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Rep. Kuhl: Just Joking About Packing Heat

You can imagine how startled we were to read that Rep. Randy Kuhl (R-N.Y.) is considering arming himself in the wake of war protests at his district offices.

According to an editorial published Wednesday in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Kuhl - a man alleged to have once pulled two shotguns on his then wife at a 1994 dinner party - "has thought of arming himself, given the perception -- not accurate, he said -- that he is an inflexible supporter of President Bush's approach to the Iraq war."

The editorial board's blog quoted Kuhl as saying he has "thought about packing" in light of the perceived security threat to himself and his offices.

The paper's editorial admonished Kuhl, saying "any step along security lines may have a chilling effect on communication between constituents and a public official." Hinting that those who may disagree with Kuhl's stance in support of the Iraq war might be too intimidated to speak out if their congressman is packing heat, the editorial said, "It's more important than ever that ordinary citizens believe they can interact with their elected representatives without impediment."

A spokeswoman for Kuhl confirmed that Iraq war protestors targeted the congressman's offices in Bath and Fairport, New York, on Monday of this week but that Kuhl wasn't working at either office that day.

And while she acknowledged that the protests have made her boss rethink security, she disputed that Kuhl is seriously considering arming himself. "That comment was taken way out of context," the spokeswoman, Meghan Tisinger, told the Sleuth.

She said when Congressman Kuhl told the Democrat and Chronicle editorial board that he had "thought about packing" - he was just joking. (Get a sense of humor, people!) "It was one of those sarcastic, offhanded comments," she said.

Plus, Tisinger explained, Kuhl was joking about arming himself in the context of increased security on Capitol Hill in light of the approaching anniversary of 9/11.

According to the Associated Press and other news reports, divorce papers unearthed before the 2004 election (with the help of Kuhl's Democratic opponent) reveal Kuhl was alleged to have taken "out two shotguns and threatened to shoot plaintiff" during a 1994 dinner party at their home.

For anyone unnerved by the thought of Kuhl packing heat when he returns from recess next month, you can probably relax. While he does have a license to carry a firearm the good news is that, according to his spokeswoman, he doesn't exercise that right when he's working.

By Mary Ann Akers  |  August 9, 2007; 5:22 PM ET
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Actually, other people there specifically said it was not a joke. See our blog entry here

Posted by: Exile on Ericsson St. | August 9, 2007 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Kuhl is on a damage control campaign following Monday's peaceful antiwar "office occupations" in Bath and Fairport, NY. He is trying to use newspaper editorial boards as a venue to paint the nonviolent protesters as security threats. The Congressman visited media editorial boards across the district beginning the morning after this week's sit-ins. The "packing" statement borders on lunatic, but that's not the main issue here. The issue is that instead of responding to overwhelming public opposition to his Iraq war stance, Mr. Kuhl cynically (and sadly with some success) went on a frantic PR media campaign, attempting to dishonestly frame protesters as threatening rather than the ordinary, committed citizens they are.

Posted by: Upstate NY | August 9, 2007 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Word, the Brother gotta bust a few caps up in his crib cause some anti-war fools just won't leave. Whats a gangsta' to do when his constituents roll up on him like dat? "Busta Cap" Kuhn gotta represent for the 'R's, he just keeping it real.
If you aint never been to his, I can see why you might be buggin' but Capitol Hill is a hell-hole. Everybody is a gang-banger, you got to be thinkin'all the time, what if the dems pull a drive by? What if one his pet lobbyists or worse, one of his own posse turns into a punk and rolls for 5-0?
A pimp can't work without his tools, he got his 'L's, he don't need a lawyer 'till AFTER he kills somebody.
Don't be a hater.
Eastside out.

Posted by: Dijetlo | August 10, 2007 12:26 AM | Report abuse

The way you seditionists carry on, I'd arm myself too. You can't be too safe when ignorance rules.

Posted by: upyursliberal | August 10, 2007 12:51 AM | Report abuse

Upstate NY, "...ordinary, committed citizens..."? Who you tryin to fool, sucka. They's freaks, dude. Fool Kuhl capped hisself wit a joke & the paper jumped his dumb ass. Republicans never learn. Make a joke & the media will make em pay. Dems get the pass 90% of the time.

Posted by: fresh printz | August 10, 2007 8:09 AM | Report abuse

From the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle Editorial (8/8/07)
"Kuhl said, not in jest, that he has thought of arming himself..."

Posted by: Peter | August 10, 2007 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Handling a sidearm comes with responsibility, and joking about feeling you need to be armed against anti-war protesters, is no joke!

This congressman should know better better than that, and one should never joke about handling a deadly weapon.

As per the security on Cap. Hill, that is the hob of The Cap. Hill Police Dept.

Posted by: Sherri | August 10, 2007 11:12 AM | Report abuse

I'm one of the protesters. I had nightmares about a man in a suit with a wrestling mask on, chasing me with a big pistol and popping shots off at me. Luckily I got away. Very traumatic though...I may need compensation.

Here is a good link to see exactly what traspired that day. Mothers, babies, and Senior citizens can be so frightening.

Congress needs to act desicively in September to end the war and occupation, otherwise Bush will be able to occupy Iraq until the election, running the clock out on countless more U.S. soldiers and Iraqi lives.

We are calling for a complete withdrawal of U.S. and British forces to be replaced with an international security force acceptable to the Iraqi People. Congress can begin this process in September...or not. Thanks for all the comments and please keep pressure on your Congressional Reps. to end this war.

Finger Lakes For Peace.

Posted by: SoBa | August 10, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Hurry, Meghan. Grab a seat. Your bosses nose is growing again!

Posted by: rabb046 | August 10, 2007 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't anyone here find it a bit unnerving that this is the same guy who has in the past pulled multiple shotguns on his wife during a dinner party? In jest or not, this man has a history of being loose with guns, which is highly irresponisible for anyone let alone a United States Congressman.

Posted by: Daedalus | August 10, 2007 3:40 PM | Report abuse

How many people do believe that USA would EVER withdraw troops from Iraq? If you do, then do not elect(or help to elect or allow to elect) those who were and, of course, are Bush supporters, like Hillary Clinton, Guiliani, McCain, Romney, and, probably, Biden and Dodd. The story with Gonsalez hearings and latest congress approval of federal eavesdropping is more than outrages.

Posted by: aepelbaum | August 10, 2007 6:04 PM | Report abuse

read the blogs at the original source and you'll see that Kuhl was talking about local protesters as well as the national security concerns.

Posted by: citizen | August 11, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: escvxbaado | September 5, 2007 3:38 AM | Report abuse

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