Arizona’s liberal (read: non-restrictive) gun laws are the envy of over-regulated gun owners across the fruited plain. But with every right comes responsibility. And in any population you can invariably apply the 98/2 rule. Ninety-eight percent of the people will exercise their rights responsibly. The other two percent won’t. And inevitably, the two-percenters will be the ones who get all the pub. So let’s devote some well-deserved electrons to Arizona Republican State Senator Lori Klein…

As is her right in the Grand Canyon state, Klein carries a gun. In fact, she was the subject of some controversy when she carried her piece on the floor of the state Senate back in January.

And she freely discussed it in an interview last week with azcentral.com in the capitol building. Admirable enough, right? It was until, for some reason, she felt compelled to show the gun to the reporter. And then some.

“Oh, it’s so cute,” Klein said, as she unzipped the loaded Ruger from its carrying case to show a reporter and photographer. She was sitting on a leather couch in a lounge, just outside the Senate chamber. She showed off the laser sighting by pointing the red beam at the reporter’s chest. The gun has no safety, she said, but there was no need to worry. “I just didn’t have my hand on the trigger,” she said.

As if that makes it OK. Just the kind of press gun rights advocates need, right? Unapologetic carry crusader points adorable heater at reporter. With friends like that….

Apparently, Senator Klein needs some remedial education in the four rules of gun safety. One of which is, don’t point a gun at anything you don’t want to shoot. Ever.

A call was placed to the Senator to ask her about the incident. If and when she responds, you’ll read about it here first. In the meantime, if you meet the good Senator in person, don’t ask her about her gun. It’s probably not worth it.

32 Responses to Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day: Senator Lori Klein

  1. If I wasn’t already bald this would make me want to tear my hair out. The safety rules are pretty freaking simple. I see plenty of young children at the range that are able to follow them consistently and concientiously.

    I’m curious what the AI thinks of this: would you support suspension / revocation of gun rights, on an individual basis, based on safety violations? I’m thinking that if we can (and should) take someone’s driver’s license away for DUIs then maybe giving someone like Senator Klein a timeout wouldn’t be a bad idea.

    • What’s the difference between driving and the 2A? The second is mentioned in the Constitution.
      Should you lose you driver’s license for constantly and regularly driving 56mph in a 55mph zone? Afterall, it is a safety and law violation.

      • I’m well aware of the 2A, if you’ve read any of my comments on this blog you know that. And your equating 56mph in a 55 zone with pointing a loaded gun at a man’s chest is a pretty flimsy strawman.

        No right is absolute. I think we’re all in favor of the prohibitions on violent felons and the mentally ill, which means that you all recognize that there are some people who shouldn’t have legal access to guns. And the rationale behind denying those people access is that they, as individuals, are inherently unsafe, irresponsible or both.

        Why then is it such a leap to also deny the right to otherwise normal people that prove themselves unsafe or incompetant? Mind you, I’m not entirely sure I’m in favor of the idea myself. I do think it deserves serious consideration though.

        • “No right is absolute.”

          Where did you learn that bullshit? Perhaps no right is absolute under the Constitution, but plenty of rights are absolute. E.g., I have an absolute right not to get shot by some yahoo while I’m taking out my garbage. If you want a longer list I’ll be happy to create one.

        • “I think we’re all in favor of the prohibitions on …… the mentally ill”
          Define mentally ill. The National Institue of Mental Health reports that over a quarter of Americans are diagnosable (but not necessarily diagnosed) for one or more types of mental illness. But only 5.8% are classified as severe. Should only severe cases be prohibited from their 2A rights? Should those who are mentally ill -the quarter of all Americans- be burdened with the knowledge that some of their rights may be taken away at any time? Would these people than stop seeking treatment out of fear of being declared severely ill and losing their rights?

          Did you mean criminally insane? Did you mean those who are severely ill and non-responsive to treatment? Mental illness is tricky. Mental illness and gun ownership is tricker.

        • Not too many years ago, homosexuality was a mental illness. Now I think we all know better. I’ll pass on letting psychiatrists decide who gets to exercise their 2A rights and who doesn’t.

        • EVERY RIGHT IS ABSOLUTE!! Rights are given to us by God and cannot be taken away by man. We all have a right to own and use property (gun, car, house, etc…). If someone endangers another person through the use of their property, they should provide restitution… but that does not mean they lose the right to still own and use their property.

  2. Id say there is a distinction between driving 1mph over the speed limit and pointing a loaded gun at someones chest.

    Maybe a better analogy would be driving the wrong way down the interstate. Should you get a time out for that? Probably. Its grossly negligent. (1 mph over the speed limit isn’t) Should you get a timeout for being grossly negligent with a firearm? I think so. Perhaps a mandatory hunters safety type course at least. In most states isn’t this at least a misdenenor for threatening someone with force? Im sure there are already legal consequences for it.

  3. I don’t like people to “show me their guns” when they’re CC’ing. I’ve had a few people, when talking guns, show them to me. Most have been smart and cleared the weapon prior to showing it, but one or two exhibited poor muzzle control as they displayed it. One was a guy at a range talking to my wife about shooting, then proceeded to show his loaded CCW revolver while muzzling us both. A “whoa, buddy!” and an yell from the range officer got him to put it away, but then he complained that the people at that range “watch you like a hawk.” I said that’s not a bad thing.

