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Monday, Aug. 29, 2016

Story of politician and gun is troubling

Tuesday, May 6, 2003

"When elected officials resort to gun violence to settle disputes, it says much about society. "

We're all innocent until proven guilty. But some within our society should and do have a somewhat higher threshold especially if they hold a public position. That's what makes the weekend arrest of freshman state legislator Rodney Hubbard all the more disturbing.

Hubbard has been charged with suspicion of first-degree assault, armed criminal action and third-degree assault following a weekend shooting incident. Hubbard claims his innocence but police have recovered shell casings from the location where the shots were fired and are continuing their investigation.

According to police, Hubbard and a neighbor in the public housing complex where they both live, got into an argument. The cause of the argument is irrelevant since both participants tell a different story. What is known is that Hubbard apparently pulled a pistol from his waistband and fired a half-dozen shots at the neighbor as he fled in his car. The victim said Hubbard had been involved in a fistfight earlier in the day with the man's relative and that is what prompted the confrontation. Hubbard counters that his long-standing fight against drugs somehow contributed to the confrontation.

Hubbard claims that his political office is designed to fight crime, drugs and racial profiling. But if the police report is true, Hubbard did little to advance any of his three goals. We'll reserve final judgment until the investigation is completed but at this point, Hubbard appears in some very hot water.

When elected officials resort to gun violence to settle disputes, it says much about society. It makes you wonder just what kind of representation the people of Missouri's 58th district truly want.

Maybe Rodney Hubbard is completely innocent and the victim in this case concocted a story to harm the legislator's reputation. But if police determine that the shooting story is accurate, Hubbard should leave the statehouse immediately and help restore some much-needed improvement to the reputation of that distinguished body.

Elected politicians carrying guns and using them is a sign of some very troubled time. Let's hope the story is untrue. But in the early stages, it sounds all too familiar.

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