Political Violence and the Attack Against Pelosi
Photo by Gage Skidmore

Political Violence and the Attack Against Pelosi

This morning, an assailant broke into the San Francisco home of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s and viciously assaulted her husband, Paul Pelosi, with a hammer. Reports indicate the intruder had intended to harm Speaker Pelosi directly, telling officers that he was “waiting for Nancy.”

Fortunately, Mr. Pelosi is expected to recover, but the attack is sadly only the latest data point indicating that political violence, including violence towards public servants, is on the rise.

In 2011, Former Arizona Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was critically wounded in an attempted assassination attempt in her home district. On a June morning in 2017, a lone gunman opened fire at a Republican congressional baseball team practice, wounding six individuals, including House Republican Whip, Congressman Steve Scalise. And on January 6, 2021, armed rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol to disrupt the presidential election certification process, calling for then-Vice President Mike Pence to be hanged.

A poll published this summer found that one in five American adults believe political violence is justified under certain circumstances. Even more shockingly, the study found 7.1% of adults, or roughly 18 million Americans, would be willing to kill another person to advance a political goal.

It’s just one more reminder of why No Labels’ work to bring our divided country back together is so important.