Senator Lori Klein Gives TTAG Her Side of the Story

Senator Lori Klein, our Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day today, took the time to call me back to give TTAG her version of what happened when azcentral.com writer Richard Ruelas and a photographer interviewed her recently. You probably won’t be surprised that the Senator told me that what was portrayed in the story wasn’t an entirely accurate description of what happened…

First, the Senator is, in her own words, “mortified” by what happened. She describes herself as a life-long gun owner and 2A supporter. Her father started teaching her how to safely use a gun at age five. And yes, she knows the four rules.

During the interview, she didn’t whip out her gun to show it off. The reporter specifically asked to see it. He then wanted her to demonstrate the Crimson Trace laser. Senator Kline complied, pointing the gun toward a wall and activating the laser.

The reporter then approached her, momentarily getting himself between the gun and the wall. The Senator said that as soon as she realized the laser was on his chest, she immediately lowered it. She also made a point of saying that she doesn’t know whether or not Ruelas got in front of the gun intentionally or not.

Klein went on to say that there’s no excuse for allowing the gun to laser the reporter. She knows she was wrong and reiterated that at no time was her finger on the trigger. There wasn’t a round in the chamber. And while all that may be true, she fully realizes that she was responsible for where the gun was pointing.

The Senator’s in her first elected position and said through inexperience, she allowed herself to be used by a reporter who decided what his angle on the story was going to be before he talked to her. Her biggest regret, though, isn’t any personal embarrassment about what happened. It’s giving gun controllers a convenient story and ammunition against gun owners. She then apologized to 2A supporters for, in effect, letting her guard down.

As some guy on the radio used to say, now you know the rest of the story.

65 Responses to Senator Lori Klein Gives TTAG Her Side of the Story

  1. avatarBen Eli says:

    And the award for real reporting goes to…drum roll please….TTAG. She still shouldn’t have pulled it out for anybody. Whatever happened to not letting people know that you carry?

    • avatarRebecca says:

      + 1

    • She’s an elected official, a leader if you will. I’m proud that she declared herself as a concealed pistol carrier. We could use more people in office like her. The reporter is the idiot for moving himself into the line of the muzzle that she had pointed in a SAFE direction. I bet he had that on his agenda the whole time.

  2. avatarCoyote Gray says:

    This is why my time, attention, and dollars will always be directed toward those who would support and defend our 2nd amendment rights.

    Not because I oppose responsible laws regarding guns and gun sales in the US; but because those on the other side of the discussion would rather see guns completely illegalized across the board, then have a relevant, intelligent discussion about the subject.

    Shame on the Senator for not knowing any better, but I respect her for contacting and responding TTAG in order to share her side of the story.

    • avatarsdog says:

      agreed, i am impressed with the speed of her response, but

      “Her biggest regret, though, isn’t any personal embarrassment about what happened. It’s giving gun controllers a convenient story and ammunition against gun owners. She then apologized to 2A supporters for, in effect, letting her guard down.”

      this is exactly what this story will do. In my experience, if you want to show off your lameo lazer (IMHO, lazers encourage lazy sight alignment practices) light it up pointed at the FLOOR maybe??

      • avatarCoyote Gray says:

        Lasers are great on tiny personal protection pocket pistols. I’m not too interested in practicing sight allignment, sight picture in a self defense situation.

        Plus the laser adds another “Oh shit” factor between simply pulling and aiming the gun, and firing a round down range.

      • avatarMoonshine7102 says:

        As a wise man once said, “Don’t let your ego obscure your target.” In a self-defense situation, I fully expect to be too busy crapping my pants to try to concentrate on the front sight. The pulsing red dot on my attacker, on whom I’ll probably already be focused, lets me know I’m clear to pull the bang switch without hitting an innocent bystander.

        For everyone out there who’s going to tell me, “Train yourself to focus”, here’s a bit of training for you. Take three No-Doz, wash it down with a cup or two of stiff coffee, and try shooting (safety first, make sure the RSO knows what’s going on, yadda yadda yadda). This amount of caffeine will approximate the “fight or flight” jitters you’d expect in a SHTF situation.

