to exchange nude and/or inappropriate photographs. Even adults should not have Snapchat on their phone. This type of secretive communication behavior can lead to unforeseen, destructive consequences.

See my previous blog entitled Female Teachers Having Sex With Students.



A minor sends on a computer sexually explicit images of herself/himself to your teenager at their request. Your teenager is now in possession of child pornography on their computer. If your teenager used a P2P, peer to peer, internet program to send and receive this material, it can be easily identified remotely by law enforcement. Federal and local law enforcement agencies use software on the RoundUp website to seek out child pornography on peer to peer sites. Once located, they can obtain the IP address of the computer containing the pornography, identify where it is located, get a search warrant, and before you know it law enforcement is knocking on your door demanding you grant them access to search all your computers. If child pornography is found, all of your computers will be taken by law enforcement for examination for child pornography.

In a recent case a young man used his mother’s computer to obtain child pornography using a P2P network called eDonkey. This was accessed through a program called eMule. There are measures one can allegedly take to prevent shared users from accessing files on your P2P site you do not want to share. Unfortunately those measures do not always work, or only partially work, or by the time you transfer or want to make the file unavailable it is too late. This young man argued the police violated his Fourth Amendment rights by an unlawful search and seizure. The court ruled the police did not violate his rights as they did not violate any reasonable expectation of privacy because a peer-to-peer site allows others to access your site. The police discovered over 200 videos and images of child pornography. He was viewing child pornography one to two hours a day. He received a sentence of 15 years, 8 months in prison.

The names of P2P sites frequently change. Some of the older more popular sites such as LimeWire, Napster, Bearshare, Frostwire and the like have been shut down by the U.S. Government. New peer-to-peer sites spring up all the time. Ares Galaxy, BitTorrent, Gnutella, Morpheus, Pando, and Tor are a few of the peer-to-peer file-sharing programs.

Lives, families, future hopes and aspirations of families can be quickly destroyed by accessing and possessing child pornography. Access to child pornography is readily available over the internet to all who search for it. Peer-to-peer networks have become the main trading platform for child pornography amongst users. A 2012 study showed law enforcement arrests involving child pornography had increased from 4% in 2000 to 61% in 2009. There are no free passes for adults or juveniles when dealing with this subject matter. Parents must be very observant as to what your kids are accessing on their computers and sharing on their phones. You have to discuss with your children, at a very early age, not to share, access, or view child pornography.



Your teenager asks a girl or a boy under the age of 14 if she or he will text a nude photograph of themselves. Your teenager sends the girl or boy a nude picture and requests one in return. The girl or boy under the age of 14 does not send a return nude photograph.

Your teenager has potentially violated the following laws in California:

Penal Code section 288 (a)/664 attempt to commit a lewd act on a minor under 14. This is a felony offense that can carry up to four years in custody for the attempt;

Penal Code section 288.2 (a), distributing lewd matter to a minor. A minor for this offense is anyone under 18. This can be a felony offense that carries up to 5 years prison or a misdemeanor;

Penal Code section 288.3 (a) contacting a minor (under 18) to engage in lewd or lascivious behavior. This is a felony offense punishable by imprisonment for the term prescribed for an attempt to commit the intended offense. An attempt to commit lewd or lascivious behavior carries for an attempt a potential sentence of four years in custody;

Penal Code section 313.1 (a) distribution of harmful matter to a minor (under 18). This is a misdemeanor and carries up to one year in custody;

Penal Code section 647.6 (a) (1) annoying or molesting a minor (under 18), a misdemeanor. This offense carries up to one year in custody;

Penal Code 311.3 (a)/664 attempted exploitation of a child (under 18), a misdemeanor. This offense carries up to six months in custody for attempted exploitation;

Penal Code 311.1 (a)/664 attempted possession of child pornography (under 18) sent or brought into this state (under 18). This can be a felony which carries up to 1.5 years in custody or a misdemeanor for which the accused could serve up to six months in custody;

Penal Code 311.11 (a)/664 attempted possession of child pornography (under 18). This can be a felony which carries up to 1.5 years in custody or a misdemeanor for which the accused could serve up to six months in custody;

In a recent case all the above charges were filed. Arguments that these were merely texts, that there was never intention the minor touch themselves, they would not be present when the minor took a picture of themselves, and they cannot be charged with attempted lewd conduct and should only be charged with a lesser offense, were all denied.

In the above case three girls under the age of 14 were contacted first on their Instagram accounts by friendly messages. They were requested to use Kik, a social text messaging application, to text one another and send nude pictures of themselves. Snapchat is also an app teenagers use to exchange nude pictures of themselves.

I cannot stress enough to parents that providing smart phones to their teenagers can very likely result in some of the above behavior. All but one of the above charges would be applicable if the request was made of any minor under the age of 18. Girls are becoming just as aggressive as boys in sending nude pictures of themselves to boys and vice versa. This conduct is starting at an early age. Some minors have been requested to take nude photos of their younger siblings to also send. This is not boys will be boys and girls just to want to have fun type behavior. This is serious misbehavior. It is illegal conduct. It will likely lead to further in-person illegal sexual misbehavior.


Learn how to equip your child to read with dyslexia.

Literacy is a skill set that has the power to improve one’s economic security, and overall well-being. Yet according to the U.S. Department of Education, 32 million adults can’t read and 14% of the population reads at a below basic level. These figures are of considerable concern in relation to delinquency, poverty, and learning disabilities, where the latter contributes to illiteracy and its impacts, and the former are negative impacts of illiteracy.

Does your child struggle with reading and writing? Are you spending hours assisting your child with their homework? Does your child cry when you are dropping them off at school? Here are some of the red flags of dyslexia:

• Difficulty with reading and spelling.
• Not retaining words consistently.
• Not understanding what he or she is reading.
• Problems converting sounds into symbols
• Difficulty concentrating and getting easily distracted,
• History of reading difficulty in the family.
• Jumbling letters and figures.
• Leaving letters out of words or putting them in the wrong order.
• Lack of progress in reading, writing and spelling, when compared to peers.
• Confusing right and left.
• Trouble with handwriting.
• When reading out loud, often misreading, omitting or inserting words.
• Difficulty learning a foreign language.
• Issues with sequencing words or ideas.

Dyslexia is a learning disability that is neurobiological in origin and has been identified as a frequent cause of reading difficulties. Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability. Individuals with dyslexia have difficulty using and acquiring written language. Dyslexia is not a result of a lack of intelligence, or poor work ethic. Dyslexia affects an estimated 5%-17% of the population in the United States. Genetics, brain anatomy and brain activity have been identified as possible causes of dyslexia.

When a parent suspects that their child has a disability, the parent should submit a written request for an assessment for special education services to the district special education director (Sample letters can be obtained here). Be sure to include your concerns regarding your child’s educational progress. Deliver the letter to the district office and make sure you have it stamped with the date it was received. If you are told there isn’t a date stamp, have the person receiving it sign and date the document. Keep the original document. The school has 15 days from the date the request was received to respond to your request with either an assessment plan, or prior written notice indicating why they are refusing to assess your child.

The research is clear about the importance of early intervention to address the needs of students with dyslexia. Fortunately, those affected by dyslexia can still make improvements in their reading ability through structured, scientifically-based reading intervention. Additional interventions such as access to assistive technology and effective instructional practices that target the critical components that are essential for teaching children to read can improve the educational outcomes of students with dyslexia.

By: Michelle Perry, Special Education Advocate
Phone: 562-213-8759

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