The attack this on members of Congress left other lawmakers concerned about their safety, and the safety of their staff and loved ones.
After a shooter opened fire on during a Congressional baseball practice Wednesday, Illinois Republican Congressman, Mike Bost called home to let his family know he was ok. Bost was not at the field that morning.
He got a text from his adult daughter in response.
“She texted and said, ‘I love you, and you can come home now,’” the Congressman said Thursday. Bost represents the Illinois district where the alleged shooter, 66-year old James T. Hodgkinson, lived.
Members of Bost’s staff reviewed their records, and learned the shooter contacted his office ten times within the past year. Every contact, Bost said, was about legislative issues, and the contact was never threatening.
“We turned all that information over to capitol police. They are deep into an investigation, not only here [in D.C.] but also back in home district.”
The shooting left lawmakers stunned, and a little rattled when considering their safety.
“I had one colleague that was right there when it happened, a very good friend,” Bost said. “He told me, ‘Mike, I didn’t run for office to be dodging bullets.’”
Fellow Republican, Missouri Representative Ann Wagner, said she has also faced threats.
“We all are being vigilant in terms of our own safety and security, but I worry about the safety and security of my staff, of my neighbors, my parishioners,” she said Thursday.
“We’ve had multiple death threats and people showing up at my church and my home.”
After the shooting, Wagner and Bost joined many other lawmakers representing both parties, calling for unity and less rhetoric.
“You have your core principals, and you may disagree on some policies [and] issues,” Wagner said. “But there are so many things that we can work together on.”
“With this job, and so many things in life, conflict is inevitable. Combat is optional,” Bost said.
“We are going to have differences of opinion. That’s the way our forefathers set this up. The important thing is that we make sure that it doesn’t climb in intensity to a level that it affects people in this way.”