  3. avatarChuck says:

    A valuable learning experience for the Senator. Never, never, never, never, never, never trust a reporter.
    Her only mistake was not hitting her target. (Yes, I am only kidding for the humor-challenged).

  4. avatarJOE MATAFOME says:

    I’m happy that she actually took the time to give her side of the story. These reporters love to make a big deal out of everything just so they can boost their ratings.

  5. avatarMagoo says:

    She was aiming the laser at the wall, at which point the writer maneuvered himself around until the dot was directly on his chest, before she could get the muzzle lowered? Really? Picture that in your mind.

    • avatarRob Crawford says:

      You have a problem with it? Make your beef explicit.

      • You need someone to spell it out for you?

        She’s aiming her gun, with laser sight, on the wall. The reporter starts approaching the path the round would take. She continues pointing the gun at the wall. The reporter steps within the bullet’s path. She continues pointing the gun at the wall. The laser is now pointed at the reporter’s chest. “Oh, uh, maybe I better lower my gun.”

        Gee, you think?

        • avatarRob Crawford says:

          The reporter moved before she could drop the barrel. When you’re at the range, it’s as much your job to stay out of the line of fire as it for the shooters to control their weapons.

    • avatarJames Felix says:

      Ok, I’ve pictured it. That was pretty easy, any other requests?

    • avatarRebecca says:

      Actually, if the reporter had wanted to manufacture an incident to make the senator look bad, that would be a pretty easy way to do it. He sees the laser on the wall, gets a light bulb over his head, and casually walks into the laser light path. NEWS FLASH! Yeah, I can see it happening.

    • avatarDean Weingarten says:

      Easy to see how this could happen. The photographer demands her attention and that she look at him while the reporter moves in front of the muzzle.

  6. avatarZealot says:

    I had read this story in a couple other locations before seeing it posted here this morning (sorry guys) and while she SHOULD surely know better and IS still responsible for where she points her gun, it seemed like a hatchet job on the part of the reporter from the beginning. Somehow it got out that she carries a .380 to work with her and I think a reporter or two smelled blood in the water with this first-time official.

    The stuff I read included the Senator stating that she checked the chamber to be sure it was clear and kept her finger off the trigger, which if true, at least indicates a knowledgeable, experienced owner.

    Again, none of that dismisses her showing it off to some reporters.

    • avatarDaniel Zimmerman says:

      As additional information, the Senator estimated that about half the representatives in the legislature carry a gun. She said that the capitol building is on the edge of a sketchy area of town and women who work there are given the closest parking spots because of it. She frequently leaves the building late and alone and wouldn’t want to do that without the means to protect herself.

      It was no secret that she carries a gun. Klein was the subject of some notoriety when she carried on the Senate floor back in January.

  7. avatarSid says:

    The only thing she did wrong was fail to say “excuse me while I whip this out.”

    Actually, I guessed as much when I read the initial account. I would doubt that she would have intentionally pointed her gun at the reporter. It seemed like a set-up. She seems, if this account is accurate, to be a reasonable person and willing to accept her mistake. Cudos to her.

  8. avatarMagoo says:

    The reporter is Richard Rueles of the Arizona Republic, who directly refutes Klein’s explanation that he placed himself in front of the muzzle:

    http://www.azcentral.com/video/1047913930001

    • avatarRob Crawford says:

      So?

    • avatarDesertRat says:

      So now we have a he said she said. Considering the open animosity of the legacy media towards Conservatives in general and TRKBA specifically this story has about as much substance as bird cage liner now.

      The fact the Senator took the time out to respond personally to this comparatively insignificant blog (No offense intended, but this place isn’t as big as Drudge, Fox or Brietbart yet) speaks volumes about her credibility on the issue.

      Meanwhile the “reporter” keeps playing the victim card.

    • avatarJames Felix says:

      So we have “he said / she said”. In deciding which side to believe we have two alternatives:
      1) We can believe that someone who’s been shooting for 30+ years suddenly forgot one of the four commandments or
      2) We can believe that a reporter with an agenda maneuvered a politician into a “gotcha” moment.

