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Congressional baseball practice shooting putting threats, security in spotlight

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Injured House Majority Whip Steve Scalise tweeted a Happy Father's Day message on Sunday.

He's in the hospital recovering after a gunman opened fire at a practice for the congressional baseball game in Alexandria, Virginia.

That shooting has some lawmakers pushing to have more security.

Rep. Will Hurd says personal security for every member of Congress might not be possible.

But he hopes the shooting will calm down both sides of the political divide.

“We have dozens of people that send letters, emails, posts of Facebook hundreds of times in the course of a year," said Hurd.

Hurd says receiving threats or general nastiness is nothing new.

Just three weeks ago, Hurd says capitol police warned him about an inmate being released from a Texas prison who had made general threats against members of Congress.

"All members across the state were notified," said Hurd.

Reporting threats to authorities is becoming more common.

"We've had to take stuff submit stuff to capitol police and San Antonio police more in the last couple months than we have in the last two and a half years combined," said Hurd.

What is shocking to Hurd is it's not directed to just one side of the aisle.

“The number of my colleagues on the democratic side of the aisle that have gotten this kind of stuff is quite high as well," said Hurd.

Two weeks ago, capitol police sent two officers to the Houston district of Al Green.

His office got threatening phone calls after Green called for President Donald Trump to be impeached.

After a gunman opened fire on a congressional baseball practice Wednesday morning in Virginia, some lawmakers are pushing for their own police protection.

"But I don't think it's realistic to expect taxpayers to pay for a security detail for 535 members of the house and senate,” said Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-35th District of Texas.

Hurd hopes last week's shooting in Virginia will bring back some civility to political discussions.

"If we change the way we think then we'll change our behavior and that's going to lead to different outcomes,” said Hurd.

Attacks on members of congress are rare.

The last one in 2011 when a gunman killed six people and wounded 13 others including Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords.

The last sitting member of Congress who was killed in the U.S. was Senator Robert F. Kennedy in 1968.


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