Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) of Georgia argued that it is shootings like the one that took place at a Republican baseball practice, not their fear of angry constituents over losing their healthcare that is stopping Republican members of Congress from doing town halls.
Loudermilk told The Washington Post, “We’re not any more special than anybody else, but we are targets. This is exactly why there is a lot of fear of even doing town halls at this point. Some of the things this guy is posting on Facebook — we get the same things, and even worse.”
One can already see the scenario unfolding. Senate Republicans pass a deeply unpopular secret health care bill in the dead of night before leaving for the Fourth of July recess. After they return to their states and districts, Republican Senators and Representatives announce that they no longer feel safe after the baseball practice shooting, and will no longer be doing town halls.
Security for members of Congress at town halls should have been more of a concern for Republicans after then Rep. Gabby Giffords was shot meeting with constituents. The baseball practice shooting was a horrible act that has no connection to town halls. Any effort to use the shooting as an excuse to avoid explaining unpopular votes and policies to constituents is a cowardly act that will demonstrate an unfitness for office.
Every job has risks, and if a member of Congress isn’t willing to take the risk to meet with their constituents, they shouldn’t take the salary that is being paid to them by the taxpayers.