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Members of Congress talk security, unity following Alexandra shooting

By in Press Enterprise on June 14, 2017

By Jeff Horseman, Martin Wisckol

Members of Southern California’s congressional delegation called for unity and described threats against themselves and their staffs following today’s shooting in Alexandria, Va., that wounded five, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., during a practice for the GOP baseball team.

Authorities said the gunman, 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson III of Illinois, died during a gun battle with police officers, two of whom were wounded. According to published reports, Hodgkinson volunteered for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign and had a Facebook page with hostile posts against President Donald Trump.

Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La.

Members of Congress received a briefing after the shooting, which took place the day before a charity baseball game between Republican and Democratic congressmen.

Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, expressed optimism that the shooting might provide a turning point away from the bitter partisanship in Congress, noting the displays of open-heartedness following the briefing.

“Everybody was talking to each other, touching each other,” he said. “People are coming together in a way they haven’t for a while. There’s a chance this could take us to a more positive place. We’re in a process of dehumanizing each other and it’s got to stop.

“There’s no doubt we’ve become angry partisans. There’s no listening going on. Members of Congress acknowledge that it’s gone too far and we have to calm down.”

Other members of Congress discussed threats to themselves and their staff and families at the briefing, said Rep. Norma Torres, D-Pomona.

“We don’t talk to each other enough about what we’re going through,” she said. “I thought I was the only one getting these types of threats.”

Rep. Norma Torres, D-Pomona.Rep. Norma Torres, D-Pomona.

Torres said she’s gotten more threats as a congresswoman than she did in her previous elected offices, which include being mayor of Pomona and serving in the Assembly and […]    

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