Third Party & Independents Archives

Somebody shoot some brains over to Lori Klein

Exactly what law and/or state statute that imposes a mandatory jail sentence does an elected official in Arizona have to do in order to be subject to the same penalties that I would be subject to if I did what they did?

In June, Arizona Republican Senator Lori Klein pulled a loaded .380 caliber semi-automatic pistol (that has NO SAFETY on it) out of her purse, pointed it at the chest of a newspaper reporter, and activated the laser sight, putting a red dot over the man’s heart.

Klein, who has refused to comment personally on the incident, said in a press statement that she took her “cute little raspberry-pink .380 Ruger out of its carrying case for the benefit of the photographer who wanted to see the gun and the laser sight — and that the reporter sat down in the path of the laser. But the reporter says that was a separate incident, because earlier in the interview she pointed the gun directly at his chest and laughed about it because her “little gun is too cute to hurt anyone.”

Isn’t that just precious? Because, obviously in Lori Klein’s world, gun accidents simply never happen.

Arizona gun laws may be thought to be “wild west” to the rest of the country, and as far as responsible handling of guns, that’s essentially true. But it’s the irresponsible (in this case, stultifyingly stupid) part where some very specific laws with very specific mandatory penalties come into play.

According to Arizona Criminal Code §13-1203 A-2, a person commits assault if they “intentionally place another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury.” Pointing a loaded gun at someone’s chest is INARGUABLY cause for reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury. Assault is a Class 1 misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of 6 months in jail and a $2,500 fine. The threat of injury (#2) will result in a Class 2 misdemeanor charge for assault. A Class 2 misdemeanor has a maximum sentence of 4 months in jail and a $750 fine.

According to Arizona Criminal Code §13-1204 A-2, a person commits aggravated assault if they use a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument. A .380 semi-automatic pistol with no safety on it is INARGUABLY a deadly weapon. Aggravated Assault is a Class 3 Felony with a penalty of 5-15 years in prison for a dangerous offense, for which an aggravated assault qualifies.

An Arizona Endangerment Charge is a Class 1 Misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a $2, 500 fine. It is a Reckless Endangerment charge if the action causes a “substantial risk of immanent death”. A Reckless Endangerment Offense in Arizona is a Class 6 Felony with a presumptive sentence of a year to a year-and-a-half in prison.

Klein says she owns a number of guns and has had “informal” training sessions on each of them, and that she was taught gun safety by her father. I find that very, very hard to believe. By her own admission, Klein has not met the minimum requirements for carrying a concealed weapon in Arizona. To me, that’s a full-blown confession.

If Lori Klein had ever been exposed to even 90 seconds of proper gun-handling training, she’d know that RULE ONE is that you never, EVER point a gun, loaded or unloaded, at another individual unless you intend to shoot them. There is no “Ooopsie” clause that lets you off the hook because the gun is “cute and raspberry-pink.”

Klein’s “ooh giggle tee hee ha ha” reaction to this blatant act of stupidity and irresponsibility defines without question, that the woman doesn’t know squat about handling a firearm, is ignorant of Arizona gun laws, or simply believes herself to be above them. And no matter what “informal training” she says she’s had, her excuse of, “Oh, it’s alright. I didn’t have my hand on the trigger” is just-plain asinine. She’s hiding behind an UNOFFICIAL Arizona Senate policy that allows senators — but no one else — to carry their weapons into the building.

Will Lori Klein be arrested, tried, convicted and sentenced under the same Due Process that you and I are subject to? Will she pay any fines? Will she do any time? Don’t hold your breath. She’s an low-level elected official. The laws they create don’t apply to them. And let’s not forget Lori Klein’s TWO DUI arrests, that she winked and giggled and tee-heed down to a single count because she’s “a respected member of the Senate.”

Just ask Glendale City Manager Ed “Convicted of a Triple Extreme DUI in 2002 and never served a day in jail” Beasley. He can tell you all about blatant violations of the law and never serving the penalties that the average citizen is forced to. But that’s a story for another time.

But you should shoot an e-mail to Lori Klein at lklein@azleg.gov. I’m sure she’d love to explain to you why and how she’s not in jail.

Posted by Gary St. Lawrence at July 12, 2011 1:21 AM
Comments
Comment #325616

While I agree that the double standard in the country is getting ridiculous, I think this post is stretching one circumstance to make that point.

