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Posted at 9:36 PM ET, 01/ 9/2011

Giffords shooting prompts calls for more security

By Ed O'Keefe

In the wake of the shooting that critically wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and killed one of her aides, a federal judge and four others, U.S. Capitol Police spent the weekend fielding calls from lawmakers with concerns over potential threats and questions about what more should be done to protect staffers and family members at home.

The law enforcement agency is chiefly responsible for protecting members of Congress on Capitol Hill and across the country. The force of about 1,800 officers guards Capitol Hill entrances, parking lots and park grounds, as well as the 535 lawmakers.

Members of the congressional leadership - the Speaker of the House, and the House and Senate majority and minority leaders and whips - are assigned at least one plain-clothed Capitol Police officer at all times. Otherwise, officers are assigned as needed to lawmakers facing legitimate threats, such as Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), who received letters tainted with anthrax in 2001.

Now some legislators are wondering whether more should be done.

Continue reading this story >>>

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 9, 2011; 9:36 PM ET
Categories:  Congress, From The Pages of The Post, Workplace Issues  
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Next: How often are government officials threatened?

Comments

Preaching violence on one side and adding security measures on the other part. American logics?

Posted by: rolandberger | January 10, 2011 7:48 AM | Report abuse

We will,of course hire another thousand or
so guards, a total waste of time and money.
I recall as a U. S Attorney working in a
federal court house with four free flowing
entrances. Now, the same building is twice
the size and has fifteen or twenty posted
guards with one entrance with various
metal detectors and electronic surveillance
cameras, etc. in place. By locking ourselves
in we protect no one in reality and we are
losing the battle for control of our
country and individual destiny. And to
the rousing chorus from the left I say
be quiet about assessing blame until the
shooter is totally vetted. I suspect, in
truth, he is one of you rather than a
Tea Party member.

Posted by: john1890 | January 10, 2011 10:37 AM | Report abuse

What good is a security ring in a violent and politically-explosively-charged atmosphere? Congress and the FCC calmly point to "Freedom of Speech" as protection for media radicalism. You can say "anything" you wish, is their rebuttal to charges of that commentators could be fanning the violent lobe of some disturbed person's brain. What about suggesting to millions that if ballots don't work, use bullets? And, what about sniper scope cross hairs pasted on Congressional opponent's districts? The Fox clan will claim Liberals are trying to shut them down. Besides, if all - or, mostly all - of their insidious comments are followed by an apology - be thankful for free speech. Swaggering around town hall meetings with pistols and automatic weapons, is another freedom that surfaced two years ago. After this weekend, Congress has suddenly decided that perhaps
their own freedom of speech hangs in a delicate balance. Now it's a security guard and later,perhaps a flack jacket. Then we should ask: Whatever happened to that freedom that some wildly wave, and, others dare not?

Posted by: Incoming1 | January 10, 2011 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Once in a generation a congressman is injured.

This violent atmosphere must be changed, think of the carnage that awaits 2050.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | January 10, 2011 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Violence and threats to government officials by their own people is nothing more than a sign that people eventually end up getting out of control at at government officials who are out of control, and the caring and genuine concern of the FEW government officials does not at all excuse or FIX the twisted minds of those government officials who are NOT genuinely caring. This is one tinderbox I do NOT want to be around to see ignite!

Posted by: Elasfar | January 10, 2011 9:06 PM | Report abuse

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