      You most likely believe (1), I believe (2), and that’s at least partially informed by our individual biases. But I know I can find a hell of a lot more past examples to back up my interpretation than you can.

  9. avatarVan says:

    He said, she said. Who do you want to believe?

    • avatarMagoo says:

      For me it’s not a matter of “he said, she said” because the “she said” half of the story doesn’t work. She was aiming at the wall and he managed to maneuver himself around so that she was pointing directly at his chest? And she didn’t notice this and lower the muzzle? How can that be?

      • avatarDesertRat says:

        Lot of people still aim with one eye closed. All he had to do is rapidly approach from her blind side and for a moment he could be covered with the muzzle/laser before she can react.

      • avatarBill Johnson says:

        Magoo, you have repeatedly shown yourself to have a small imagination. We aren’t interested in what you think. Do we have to tell you to your face?

        There.

      • avatarRob Crawford says:

        “Bear is driving! How can that be?!”

        OK, Magoo, we get it — you despise gun owners and look at them all as sub-human. You won’t even give one equal credibility with another person.

    • avatarTim says:

      I just want this whole incident to be forgotten in 72 hours… A state senator in a state where CC does not require a permit and does not have a left-leaning legislature in the foreseeable future… it is a non-issue. The gun grabbers will latch on to anything to make a stupid point. Let’s focus on fixing what needs fixin and not this senator.

  10. avatarkarlb says:

    I am very impressed that such a quick response was given to TTAG by the senator, but I am troubled by this: “The reporter then approached her, momentarily getting himself between the gun and the wall. The Senator said that as soon as she realized the laser was on his chest, she immediately lowered it.” Was this Carl Lewis approaching her, and how was it that when she realized she was aiming a gun at the reporters chest she lowered the gun? One should, I think, keep track of what one is aiming at.

    One last point, I am taken aback that this comment was made in the article: “You probably won’t be surprised that what was portrayed in the story wasn’t an entirely accurate description of what happened…” Why are we to take the senator’s version of the events as the truth? Anyone else guessing the truth has yet to be described?

    • avatarDaniel Zimmerman says:

      Fair enough. Text amended.

    • avatarfanfare ends says:

      ” Why are we to take the senator’s version of the events as the truth? ”

      I rarely take anything a politician says without large doses of salt but (a) she’s on the Right side on the 2nd Amendment (among other issues) and (b) Reulas appears to me to be a gun-grabbing “journallist” who admits he was looking to make hay out of the Giffords shooting, and can’t seem to get HIS facts straight when interviewed ” on this incident:

      at 1:10

      “it was early on in the interview before I took my tape recorder out…”

      at 01:58:

      “it happened a month ago, I can understand that Senator Klein might not have a clear recollection… I have the benefit of the audio recording that kind of helps refresh my memory… “

      Summary: he can’t keep it straight whether the incident happened before or after he took out his tape recorder so it doesn’t surprise me if he walked into the muzzle end of the room.

      BONUS:

      That “journalist” also supports La Raza taking over the American Southwest…

  11. avatarandy says:

    “As some guy on the radio used to say, now you know the rest of the story.”

    I miss Paul Harvey.

  12. avatarMALTHUS says:

    Quote: Joe Kubacki, the sergeant at arms for the Senate, said Klein’s scenario of an attacker making it into her [the Senator's] office was far-fetched.

    “In the world of ‘anything’s possible,’ I suppose it could happen,” he said. “But I think it’s highly unlikely.”

    There are electronically locked doors and security on each floor. Capitol police and Arizona Department of Public Safety officers have a response time of about 30 seconds, Kubacki said. [End Quote.]

    Jared Loughner shot six people in less than a minute. Assuming that Joe Kubacki’s officers could instantly respond to an “active shooter” scenario, innocent lives would still be unavoidably lost.

    If Senators are armed and well-trained, they have an opportunity of working inside the shooter’s reaction time, making Kubacki’s assurances moot.

