Somebody shoot some brains over to Lori Klein

Posted on July 11, 2011

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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.

Right … because politicians lead such stress-free, peaceful lives that it’s simply not possible for one of them to one day snap and play “Duck Hunter” with the gallery attendance.

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.

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