  4. Oh heavens, she’s on our side. I gues her “informal training” wasn’t good enough. If you do something stupid like this I’d favor a requirement to complete a formal training class before carrying again. I would say she needs to exercise some common sense but she is a politician so I guess that is out of the question.

  5. In most states isn’t this at least a misdenenor for threatening someone with force? Im sure there are already legal consequences for it.

    I don’t know Arizona’s laws but in Colorado it can be charged as Felony Menacing:

    18-3-206. Menacing.

    (1) A person commits the crime of menacing if, by any threat or physical action, he or she knowingly places or attempts to place another person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury. Menacing is a class 3 misdemeanor, but, it is a class 5 felony if committed:

    (a) By the use of a deadly weapon or any article used or fashioned in a manner to cause a person to reasonably believe that the article is a deadly weapon; or

    (b) By the person representing verbally or otherwise that he or she is armed with a deadly weapon.

    Legal geeks will notice the absence of the word “intentionally” in paragraph (1.) That means that whether she intended to put the other person in fear of his life is irrelevant – that she did so “knowingly” would be sufficient to convict her.

    For a lesser charge there’s also:

    18-3-208. Reckless endangerment.

    A person who recklessly engages in conduct which creates a substantial risk of serious bodily injury to another person commits reckless endangerment, which is a class 3 misdemeanor.

    • The word “knowingly” is a scienter (guilty knowledge) requirement for this crime. It does not say “knows or should know” or words to that effect. In the Klein case, she told the reporter not to worry because she didn’t have her finger on the trigger, so I believe she lacked the necessary mes rea. You may disagree, but I do believe that if she were charged under the Colorado law she would walk, unless there’s some case law to the contrary.

  6. there is n0 possible way to defend her thought process on this , the worst part is that ”I just didn’t have my hand on the trigger,” she said. riiiiight, any one who points a loaded weapon at a loved one, or in this case a total stranger has zero credibility to be trusted to know better

  7. Chris Dumm and I went shooting in the boonies on Sunday, and a Sheriff deputy dropped us a visit. I mentioned that we had chosen this particular location instead of one of the more well-used quarries because we have had problems with other shooters exhibiting unsafe range practices at the bigger quarries (drinking beer while shooting, muzzle swipes, attempting to rack a slide on a pistol one handed -think Hong Kong martial arts films – going downrange without calling a ceasefire, etc etc). The Sheriff deputy told us that he recent issued a citation for reckless endangerment when he witnessed someone shooting while someone else had gone downrange further to the side of the same range.

  8. [rant] WHY on Earth do they have to make PINK things for women? Pink tools, pink guns… it’s insulting. [/rant]

    Is that really a Ruger? Which one? I’ve been to the website and can’t find one that looks quite like it. More importantly, is there *really* no safety on it? That just seems really stupid, especially if she keeps it in her purse. One good jar in the wrong direction and *BANG*.

    And I do think someone who treats guns so nonchalantly as to aim it at another person should get a “time out”. The analogy of driving the wrong way on the interstate is fairly accurate.

    • Enough with the manual safety rhetoric already. Revolvers have never had a manual safety. Most, if not all of your polymer pistols today do not have a manual safety. Why? Because it’s not necessary. The safety is between your ears, if you lack that, as or keen Senator obvioustly does, then you should probably excuse yourself from the armed citizenry.

      That said:

      The post quoted the article: “unzipped the loaded Ruger from its carrying case…” Well, first off good on the Senator for carrying it in a case, but the “unzipping” thing is what I’m wondering about… “Excuse me Mr. Rapist, do you mind waiting just a second while I unzip my gun case?”

      PS – My wife insisted on having pink grips for her gun once when she found out they were available…

      • Hold on. I wasn’t asking about a manual safety. I was asking if the gun had no safety at all. I have a Springfield XD(m) 9mm, remember, and it has two safeties: one on the trigger itself, and one on the back of the grip. They are not manual safeties at all, but if they’re not depressed, the gun won’t fire.

        Having a manual safety or not was not and is not my question. Does the gun have any safety?

    • Some women like pink guns, some don’t. Some like pink accessories to go with their black guns others don’t.

      Personally I’m all for offering choices and letting the market dictate what works and what doesn’t.

    • Pink evidently sells. If it didn’t, they wouldn’t make ’em.

      LOTS of guns don’t have safeties. Virtually no revolvers do. Their safety is a long hard trigger pull. One good jar isn’t enough to make it fire. And if it’s in her purse, I’m hoping she carries it in a pocket (or similar) holster that covers the trigger.

      Safeties can be problematic in a carry gun. If you don’t train with them – often – you may pull the trigger when you really need it and hear a conspicuous lack of a bang.

      • Most revolvers have a transfer bar safety that prevents the hammer from striking the primer unless the trigger is fully depressed. Operating the trigger moves the hammer block out of the way as it cocks the hammer. That’s why we can carry a fully-loaded revolver now, while back in the day revolvers had to be carried with the hammer resting on an empty chamber.

    • Well because there’s a market for pink guns. So you feelings aren’t mirrored by the general market. Why does it bother you?

  9. Any one else wondering what she’s doing in the pic? That’s not any defensive stance I’ve ever seen.

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