Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Shoot first, then call cops?

The latest incident of gun owners taking the law into their own hands happened in Missoula, Montana.  A German exchange student was killed because he foolishly tried on a lark to snitch something from a garage.  See “An Open Garage, a Dead Exchange Student and a New Debate on Self-Defense”, Jack Healy, New York Times, 2014-05-07

What is is about some gun-owners that they follow the supposed credo of the 20th Century Westerns to shoot first, ask questions second?

The most egregious killing was by Byron David Smith of Little Falls, Minnesota.  He not only shot teen-age, unarmed invaders multiple times, but he waited three days before calling the police.  He didn’t want to bother them on Thanksgiving!!!  See “Bryon David Smith killings”.  Smith was sentenced to life without parole.

Yoshihiro Hattori, killed in Baton Rouge in 1992 for going to the wrong house, didn’t receive similar justice.  His killer, Rodney Peairs, was acquitted.  He admitted at trial that he didn’t call the police first.  See  His parents did receive a cash settlement that they used for funds for high school students to visit Japan and for gun control.  Peairs had said that he would never own a gun again.

This same Wikipedia article has a couple other cases of foreign visitors being killed by guns, including one who knocked on a door to ask for directions.

Maybe it was the movie Westerns of the 20th Century that fostered this cult of “self-defense”.  See “How the Gunfighter Killed Bourgeois America”, Ryan McMaken.