It's not really true to say that Japan has guns. Almost nobody has a gun in Japan. It's incredibly difficult to to get even a simple handgun via black market routes. Even the yakuza hardly carry guns. Holding a handgun in public is punishable by up to 10 years in jail.
Pay no attention to anime and movies from Japan with tons of shooting and violence. They're made to appeal to Western fantasies, much like all of the big-breasted females in anime. Neither is true of real Japan (although a busty Japanese girl is slightly less rare than a handgun :p).
I recently watched a movie Bullet Ballet
that portrays fairly accurately how hard it is to get an illegal gun in Japan. The protagonist spends nearly two-thirds of the movie trying to get a gun with no success. And that was in 1998. It's considerably more difficult now.
Another year, another gun slaying in the US. Nothing new there, right? Body count's up to 26 this time and people are finally kinda-sorta willing to talk about it.
Many people have an emotional attachment to their guns, and I respect that. I don't understand it, but I respect it. It occurs to me though that the US is not the only country in the world (despite what some may think) and it's hardly the only developed country with guns. So it begs the question, how have other countries tackled this problem?
And these countries aren't hard to find. Just look at places like Japan, Australia, the UK, Switzerland, even our neighbor Canada. They all have guns and lose under two hundred people per year to bullet wounds. And in the US? Thirty thousand. THOUSAND.
So why such an enormous gap? Clearly this problem is solvable and countries have used a variety of methods to prevent gun fatalities. It's not emotion or speculation, it's a fact. Isn't anyone curious how?