Verdict on Baton Rouge killing shocks Japanese
Tuesday 25 May 1993
Japanese television and newspapers yesterday morning led with the verdict, which amazed many in a country where crime is low and ordinary citizens are banned from owning handguns. 'Americans seem to think they can solve anything with a gun,' commented a Tokyo office worker, Akira Moraoka.
This is not the first time an American has shot at someone on private property thinking an attack was about to come, but the case of the meat market manager, Rodney Peairs, and the Japanese student, Yoshihiro Hattori, is attracting international attention because of the obvious innocence of the boy, and the stunning over-reaction of the man with the gun.
It happened last October when the boy, dressed as John Travolta in the film Saturday Night Fever and carrying only a camera, rang the Peairs' doorbell with a teenage friend, looking for a Hallowe'en party that was actually six houses away. Mr Peairs' wife panicked and called on her husband to get his gun. He went to the door and told the boy to 'freeze' but the boy, who spoke little English, apparently did not understand and kept coming. From five feet, Mr Peairs fired a single bullet into the boy's chest. 'I felt I had no choice,' Mr Peairs said.
The boy's father, Masaichi Hattori, sees the shooting as an example of the need for stiffer firearms control. 'The verdict is unbelievable,' he said. He has collected 1.6 million signatures in Japan and 200,000 in the US on a petition to limit handguns in America.
Local people in Baton Rouge were unmoved. The gun-control issue did not come up in court and most seemed to agree with the verdict. Some expressed surprise that the case had come to trial. 'It would be what a normal person would do under those circumtances,' one man said.
Geoffrey Macnab reviews American Hustle, also starring Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper
newsFormer soldier taped 33 of the animals to the floor and then stamped on them one by one
Michelle Nijhuis' daughter insists (s)he is, and she learnt a valuable lesson on gender in books
news Opponents claim it would stop performers such as Beyonce and Madonna appearing on TV
It takes a platoon of chefs, litres of brandy and rum, and almost 100kg of dried fruit
food + drink
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
Tom Daley ‘is gay because his father died’ says UK evangelist
Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
Anachronistic and iniquitous, grammar schools are a blot on the British education system
- 1 America's 'virgin births'? One in 200 mothers 'became pregnant without having sex'
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 3 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber is 'retiring from music'
- 4 Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
- 5 Children evacuated from swimming pool after prosthetic leg mistaken for paedophile
- < Previous
- Next >
£45000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: QA .NET Agile UNIX LIN...
£35000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: C# ASP.NET SQL Develop...
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: C# .NET SQL Developer (Software Developer, Softw...
£500 - £650 per day: Harrington Starr: Excellent opportunity for Murex Subject...