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Updated Jul 29, 2014 - 10:12 pm

Final Word: It may be legal to carry an AR-15, but it’s not a good idea

Have we lost all sense of what is “reasonable?”

By we, I mean, not all of us, but apparently SOME of us who think it’s OK to take a semi-automatic rifle into the airport.

In case you missed it, last Friday, a man was seen walking though Terminal 4 at Sky Harbor carrying an AR-15. He had it slung over his shoulder at the Starbucks which didn’t (oddly) raise concern, but after buying some coffee and heading for the waiting area, he took the gun off his shoulder. As he did so, the muzzle of the gun pointed at two women, a mother and a daughter.

They felt threatened. Can you blame them?

The man was booked into jail. He is being charged with two felony counts of disorderly conduct with a weapon.

Police admitted it’s not illegal to carry an AR-15 into the airport terminal, but they say they arrested the man for, “the way he was carrying it.”

Before you decide that’s overzealous on the part of law enforcement, consider this: The accused is Dr. Peter Steinmetz, a brain scientist at Barrow Neurological, one of the world’s foremost neurological hospitals. He is well-regarded in his profession and runs the Brain Modeling Laboratory at Barrow and has done so for six years.

This guy definitely should know better. Not convinced police acted appropriately? Steinmetz has done this before.

Back in November, Steinmetz ALSO carried an AR-15 into the terminal to pick up his wife at the airport. His son, who was with him, was also armed. No charges were filed then, even though you could understand if police were alarmed. It was two days after the fatal shooting at LAX.

Do you think the doctor doesn’t understand the gravity of his actions? Of course he does. He is likely one of the most scientifically intelligent men in town, yet he scores low in human behavior, compassion and common sense.

He is trying to prove a point, but he is doing it poorly. Yes, it’s legal to carry your AR-15. But no, it’s not a good idea.

Why don’t you just wear a shirt that says, “My other guns are AR-15s?” That way you don’t scare women and children. Or anyone, for that matter.

Carrying such a weapon in public when you don’t need it for protection simply contradicts every responsible gun owner’s legitimate reason for carrying a weapon.

I hope Phoenix police pursues these charges. The Founding Fathers would have thrown the book at Steinmetz too.

Take responsibility for your guns and your actions. Use your gun when you NEED to. Put it away when you don’t.

It’s called being reasonable.

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