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NY official reportedly used gun sight as laser pointer

New York's Commissioner of Homeland Security Jerome Hauer ran into some trouble during a PowerPoint presentation after he forgot one cardinal rule of gun safety: never use your weapons as office supplies. Especially when foreign officials are visiting and your aim just isn't what it used to be.

The Times Union reports Hauer used the laser sights on his handgun as a laser pointer during an Oct. 24 presentation to three visiting Swedish crisis managers. State officials who witnessed the incident claim the visitors "were rattled when the gun's laser tracked across one of their heads before Hauer found the map of New York, at which he wanted to point."

Hauer's shaky aim is likely due to a stroke he suffered several years ago which has affected his mobility. But as Gawker quips, "Hey, the Second Amendment doesn't stop when your positive motor control is seriously degraded. ... Respect the right to keep and bear arms, and also to terrorize Swedes with the arms you bear."

Hauer is an expert in bioterrorism and public safety, with a long history in New York. He was chosen as New York's director of emergency management in 1996 and has helped the state through some tumultuous times, including 9/11. (Via New York State Senate)

But his practice of carrying a gun around with him at all times has gotten him in trouble with the Times Union before. In June, the paper questioned whether it was legal for Hauer to pack heat inside a state building.

When approached by a reporter about the incident, Hauer told the paper they had "bad sources," but refused to comment further. His spokesman did not confirm or deny the event.

Absent a direct denial from Hauer, the Times Union story is open season for the pundits. New York Magazine regretfully notes Hauer is "doing his best to maintain the stereotype of Americans as careless, gun-slinging yahoos."

And Esquire suggests a list of laser pointer alternatives for Hauer's next presentation: "A ruler, a yardstick, a backup laser pointer, his finger, nothing, one of those nods followed by an, 'Eh? That thing? See it? Eh?', a straw, a spatula, a cot, a dog, a small flamethrower, spit, a gentle kiss," — well, you get the idea.

But at least one blog sees some merit in Hauer's PowerPoint methods. The Truth About Guns commends Hauer for ​​finding "a new, sure-fire way to make ... sure no one in his audience nods off while he's droning on."

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