Pointing a weapon at another person (excluding self-defense) is unacceptable behavior. That being said, that would call for the suspension of a concealed weapons permit or something along those lines. NOT assault. The key point in this statue is “reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury.” When someone is making a bad decision with carrying a gun, that does not constitute reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury. For that matter, has the reporter pressed charges? Or even made a statement that he/she felt ‘reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury’? I would surmise that in light of the conversation at hand, the (poor) joke the congress woman was attempting to make, the reporter felt no such apprehension. Even look at the legislative intent, the law was actually written to go after criminals whom used threats of violence against another person, but never followed through. There was no threat in this conversation. It was, as stated, a very poor joke.

On the second charge you want her prosecuted, the threat of injury, requires her to make some sort of verbal or physical threat. Again, not a joke about how ‘cute’ her gun is. Maybe you could make this stretch if she had made some other tasteless joke about harming the reporter, but since she didn’t, no threat (either joking or serious) was made. Just a poor decision in handling the gun, and an absolutely tasteless joke.

As for aggravated assault, you have to be joking…The statute spells it out…the must USE a deadly weapon or deadly instrument. Not just point it at someone. Not handle it inappropriately. Come on now, you have to see how you a stretching here…

Your last two charges, are the two LEGITIMATE ones. The DA should wholeheartedly go after her for illegally carrying a concealed weapon without the proper permit. Additionally, he should do all he can to build a reckless endangerment case. I know they won’t, due to the double standard I agreed with above, but they most definitely should…

Overall, the reason I wanted to respond was just to point out the taking things so far that most of us view it as hyperbole, only weakens the overall argument you were trying to make (at least what I took it to mean)…

Posted by: adam at July 12, 2011 11:57 AM
Comment #325618

adam,

“The DA should wholeheartedly go after her for illegally carrying a concealed weapon without the proper permit.”

In Arizona a concealed weapons permit is not required for anyone over the age of 21. Senate Bill 1108 was signed by Governor Brewer, and went into effect in June of 2010.

Gary,

IMHO, Ms Klein is apparently too stupid to own, much less carry a weapon. Guns are not toys even if they are “cute little raspberry-pink…”.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at July 12, 2011 12:17 PM
Comment #325619

1. In an audio interview he verifies she pointed it at him (and they both laughed about it). That’s enough for me right there to know that she doesn’t know how to properly handle and respect a firearm. Since AZ enacted their new law handgun training courses have shown an 80% reduction in enrollment. Ms. Klein represents the consequences.

2. The “no safety” angle is meaningless. The Ruger LCP is like most concealed carry type weapons and does not have a user manipulated safety. But as a double action only weapon it has passive safety with an extra long trigger pull and a firing pin block in case of dropping. Most revolvers, like the common S&Ws, don’t have a safety either. And had she had the safety on she still would have violated rule No. 1 (don’t point the thing unless you want to shoot it).

3. Will she get charged? Well again she does admit that she pointed it at him but in the conversation both are laughing about the whole incident. Without an admission of guilt and no other evidence I hope she doesn’t get charged with any crime as there is plenty of reasonable doubt and a complete lack of facts. That said, she’s not someone I would hang out with.
.

Posted by: George at July 12, 2011 12:24 PM
Comment #325622


George, good comments. I do think she should face some punitive action just as a reminder of the first rule. As we all know, playing around with guns can get people killed.

I wonder what the outcome would be if the roles had been reversed, “I pointed my harmless cherry red .44 magnum at the Senator in jest.”

Posted by: jlw at July 12, 2011 2:19 PM
Comment #325623

i’m as pro gun as they come, but the first rule of safe gun handling is always keep your your gun pointed in a safe direction. loaded, unloaded, finger on the trigger, finger off the trigger, doesn’t matter. you don’t point a gun at someone unless you intend to shoot them. if this story is true, all i can say is, what a dumbass.

Posted by: dbs at July 12, 2011 3:02 PM
Comment #325624

gary

the fact the gun posesses no safety is not an issue. if it can only be fired in double action it doesn’t need one. the issue is the shear stupidity of the act itself.

Posted by: dbs at July 12, 2011 3:33 PM
Comment #325625

i don’t have a lazer sight on any of the guns i own. maybe one of you can help me here. does your finger have to be on the trigger to activate the lazer, or will just pressure on the grip do that? another thing that wasn’t mentioned that maybe should be. can’t lazers damage your eye sight if pointed directly into them? this is stupid on so many levels.

Posted by: dbs at July 12, 2011 3:44 PM
Comment #325626

dbs the one for the LCP is made by Crimson Trace and it has a little button mounted on the front of the guard to be activated by your off hand.

That laser is too weak to damage eyes, but some of those green ones are pretty powerful.

