I found myself revisiting the original cyber-battleground of the Gun Rights War: Usenet and in particular talk.politics.guns and it is nothing short of amazing where were we and where are we now.
Time Warp Again will be a recurring post every Saturday. It will bring a small piece of the battles and the challenges Gun Owners faced back then. Now that we are fully into Gun Culture 2,0, we need to make sure that the new blood knows what happened, where we failed and where we were victorious.
In a Facebook post earlier this week, Brad Torgersen posted an article from Slate.com about the meanness of Twitter. Somebody, I forget who replied that Usenet was bad, heck it was worse! It would be like pitting Thermopylae against dancing with the Stars.
What I’ll do is post a bit from Usenet about gun rights, leave the link and my comments in the hope that the new generation gets curious enough to do some archaeological work and find where we came from. Let’s begin:
Parents of slain youth continue signature drive in U.S.
Copyright 1992 by <UPI>
TOKYO (UPI) — The parents of a Japanese exchange student shot dead in October presented U.S. Ambassador Michael Armacost Tuesday with a petition calling for tighter gun control laws in the United States. Yoshihiro Hattori, 16, of Nagoya, was guned down in a suburb of Baton Rouge, La., on Oct. 17 after knocking on the wrong door while looking for a Halloween party.
His father, Masaichi, and mother, Mieko, collected 800,000 signatures for the petition with the help of Yoshihiro’s high school classmates and the American Field Service Japan Association Inc., which arranged for the youth’s stay in the United States.
This case was famous back then. Yoshihiro Hattori a 16 year old Japanese student was shot by a homeowner in October 17, 1992. For reasons unknown, Hattori in full Halloween regalia attempted to enter the residence of Rodney Peairs who shot him inside his garage. Even though police initially refused to press charges, the White House, the governor of Louisiana, the Japanese Government and the media in general put so much pressure that they charged Peairs with Manslaughter. He was tried and acquitted of the charge shocking the hell out of everybody who “just knew” there was no way this guy was not going to jail. The Jurors simply figured out that your home is your castle and delivered the verdict accordingly.
This was a slap in the face to a gun control movement that was riding high at the time. The Brady bill was months away, the NRA could not get the light of day in the news unless it was to be blamed for every single killing in the US and even President Clinton was suggesting that a Federal Lawsuit against gun manufactures could be an option to bring Gun Control.
There was a civil suit against Rodney Peairs for over half a million dollars IIRC. It was never paid in full and I think he declared bankruptcy after that.
So here you go, a bit of history on Castle Doctrine and a reason why having immunity from Civil Lawsuits on Self-Defense situations is a good thing to have in the books.