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Politician takes aim at journalist...with a gun

However the state senator in Arizona was merely showing off her weapon to the local journalist.

Lori Klein
Lori Klein
Image: Kleinforsenate.net

TALK ABOUT MAKING a political statement. A Republican politician in the US has been criticised after she pointed her loaded gun at a reporter and remarked: “Oh it’s so cute”, during an interview.

The remarkable exchange between the Arizona state senator Lori Klein and the reporter Richard Ruelas of the Arizona Republic newspaper took place during an interview about gun rights in Arizona that was held just outside the state senate chamber.

Arizona’s gun laws have come under particular scrutiny since the near-fatal shooting of congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tuscon, Arizona last January.

Reulas writes that two days after the shooting, Klein carried her loaded, raspberry pink gun into the state Capitol. Although this was not intentional, efforts by security to stop her doing so sparked an argument and subsequently a whole political debate about the right to bear arms as enshrined in the US constitution.

During the course of the recent interview with the Arizona Republic, Klein unzipped the loaded .380 Ruger from its carrying case, and showed it to the reporter and the newspaper’s photographer.

She showed off the laser sight by pointing the red beam at the Reulas’ chest. The gun has no safety, she said, but there was no need to worry, adding: “I just didn’t have my hand on the trigger.”

Local gun activists were appalled by the politician’s behaviour. One telling the Arizona Guardian that her actions were “unconscionable” and goes against the gun safety standards he teaches at his club.

Klein defended her actions in an email to the Arizona Capitol Times in which she says the reporter put himself in the gun’s line of sight but said she would not be showing her gun to anyone in future, adding: “My gun isn’t a fashion statement or accessory, it is a life-saving tool to keep me and my family safe.”

This latest incident comes as the Daily Beast reports on new gun control legislation being outlined by the Obama administration in an attempt to toughen up the laws. Predictably the moves have drawn the ire of the National Rifle Association (NRA).

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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