Here’s one of those stories that will inflame lots of people and end up going absolutely nowhere.
A reporter claims an Arizona state senator pointed a gun at him but the lawmaker says the media frenzy is just an effort “to advance an anti-2nd Amendment agenda.”
The pistol, raspberry pink .380 Ruger, has no safety (because that would be crazy) and was loaded when state senator Lori Klein allegedly trained the gun’s laser sight on the chest of Arizona Republic reporter Richard Ruelas.
The incident was first reported as part of the newspaper’s lengthy series inspired by the Tucson on the role of firearms in state politics, commerce and culture.
In a statement released by the state Senate, Klein insists that the reporter wasn’t in danger because she didn’t have her hand on the trigger and she “ensured that the chamber was clear before displaying the weapon” to the reporter, adding, “That is basic gun safety and something that I do instinctively.”
But the newspaper says the statement conflicts with Klein’s earlier account. In an interview, Klein said she was demonstrating the handgun’s laser sight when the Republic reporter sat down in its path. When Klein and the reporter “noticed the light,” she turned it off and apologized. Klein said the reporter didn’t seem uncomfortable at the time. But in her statement issued through the state Senate about an hour later, the newspaper notes that “she made no mention of Ruelas putting himself in front of the gun.” She doesn’t mention his name at all or that anyone stepped in front of the laser sight.
Ruelas said he never sat in the path of the gun or its laser site, that instead, she pointed it at him. An audio account from the camera of a photographer who was with Ruelas seems to confirm this. According to one local TV station, Ruelas says he didn’t feel threatened.
Klein, who has been around guns since childhood and thinks her gun is “cute,” says she won’t be giving any more interviews on the topic because it –quote– “makes little sense to contribute to a media feeding frenzy that is driven by a few individuals who never miss the opportunity to advance an anti-2nd Amendment agenda.”
But she says she’s learned several lessons. She said she’ll not show her gun to anyone again, because it “isn’t a fashion statement or accessory” and “if anyone wants to see a demonstration of any of my gun’s features, it will have to take place at a gun range.”
Well, isn’t that basic gun safety and something you should do instinctively, too? Looks like Klein needs to take a gun safety refresher class.
It doesn’t matter if Ruelas stepped in front of the gun or not. Handling a gun safely means treat any gun as if it’s loaded, safety unlocked, finger on the trigger. It’s not a toy you take out and show off like a pair of shoes or a new car. It’s a weapon you keep out of any possible line of fire where it can cause harm unless you’re trying to protect yourself.
Another thing: If it “isn’t a fashion statement or accessory, ” why is it pink?
Just for argument’s sake: Reverse the positions. What if a citizen had trained the laser at the senator, or at a wall and the senator stepped in front of it? How would that story have played out? I guess for that to hold water, idiotic decision-making would have to be equated with malicious intent. And if a citizen trained an empty-chambered gun at a senator and the senator thought his or her life was threatened, pulled out a gun and shot the citizen? Then what? Does the citizen get to say, “Hey, my finger wasn’t on the trigger”? Or does the gun advocate say, “Never point a gun at anyone, ever, unless you intend to fire it”?
In District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home, but they were very clear on the term “well regulated.” The Amendment reads: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
The term “regulated” means “disciplined” or “trained.” In Heller, the Court stated that “the adjective ‘well-regulated’ implies nothing more than the imposition of proper discipline and training.” Regarding a well-regulated militia, Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist No. 29: “The project of disciplining all the militia of the United States is as futile as it would be injurious, if it were capable of being carried into execution. A tolerable expertness in military movements is a business that requires time and practice. It is not a day, or even a week, that will suffice for the attainment of it.”
Sorry, Ms Klein, but your head seems to be filled more with lead than brains. Good grief, this isn’t about gun rights, or some “anti-2nd Amendment agenda.” It’s about the responsibility that comes with owning a gun, or, if you prefer, it’s not anti-gun, it’s anti-stupidity with guns, and if anyone should be angry, it should be gun advocates, not gun opponents.