Originally Posted by Roger the Dodger
The point is, even if it is not staged but real, then why on earth did the attacker take so much time?
Its common sense, when you are going to commit something of this sort in a public place, you have to act fast. The clown aimed the gun as if only to draw everyone's attention, but nothing further. He might have got a clean shot even two steps further back without coming within the senator's arm range.
The gun didn't go off, you can hear a faint "click" on the video. He went close because it was a gas pistol which doesn't do any damage unless you press it into victims skin.