Friday, July 15, 2011

Criminal assault?

Last week, while being interviewed by an Arizona Republic reporter, Arizona state Sen. Lori Klein allegedly reached into her purse, pulled out a loaded pink .380 semiautomatic Ruger, and pointed its barrel and laser sight at his chest.

Klein has since asserted that the reporter sat himself in front of the gun, which she was pointing at a couch.

She said she wanted to show him how "cute" her gun is. The gun was loaded. But the reporter was safe, Klein said, because she didn't have her finger on the trigger.

"Whoever would do something like that needs to have a better grounding in gun safety before ever laying a hand on a firearm," said the range master of the Phoenix Rod and Gun Club. Yes, she should have training and perhaps pass a test demonstrating that she knows gun-owner rule No. 1: Never, ever, point a gun at someone unless you intend to shoot him.

There is nothing wrong in owning a gun. Gun-related sports like hunting and target shooting are completely legitimate. But the right to carry around something capable of deadly force should be paired with a demonstration of minimum competency in preventing that force from being unleashed against innocents.

The senator, who likely would be the first to waive the Second Amendment and recite the mantra, "Guns don't kill people; people kill people," gave gun enthusiasts a seriously black eye. She may have committed criminal assault upon the reporter, for which she should have been charged.

Americans should have the right to keep and bear arms. But that right does not also confer the right to be an idiot with a gun. Assault with a deadly weapon is no laughing matter.

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