Texas lawmakers address security concerns after Virginia shooting

The shooting at a congressional baseball practice raises concerns about the security of members of Congress and other public leaders.

The shooting at a congressional baseball practice raises concerns about the security of members of Congress and other public leaders.

Capitol police were at the baseball field because Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise is one of a handful of top lawmakers who receive police detail in Washington. But outside of the D.C. area, elected officials are not protected by police.

Congressman Lloyd Doggett, who represents Texas’s 35th district and Congressman Will Hurd, who represents the 23rd district, said that they have a heightened sense of awareness after the shooting, but that the attack will not deter them from their work.

"Violence has no place in our political dialogue. I think this person probably has serious mental health problems and a history of violence. We need to address those problems," Congressman Doggett said. "I think it's really important what speaker Ryan said today. I thought he made a very dignified statement: That an attack on one of us is an attack of all of us, that we do need to work together to deal with these issues."

Congressman Doggett was in San Antonio last weekend and said that he did not have security with him, nor does he plan on hiring security in the future.

"I'll be back again this coming weekend. I'll try to be mindful of where I am if there are any additional indications of danger,” he said. “I'll be in touch with SAPD, but we've got to move forward.”

Hurd echoed the same sentiment.

"It's shock, right? Anytime you deal with a situation like this, and this is your first time dealing with it, it is hard," Congressman Hurd said. "We can’t let this stop us from doing our jobs, but we’ve got to make sure that we’re protecting our staffers and ourselves as we go about doing our jobs."

Congressman Hurd added that he's known several colleagues who have faced threats. He said that staying safe is a responsibility on everyone.

"Al Green from Houston has gotten death threats recently. My friend, Martha McSally, the congresswoman from Arizona, was getting death threats, and they were so specific that somebody was arrested from that. And this is real," he said. "In this job, I continue to look over my shoulder as I did when I was in the CIA. I’ve tried to help imbibe that mentality in my staff as well."

© 2017 KENS-TV


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