After the gunman’s assault spooked legislators, they are taking angry comments that may be threats much more seriously.
It is not surprising that the violence directed against them spooked legislators. But it’s not surprising either that the media is trying to portray a problem that overwhelmingly tends to the Left as a problem that equally besets both sides. This is a continuation of the behavior we saw during the Trump campaign where Trump was attacked for attracting violence against his campaign rallies.
The Associated Press reports, “Increasing Threats Unnerve Lawmakers Rattled by Shooting.”
A voicemail message directed to Arizona Rep. Martha McSally last month warned “our sights are set on you, right between your … eyes.” Another voicemail said: “Yeah, Martha, your days are numbered and next time you show your face in Tucson it might be the last time.”
McSally, a Republican in her second term, forwarded the messages to U.S. Capitol police, resulting in federal charges against an Arizona man.
Democratic Rep. Al Green of Texas was threatened with lynching by callers infuriated with his effort to impeach President Donald Trump. One caller used a racial insult and said the seven-term African-American lawmaker would be “hanging from a tree” if he pursues impeachment.
Since the shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise at a Virginia baseball field Wednesday, members of Congress have spoken more freely about how threats of physical violence or death have increased in recent months, leaving lawmakers fearing for their safety as well as the safety of their families and staff.
“I’ve never been so shaken,” said Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D.
The Scalise shooting “hits so close to home,” Cramer said. “We’ve all been under this cloud for a while of aggressive social media and threat assessments and thinking about families and whatnot and just trying to determine … is it even worth it” to continue to serve in Congress.
Answering his own question, Cramer said “of course it is,” but said Scalise’s shooting and threats against fellow lawmakers “does cause contemplation at a level I haven’t had since I’ve taken this job.”
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