Arkansas Senator Jason Rapert Denies Threatening To Shoot Constituents Who Ask Questions In Public

Arkansas Senator Jason Rapert says that anyone who thought he was threatening to shoot constituents who approach him in public was mistaken. Though he did run off a local man asking a question, and has not denied snapping at the man, Rapert maintains that his tweet, in which he suggests a person who approached him in a parking lot should be thankful he walked away, was completely unrelated.

According to the Arkansas Times, a man named Lance White says he approached Senator Rapert in a Lowe’s parking lot, attempted to ask a question, and Rapert responded by calling him a smarty-pants and refusing to answer.

Later, White says he spotted Rapert’s tweet, and recognized it as a thinly veiled threat.

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

— Sen. Jason Rapert (@jasonrapert) September 6, 2015

Rapert engaged in a lengthy argument following his initial tweet, in which he claims the tweet was misunderstood, and that he would only defend himself against violence, not voters with questions.
Who would Senator Jason Rapert shoot?

He specifically responded to a tweet from Lance White, who told the senator he knew the Lowe’s employee who had helped Rapert load his purchases, and that the employee was a witness to the actual events. Rapert assured the voter that he was tweeting about a completely unrelated parking lot incident, that presumably happened within a brief window of time from the interaction with White.

In a series of tweets that followed, Senator Rapert hinted that perhaps the person with a gun he’d mentioned wasn’t himself at all, revealed what topic a voter could ask about that would make him so upset, and insisted it was ridiculous for the man who had spoken to him in the parking lot to think a tweet about someone bothering someone in a parking lot might be about him.

Did Senator Rapert just reveal that “tak[ing] up for the gay marriage crowd” is the way for a constituent to get himself labeled a smarty-pants not worth answering — if not actually threatened?

Aside from tweeting vehement denials that the tweet was a threat or related to Lance White, Senator Jason Rapert also shared screenshots apparently mined from White’s social media pages, hinting that White’s support of marriage equality somehow discredited the complainant.

[Images via: Senator Jason Rapert Twitter]