Rep. Elijah Haahr on Tuesday chastised a St. Louis lawmaker for comments she made after reports that the wife of Missouri's future governor had been robbed at gunpoint.
Gov.-elect Eric Greitens' wife Sheena Greitens, an assistant professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia, is safe after a man came up to her car, displayed a firearm and took her cellphone and laptop while she sat in her vehicle Monday night.
Three male teenage suspects have been arrested in connection with this and other incidents including a stolen car and another stolen cellphone, St. Louis police said. The Greitenses held a press conference Tuesday morning near their home in the city's Central West End neighborhood and not far from the site of the armed robbery.
"As a husband, my first thought was for Sheena's safety. My second thought was for justice," Eric Greitens said. "I'm glad that the men and women of law enforcement found these young men before I did."
The incoming governor's voice shook as he thanked God and pledged to meet with the mothers and families of the accused. "Faith teaches us that we must forgive, and that's what Sheena and I plan to do."
Right before the press conference began, a Twitter spat broke out between Haahr, a Springfield Republican ready to ascend to the House's No. 2 leadership position, and Rep. Stacey Newman, a St. Louis County Democrat known for supporting stricter gun control measures such as punishing lax firearm storage.
"Is (Greitens) still in favor of more guns?" Newman tweeted.
Haahr seized on her message: "Politicizing a tragedy in less than 24 hours. This is why people hate politics."
"Stolen guns/robberies are everyday problems for city police. Which (hour) is it appropriate to do something?" Newman retorted.
"This is not about grandstanding for your political agenda," Haahr replied. "You should be rallying around Sheena Greitens."
Haahr continued: "The left doesn't see the injured. They see opportunity. They use victims for victory and tragedy for trolling. This is beyond the pale."
One Twitter user, however, asked Haahr whether his response to the February death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was much different. On the day of the conservative justice's death, Haahr cited a Supreme Court case that gun-rights activists claim as a victory.
"Justice Scalia wrote the majority decision in DC v Heller, the case affirming the 2nd amendment," Haahr wrote. "The decision was 5-4. Think about that. RIP"