I see now that the “no safety” that Gary mentions is on all of the liberal sites about this incident. Probably just seeing if it will stick. When you include every S&W or Charter Arms relover ever sold you would have to ban a whole lot of guns. You could make a case on the Glock safe action too.

Posted by: George at July 12, 2011 3:53 PM
Comment #325627

george


i remember the lawsuit against bryco arms, it centered around the fact that the safety had to be disengaged to clear the pistols chamber. the lawsuit claimed this was a design flaw, however that would mean every 1911, browning hi power, and any other single action auto pistol is defective, as there is no way to cycle the slide with the safety engaged. the safety issue in this case will be as in many others is just the anti gun crowds boggie man.

i found it interesting that it was this fact that was focused on as opposed to the fact that the gun was pointed at a child while the chamber was being cleared. brings us right back to safety, and a gun can’t harm anyone unless it is pointed at someone.

Posted by: dbs at July 12, 2011 4:10 PM
Comment #325629

George,

“That laser is too weak to damage eyes, but some of those green ones are pretty powerful.”

Have you ever been hit in the eye with something as small as a laser pointer?
I was a laser light show tech for ten years, and while a pointer or a sighting device may not do any damage, boy is it painful if you get hit directly in the eye (I am the voice of experience, and no I didn’t do it to myself).

Theoretically any laser 5 mW or less, even in the 532nm (green range)is considered “safe”, but I still wouldn’t want to be the recipient of a direct hit.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at July 12, 2011 4:21 PM
Comment #325631

Thus the creation of Rule No. 1 many years ago…..

I have a little LCP; they had a recall on that gun early on because of a drop issue. All sorted out now, although the gun is still illegal in MA and CA I think. Easy to conceal but a handfull to shoot, something she probably hasn’t taken the time to do. Her magazine springs are probably soft too if it has been sitting in her pocketbook loaded. They were light from the factory anyway and most people upgrade them after the first FTF.

The LCP is made in the AZ so at least she’s supporting manufacturing in her State….

Posted by: George at July 12, 2011 4:33 PM
Comment #325634

George,

Where did I say *ANYTHING* about banning guns? I don’t fault the gun for this glaring act of galactic stupidity by Lori Klein. And my mentioning it has nothing to do with “lib sites” or any partisan position whatsoever.

I’m pointing out three simple facts:

1) Senator Lori Klein is an ignorant, irresponsible ass who should be punished using the exact same laws that anyone else would be in the same situation.

2) Senator Lori Klein is the living embodiment of the raw danger of gun mishandling.

3) Senator Lori Klein is the classic example of a politician who believes themselves to be above the laws they legislate.

I wouldn’t care if Klein was Republican, Democrat or a Klingon. She’s an idiot who should be made an example of because of her personal, politically irrelevant behavior.

Posted by: Gary St. Lawrence at July 12, 2011 5:08 PM
Comment #325635

Gary, merely pointing out your emphasis on NO SAFETY above appears to be lock and step with the emphasis placed by Huffington Post, Washington Post, Slate, and DU on the same. The act of stupidity is not a cc gun without a manual safety, but a cc gun being pointed at another person without cause. I think we both agree on that one.

And in the raw audio interview when they are joking about it after it happens, she clearely says “I pointed it at him.”

Audio and transcript

Posted by: George at July 12, 2011 5:25 PM
Comment #325664

Well, this is what you get when the emphasis in your culture is on absolute freedom, rather than on responsibility. Guns these days are just short of being playthings for many people, and that is not a terribly safe attitude to take.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 13, 2011 8:14 AM
Comment #325676


I am anxious to see if old Rupert can invoke the double standard rule in American law. Are there any employees willing to fall on their sword? Will the law be satisfied with a few scapegoats?

Posted by: jlw at July 13, 2011 2:37 PM
Comment #325918

Has anyone noticed that the black and silver handgun being shown in the news video showing Klein displaying a gun is *NOT* a “cute, pretty little raspberry pink pistol” that Klein describes repeatedly in her version of the story?

Hmmmmm … why two different guns?

Could it be that the “raspberry pink pistol” isn’t registered­?

Why else would she show a completely different gun on camera?

Posted by: Gary St. Lawrence at July 17, 2011 4:45 AM
Comment #325930

gary

“Could it be that the “raspberry pink pistol” isn’t registered­?”


i don’t think arizona requires guns be registered.


“Why else would she show a completely different gun on camera?”


because she was carrying a different gun at the time? i doubt it’s a conspiracy.

Posted by: dbs at July 17, 2011 1:01 PM
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