  13. avatarDavid Brown says:

    I’ve lived in Arizona all of my 39 years and can attest to the fact that the Arizona Republic has forgotten what the term “unbiased” means. When Dan Saban ran against Arpaio for sheriff the paper ran an article that bashed the hell out of Arpaio while singing the praises of Saban. Mind you, this article was run in the regular section of the paper instead of the editorials where it belonged. Richard Ruelas is a slimy reporter working for a slimy paper and he’s one of the last folks I’d expect the truth from (not that politicians are much better).

    And for the record I don’t like Saban or Arpaio.

  14. avatarJoe Grine says:

    I thought about commenting on the original story, but there was just a tinge of doubt in my mind as to whetehr the story was really true. Politicians can be big targets for “ambush” tactics, and so it does not surprise me that there was “another side to the story.” Seems like you have to take a lot of what you read on teh net with a grain of salt – consider the source and reserve judgment until teh facts play themselves out completely.

  15. avatarRalph says:

    So we have a politician in a fight with a reporter. Remind me who I’m supposed to root for.

  16. avatarVigilantis says:

    So, either a reporter lied, or a politician lied. These are two groups of people anyone with any sense whatsoever knows better than to trust. I doubt we will ever know the truth of the matter, simply because there wasn’t anyone there capable of telling the truth.

    • avatarkarlb says:

      This does not have to be a “lie” from either one of them. Two people experiencing the same event can, and most probably will have very different interpretations of what happened. We don’t have to assume anything nefarious.

  17. In a state like Arizona a liberal leaning paper like the Republic has an uphill fight to make waves so my vote goes to an unscrupulous reporter trying to set up a naive politician to get headlines.

  18. avatarJustin says:

    That sounds like BS. She’s probably just a moron. But than again, so am I, so what do I know?

  19. Fine if you call it BS but like I said before, been in AZ 39 years, followed Ruelas for many of those and don’t trust him.

  20. avatarScott says:

    If it hadn’t been for her trigger discipline, would the story have been, “Suicide by Senator?”

    Not likely.

    • avatarExNuke says:

      To much to hope for. “Hoist by his own petard.” would look good on a headstone for a number of these Judas Goats though.

  21. avatarRobert Farago says:

    Just a quick heads-up.

    TTAG’s posting policy: no flaming the website, its authors or fellow commentators. I’ve removed flaming comments from this post.

    If you feel I’ve missed one, or shouldn’t have deployed the fire extinguisher, please ping me at guntruth@me.com

  22. avatarBambiB says:

    I find the argument that the reporter would have to be “Carl Lewis” inaccurate. Average walking speed is about 5 km/hr. That’s 1.4 m/S. That means merely altering course by 45 degrees would allow the reporter to both close the gap by 1 meter and move laterally by 1 meter in one second. And that’s without being “Carl Lewis”.

    If the move was not anticipated, it could easily take another second before the situation was recognized and the gun lowered. Two seconds isn’t usually considered a lot of time – but it’s plenty of time for a reporter to manufacture an anti-gun cataclysm.

  23. avatarpoppymann says:

    I call bullshit. She trots out the favorite cant of the ultra right. “I let an evil reporter with a hidden agenda manipulate me.” Bullshit I say.

    • avatarfanfare ends says:

      “She trots out the favorite cant of the ultra right. ”

      “ultra right” is the favorite Red whine (sic) of the Øbamunist Left (which is, I admit, doubly redundant).

  24. avatarIsaac Allmen says:

    Translation: “Please don’t take my pretty little gun away”

  25. avatarNicolas says:

    The word of a politicians versus that of a reporter. What a wretched choice.

  26. avatarRick says:

    Why in the world would a reporter ask to see this woman’s firearm and ask her to demonstrate it’s laser unless they intended to malign her in some way. In all fairness, she acted like a ding-bat for falling for this. She should never have brandished her weapon for a reporter and kept it loaded. She should have immediately removed her mag and checked that the barrel was empty prior to any “demonstration”. Better yet, don’t let anyone know you carry – it’s nobody else’s business.

