Without ever pulling a trigger, Nevada Assemblyman Steven Brooks hit a target dead-on—not his target, thank goodness; a philosophical one. National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre himself couldn’t have found a better poster child than Brooks for the urgent need to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill.
The assemblyman had threatened Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick, who had not named him chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. On January 19, according to statements by colleagues and family members, Brooks was in a fragile mental state, in possession of a gun and “looking to harm” Kirkpatrick.
So, Metro tracked Brooks down, searched his car and indeed found a loaded revolver and extra ammo. Brooks said the weapon was still there following a shooting event the NRA had thrown that day for Nevada lawmakers. It turned out to be a lie: Brooks had been invited to the event at Battlefield Vegas, but didn’t show up.
Still, for a minute there, the NRA, mental-health issues, gun violence, the Legislature—it all came together in the crosshairs. One suspects the NRA’s advice to Kirkpatrick would be simple: Get yourself a sidearm and come to our next shooting event.