Thursday, October 8, 2009

Gun-totin' soccer mom

What can anyone possibly add to this?

Woman who carried gun to daughter's football match found shot and killed

A US woman who caused a stir last year by packing a pistol on her hip at her five-year-old daughter's football match was found shot to death in her home late yesterday with her husband. Police in Lebanon, Pennsylvania said they were not looking for a suspect in the killings.

Meleanie Hain, 31, and her husband Scott Hain, 33, had been having marital trouble lately, a neighbour told local news media. Neighbours reported hearing a boom and children screaming about 6pm; the couple's three children were home at the time but were unharmed.

Hain, a Lebanon, Pennsylvania gun enthusiast, last September wore a high-powered Glock pistol on her hip to a youth football match at a public park, alarming parents and children. After the game the opposing coach confronted Hain, who replied by giving him a pamphlet explaining her gun rights under the US constitution. Organisers of the football league told her to keep her gun away from future games and warned if she brought it again they would call police.

Meleanie Hain wears a loaded Glock 26 to her 5-year-old daughter's football match in Pennsylvania in September 2008. Photo: Jim Zengerle/AP

Parents complain to local authorities, and six days after the game Sheriff Michael DeLeo revoked Hain's license to carry a firearm. He cited a provision in Pennsylvania gun law forbidding individuals whose character and reputation portend a likelihood to threaten public safety from having a license.

Hain sued and a judge restored the license, though he questioned her judgement and asked her to keep the gun concealed if she brought it again to the football pitch.

Hain believed DeLeo violated her constitutional rights and targeted her unfairly. She said publicity surrounding the case had caused clients to pull their children from her baby sitting business, and said she had been ostracised by her neighbours. In November, she sued him, seeking $1m in damages.

The Brady Centre to Prevent Gun Violence, a national advocacy group, offered to defend DeLeo for free.

"It is a case that calls out for common sense," Brady Center attorney Daniel Vice said at the time. "It's ridiculous to bring a gun to a child's soccer game."
The case was delayed when an attorney was injured in an auto accident.

Hain became a heroine to gun rights advocates who favour loosening restrictions on carrying firearms, but her practice of carrying the gun when she went about town provoked a dim response from her neighbours.

"The way people look at me sometimes when I am out running errands, I feel as if I am wearing a scarlet letter, and really, it's a Glock 26," she told the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Patriot News last year.

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