Local politicans talk safety following Virginia shooting

Coffman says he'll work with local law enforcement officials to make sure there's coverage during events in the future, like his town hall scheduled for August.

KUSA - A violent incident during baseball practice in Virginia is raising questions about politicians' safety.

Republican Congressman Steve Scalise brought his own security detail to baseball practice Wednesday, which is protocol for someone in his position. The Louisiana representative also serves as House Majority Whip.

Capitol police officers confronted the suspect and eventually shot him. Had they not, the shooting could have been far worse, officials said.

Many politicians go to events without an added layer of security. While it may present a risk, there simply aren't enough resources to make sure every politician is guarded.

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Representative Mike Coffman is concerned about the potential for violence. He's working closely with law enforcement officials in Colorado to make sure his events are safe for everybody, he said.

"I'm doing an 'in-person' town hall in August," Rep. Coffman said. "This is very new to us, we're not used to having security when we go off Capitol Hill."

In fact, Scalise was the only Republican with a security detail during practice for the Congressional Baseball Game.

"Had Steve Scalise missed practice today, there would have been no security detail there," Rep. Coffman said. "There's no question the carnage would have been enormous."

Experts say it's up to individual politicians to determine whether their events need security.

The shooting speaks to a bigger concern among Americans, political analyst Floyd Ciruli says.

"I think there's a general feeling right now that we have so raised the rhetoric that it may be triggering some things that wouldn't happen ordinarily," he said. 

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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