This April 15 photo of Gov. Rick Perry firing off a six-shooter in the middle of downtown Fort Worth instantly struck some people as fitting a certain image of the governor -- virile or half-cocked depending on your point of view.
Today's story from AP reporter Jim Vertuno of Perry killing a coyote while jogging apparently fits in with that image because the photo from Star-Telegram photographer Rodger Mallison has been paired with the story by news outlets around the country.
R.G. Ratcliffe notes in his blog for the Houston Chronicle that Perry may have violated both city of Austin ordinances and state law. It's illegal to discharge a firearm within city limits, with exceptions. "Perry's discharge also may have violated his concealed gun permit" under state law, Ratcliffe says.
In response, Perry spokesman Mark Miner cited a section of the Health and Safety Code that says a coyote that is about to attack a domestic animal may be killed by anyone witnessing the attack.
Colorado's WildEarth Guardians, a group that advocates for wild animals, got wind of the kill. "With all due respect to his manhood, 90-pound women in tennis shoes effectively scare 30-pound coyotes away with a sharp shout," said spokeswoman Wendy Keefover-Ring.
Meanwhile, Washington Post blogger David Weigel believes that the Perry/coyote episode is the kind of tale that will have "grassroots conservatives daydreaming about a Perry run for president in 2012, despite his many statements to the contrary."