  27. avatarStacy says:

    Clearly Lori did not “point” the gun at this lying drama queen, as he claims. From the beginning his claim never made sense because WHY would she point it at him? Clearly HE wasn’t paying attention to the gun in the room that HE asked to see. He probably inadvertently got in front of it, hopefully on accident, but I’m not so sure based on the obvious liar he is. Then he threw his skirt over his head and jumped up and down like my mom finding a mouse in the kitchen, creating drama for attention. Then this slimeball gleefully used this to attack her in the most dishonorable way. It’s guys like this “reporter” who give women a reason to ask WHERE HAVE THE MEN GONE?

  28. avatarJim says:

    It seems to me that in that particular environment there are most probably surveillance cameras that would clearly end this debate.

  29. avatarMatt says:

    Thanks for the Paul Harvey on this story :) I figured there was more to it, unless it was Diane Feinstein (D) holding the piece.

  30. avatarT.Mike says:

    I can believe what Senator Lori Klein is saying. Having myself been in situations where a mere moment can make a big difference… especially if the other person (as implied) knows what he’s trying to do and you don’t expect it. Add in a little distraction and *poof* they’ve got you. Regrettably the Senator has learned a very valuable lesson. But hey, I like people who’ve learned lessons; they’re less likely to repeat them! I’ll still vote for her.

  31. avatarGH says:

    Good thing she didn’t say, “I’m the only one in this room professional enough to handle this weapon…”

    (for those who don’t get what I’m referring to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pj4yUpR1PB0)

  32. avatarRoger says:

    Thanks for the other side…..While hauling her gun out in public wasn’t smart, I’m certain the reporter “made” that happen….

  33. avatarHaroldB says:

    A: If you’re asked if you have a gun, tell them “It’s none of your business.” Then tell them you’ll take him to the range and show him how to shoot at a proper place/manner.

    B: What was on the other side of that wall? Does she really know gun safety rules? Always know what your target is, AND what’s behind it!

    • avatarSeeSpotRun says:

      +1
      Finally, someone said it right. What’s the first thing Lori did wrong? (Hint: it was way before she ever unholstered her firearm)….She SHOULD have said “Fuck off. If you want to see a gun, go down to a local gun shop and ask to see one.” Or more politely as Harold B suggested :)

  34. avatarJmcaul says:

    I am a woman going through the due diligence needed to eventually carry a concealed weapon. Personally, I will NEVER carry a concealed, loaded gun ANYWHERE other than ON MY PERSON. The thought of carrying a loaded gun in my purse where I could possibly lose control of it is not even an option as far as I am concerned. That being said, I do wonder at the naivete of this woman who is apparently fairly long acquainted and comfortable (perhaps too much so?) with firearms. I feel sad for her and am not sure how I would have handled such a request. Clearly if this happened the way SHE describes it, the reporter set out to snooker her and should never be trusted again by anyone who values 2A.
    On one hand, I would welcome the opportunity to safely show a curious fellow citizen the features that I appreciated about my firearm. On the other hand, one of the considerations I am mulling in my decision to ultimately carry on a daily basis is: you will never know if I am carrying or not unless I know you extremely well OR you/I are faced with an immediate, life threatening crisis requiring deadly force in defense of self or others.

  35. avatarSarge says:

    Ok, she made a mistake. Life goes on. She learned her lessen. Remember folks, she is on our side. Let’s not beat up on her too much . She is very open on what happened and made it right. Thats to show us that reporters should be screened when the issue about guns comes up. They will fry you. Especially if anti gun reporting is on his agenda. Do I here setup. I applaud her for not hiding out until It blows over. She stood by her guns (no pun intended ), and gave the full side of what happened. We cannot ask for more than that ..

  36. avatarJason Calley says:

    Wow! A politician versus a reporter and I have to decide which one is lying?

    Easy. This puzzle is what is known in logic as a false dichotomy. It is a POLITICIAN and a REPORTER, therefore they are BOTH lying. The one thing they agree on is that the incident happened, therefore it probably did NOT even happen, not in any shape, form or fashion.

    Problem solved.

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