A Republican state senator from Arkansas boasted on Twitter that he is prepared to shoot to kill if people do not approach him with proper amount of respect as he goes about his daily business.
According to the Arkansas Times blog, Sen. Jason Rapert was out at Lowe's hardware recently when constituent Lance White approached him to ask a question about public policy.
"Wow! I introduce my self kindly to my state legislator at Lowe's last night. I then ask him a complicated question regarding government/law, to which I legitimately wanted and answer," wrote White on Facebook Sunday morning.
"He then replies, "I don't answer questions to smarty pants like you." Then yelled at the Lowe's employee to hurry up and load his stuff as he jumped in his truck to avoid me," White continued. "Later I notice this post on his Twitter account. Didn't know asking government/law questions to a legislator qualified me for getting shot.
On Twitter, Rapert wrote, "Not smart to come up and harass somebody in a parking lot who's carrying a handgun. Better be glad you decided to walk away. #armed&ready"
"I asked Rapert later on Twitter if he meant to imply that harassment would be ground for shooting someone in a parking lot," said the Times' Max Brantley.
Rapert responded in a series of tweets that said, "No sir, wrong assumption on your part. Anyone crosses the line as a threat should expect to meet resistance in Arkansas."
He then said, "By the way, I never said that was me. However, I believe in self defense and urge all my friends to be prepared. #armed&ready" and "I prefer not to waste Sunday morning with your banter. I would like to focus on more peaceful matters. Go to Church Max."
Later, Rapert issued a denial that his earlier tweet had anything to do with White, but with some other person who approached him with a question in a parking lot.
"Apparently you confused yourself with an unrelated tweet," the Republican said to White. "You overestimate yourself. You weren't threatening - just rude."
"Do mere words cross the line into Rapert-will-blow-you-away territory?" asked Brantley. "Safest advice seems to be don't ask the senator questions on the Lowe's parking lot."