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.
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Licence fee: What is the BBC charge – and how will the changes affect you?
- 3 This is what the photographer has to say about the picture of a weasel riding a woodpecker
- 4 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
Bill Clinton portrait features Monica Lewinsky reference, artist admits
Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
Pornhub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
£16000 - £46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...
£9 - £13 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity to join a s...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Have you got a proven track rec...
£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...