Violence Against Lawmakers Is Escalating and It Has To Stop

Violence Against Lawmakers Is Escalating and It Has To Stop

“I wouldn’t be surprised if a senator or House member were killed.”

That’s the stark warning from Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), who told The New York Timesthat the abusive phone calls and emails that lawmakers have long dealt with are “now translating into active threats of violence and real violence.” According to the Capitol Police, threats against lawmakers have nearly tripled over the last five years — and are up more than tenfold over the past decade.

A window was smashed at Collins’s Maine home. The identity of the perpetrator remains unknown.

A man armed with a semiautomatic handgun repeatedly stalked the home of Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA).

A man traveled across the country to stake out the district office of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).

Voicemail callers have threatened to “put a bullet” in Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and to kill Reps. Rodney Davis (R-IL), Eric Swalwell (D-CA), and Maxine Waters (D-CA).

These threats can turn to violence. In 2017, a man opened fireduring a practice session for the annual Congressional Baseball Game, injuring six people including Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA). This year, a man with a sharp object attacked Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) during a campaign event.

“We live in a polarized political age when rabid partisans don’t need provocation to resort to violence,” The Wall Street Journal editorializedMonday. In a social media post, former President Donald Trump recently said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell “has a DEATH WISH,” adding a racist attack against McConnell’s Asian-American wife.

While The Journal said “Trump’s apologists claim he merely meant Mr. McConnell has a political death wish…it’s all too easy to imagine some fanatic taking Mr. Trump seriously and literally, and attempting to kill Mr. McConnell. Many supporters took Mr. Trump’s rhetoric about former Vice President Mike Pence all too seriously on Jan. 6.”

These developments are just one more reason why No Labels work to bring people together and restore decency and civility to our politics are so essential.