Shooting-range fundraiser for Assemblyman Steve Katz way off target
Assemb. Steve Katz, a Republican seeking re-election in Westchester and Putnam counties, has been known as a straight shooter when dealing with issues affecting taxpayers. But one has to question his political aim when he has a fundraiser touting drinking and shooting -- notably with AK-47s.
Katz and his wife Nicole invited 2,200 people via Facebook to join him at the Paladin Center in Carmel Tuesday night where, for $200 or $250, guests could shoot AK-47s, rifles, M4s and an assortment of Glock handguns. For $500, guests could participate in live demonstrations of a virtual drug raid and terrorist response, and demonstrations of explosives.
When criticism surfaced this week, organizers and the facility owner said that it would all be simulated -- no actual shots would be fired. Yet, even one of Katz's headline guests, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre), bailed. You can't really blame him.
Inappropriate, unnecessary and creepy were how some political insiders -- including Republicans -- characterized the event. Insensitive and in poor taste also come to mind. Especially after the mass movie-theater shootings in Aurora, Colo.
Katz faces a challenger in the Republican primary and, if he wins, a Democrat in November in a newly drawn district that includes parts of Somers and Yorktown in Westchester County and Carmel, Patterson, Putnam Valley and Southeast in Putnam County.
Sure, a conversation about guns is in order in this country, but a political fundraiser of this kind isn’t the place -- besides, from the looks of the invitation, a mere conversation wasn’t on the schedule.
Katz misses his mark with this one.