Clinton meets kin of slain exchange student

The Associated Press

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton on Wednesday met the parents of a Japanese exchange student who was shot to death in Louisiana, a crime Clinton cited in pushing for stricter gun control while he was in office.

Clinton was photographed with the couple at a reception following his speech at Aichi Gakuin University, according to event organizers and university officials.

It was their first meeting since November 1993, when Mieko and Masaichi Hattori handed the then president a petition featuring 1.7 million Japanese signatures seeking stricter gun control in the United States.

The Hattoris compiled the petition following the 1992 death of their 16-year-old son, Yoshihiro, who was gunned down in Baton Rouge when he went to the wrong house in search of a Halloween party.

Having mistaken the tuxedo-clad youth, dressed up as “Saturday Night Fever” actor John Travolta, for an intruder, homeowner Rodney Peairs shot and killed him.

During his eight years in the Oval Office, Clinton battled for tougher gun legislation.

Shortly after Hattoris’ visit, he signed the Brady gun control bill, requiring background checks on gun purchasers. The following year, he signed an assault weapons ban, barring the future manufacture and import of semiautomatic firearms.