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Where are the gun rights groups now?

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   7 comments
Message William Lawrence

Imagine this. John White, a black man from Long Island, NY gets a jail term for defending his home when a white mob arrives to harm his son, yet Joe Horn, a white Texan, shoots two people dead on his neighbor’s lawn who weren’t even bothering him? What’s wrong with that picture?

As a black man, just imagine: A gang of white guys show up at your house after 11 p.m. cursing, shouting “ni**er, and threatening to kill your son. You take the old gun you inherited from your grandfather, go outside and order the mob off your property. Instead of leaving, one of the white guys refuses to back down and slaps the gun in defiance. What do you think happens next?

As documented in the New York Post “John White’s son, Aaron, had become the target of a drunken lynch mob that assembled in his driveway eager for blood. The pack of five white men presumed that the black teenager had threatened to rape a white girl - a primal threat that turned out to be a hoax.

...John White was a peaceful man. But he was not suicidal. He shot his gun in the face of the ringleader, killing a 17-year-old punk named Daniel Cicciaro. Had things turned out differently, and had John White not acted, it might have been his son lying dead in his driveway.” (Peyser)

Cicciaro’s wrathful father has now threatened the life of White and his family. They along with other “white” protestors were upset that Mr. White didn’t get a life sentence. The almost all white jury (11-1) convicted Mr. White of manslaughter. White’s lawyer is appealing the conviction on the grounds that the judge rushed the jury to make a decision before the holiday. Several jurors have since come forward and expressed their regret.

Meanwhile in Texas, Joe Horn, who bragged to the 911 operator about new guns laws just before rushing out of the safety of his own house to shoot down two burglars at his neighbor’s house is freed with no charges. The police arrived only moments later to find the two dead bodies.

Joe Horn has offered no apology and has no remorse, yet he goes free?

John White offered an apology before he was sentenced by Judge Barbara Kahn.

"I broke a covenant with God in taking his life," White, 54, said about the August 2006 shooting after two carloads of white teens came to his home looking to attack his son.

"I remain remorseful," he continued. He had also maintained throughout the trial that the gun had gone off accidentally in the heat of the confusion and stressful environment.

So should L.I., NY change their gun laws to be more like TX? Then of course we risk the chance of having more child-gun accidents, more gun robberies, and thus more gun crimes, and more senseless gun killings like the killing of Yoshihiro Hattori, a 16-year-old Japanese exchange student in Baton Rouge, La., who simply rang the wrong doorbell when looking for a Halloween party and was sprayed with bullets. The shooter was later acquitted under a Louisiana law (Gray).

I don’t think so. More guns equal more death. How about calling the police? Getting a dog? An alarm system? Martial arts? Even a taser, for crying out loud!

It’s even more appalling, and revealing, that all of the gun rights groups went running to the defense of white Texan Joe Horn, yet not one of them went to the defense of the black man, who was actually defending his family. So much for rights and self defense.


Gray, Madison J. "Texas 'self defense' shooting: Was it worth two lives?" Black Spin. 8 July 2008. 14 July 2008.

Peyser, Andrea. "Long Island: Still a suburb short on justice." New York Post.  23 December 2007. 15 July 2008.

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Will Lawrence's works have been published in a variety of literary journals, magazines, and anthologies, both online and in print. He is the author of one volume of poetry, a nonfiction book, and two chapbooks of poetry.
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