WASHINGTON- Following the shooting Wednesday at a Republican baseball practice in Alexandria, Va. that wounded five people, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) some members of Congress still do not believe extra security is warranted.
“This is a pretty safe occupation… we have good protection here. And when I go back home and I’m in any type of a setting I have state police and all the people back home have been very good at working with us,” said Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.)
Manchin previously served as governor of West Virginia and during his tenure in office received around-the-clock protection from a state police security detail. All 50 states provide similar protective measures to state governors as well as other key state officials.
Members of Congress are generally not entitled to a protective detail unless they are elected to a leadership position. However in some cases there has been a security detail for members who do not hold leadership positions, but it’s rare.
The Democrats who practice at Gallaudet University do not have a senior leadership member on their team, and they do not have a security detail assigned to their practice.
Scalise as the number three Republican in Congress had a security detail present at the time of the shooting. Two officers and two aides sustained injuries. The assailant was killed.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) also said the current security measures are sufficient.
“I’ll let the law enforcement people look at that. I don’t think we need to dramatically change our lives,” he said.
When asked if members of Congress should carry firearms Graham said: “If their state allows them and they want to they can.”
Graham brushed off an ensuing reporter’s suggestion that the Scalise shooting might reignite the national gun control debate by explaining that he owns an AR-15 and like most gun owners has responsibly exercised his Second Amendment rights.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) refused to speak with TMN when addressed in the hallway of the Dirksen Senate Office Building but a staff member provided a statement acknowledging that the senator had been informed that the alleged shooter had volunteered for Sanders’ 2016 Presidential Campaign.
He later spoke on the Senate floor, saying, “I am sickened by this despicable act. Let me be as clear as I can be: Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms.”
This article is republished with permission from Talk Media News
Bryan is an award-winning political journalist who has extensive experience covering Congress and Maryland state government.
His work includes coverage of the election of Donald Trump, the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and attorneys general William Barr and Jeff Sessions-as well as that of the Maryland General Assembly, Gov. Larry Hogan, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bryan has broken stories involving athletic and sexual assault scandals with the Baltimore Post-Examiner.
His original UMBC investigation gained international attention, was featured in People Magazine and he was interviewed by ABC’s “Good Morning America” and local radio stations. Bryan broke subsequent stories documenting UMBC’s omission of a sexual assault on their daily crime log and a federal investigation related to the university’s handling of an alleged sexual assault.