Allegations That One Louisiana Lawmaker Threatened Another With a Gun
There is no doubt that some exchanges on the floor of both the Louisiana House and Senate have been tense at times over the years. Wednesday, allegations arose that State House member Melinda White threatened to get a gun while in a debate over the wording of proposed legislation with House member Alan Seabaugh according to a report by WAFB.
According to the news station, the two legislators were discussing the wording of a domestic violence bill when White is alleged to have said either "let me get my gun and finish this or I'm going to get my gun and we can finish this.
The two were supposed to meet with Louisiana House speaker Clay Schexnayder about the incident Wednesday. So far, there have been no reports on whether or not that meeting took place, and if it did, what the result of that meeting was.
White told reporters later in the day Wednesday she did become upset during her discussion with Seabaugh because she has experienced domestic violence. She said to reporters,
I lived it, that triggered me. Because he said I didn't know a damn thing about it, and I've suffered it.
According to KTAL/KMSS, the bill dealt with the definition of domestic violence. White says that Seabaugh contended she didn't understand her own bill that she authored. She is quoted as saying, "A man telling me I don't know about domestic abuse and violence when I lived it. Nobody comes and tells a woman that, or a man for that matter, and that's what he did."
The language in question had to do with two phrases, "household members" versus "family members". Seabaugh wanted the legislation to use the term "family members" explaining to White that the wording she wanted to use would be what he calls a "radical departure" from current law. As an attorney, he says he was trying to explain to her what the difference would be, and she became belligerent. He contends she yelled at him, grabbed him and then threatened him.
Seabaugh says he took her threat seriously because White frequently made it clear that she had a gun in her car, and sometimes her purse, for protection. Seabaugh says that Crowley Representative John Stefanski intervened to "pull White off of him".
White was temporarily removed from the House chamber.
As far as the bill is concerned, it would make it easier for victims to get protective orders against someone abusing them, and it stop abusers from being able to have guns. The legislation is HB 159. White said her wording would close what she calls "the federal loophole" that would allow someone not in the household to still possess a firearm even after allegations of violence against the victim.