January 4, 2013

The Post’s article about Dick Armey’s armed coup at FreedomWorks [“Big donor steps in as tea party reels,” front page, Dec. 26] provided a new angle on the term “office politics.”

After reading about how Armey walked into the group’s D.C. offices with “an aide holstering a handgun at his waist,” I expected to see a discussion of how this was (or was not) a criminal action. This expectation went unfulfilled.

The Armey coup certainly suggests the possibility of a direct violation of D.C. law, which prohibits the public carrying of weapons. Simply put, one can have a licensed weapon in the home but very few (such as police or the FBI) have the right to carry a weapon.

Beyond a firearms violation, what about assault? Here’s one common-law definition: “an intentional act by one person that creates an apprehension in another of an imminent harmful or offensive contact.” Illegally displaying a firearm while you force people out of their offices certainly would seem to fit the bill.

Less than two weeks after the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., the absence of discussion of the legal implications of carrying a weapon into the workplace is strikingly bizarre.

Adam Siegel, McLean