Mili Note: Subheadline should read – “Repubs likely to go along since they’re also responsible for the USA PATRIOT Act, campaign finance reform, and the like anyway.”
Rep. Robert Brady (D-Pa.) reportedly plans to introduce legislation that would make it a federal crime to use language or symbols that could be perceived as threatening or inciting violence against a federal official or member of Congress.
Brady told CNN that he wants federal lawmakers and officials to have the same protections against threat currently provided to the president. His call comes one day after Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) was shot, along with 19 other people, at a public event in Tucson. A suspect is currently in custody.
“The president is a federal official,” Brady told CNN in a telephone interview. “You can’t do it to him; you should not be able to do it to a congressman, senator or federal judge.”
Among the six people killed was federal Judge John Roll.
While it is unknown at this time whether the shooting was politically motivated, that has not prevented a vigorous debate about whether heated political rhetoric seen during the healthcare reform debate and during the 2010 campaign is inciting violence.
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) has had to fend off a fresh round of criticism for a map posted on one of her websites targeting 20 congressional districts that voted for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in the 2008 presidential election but had Democratic members that voted in favor of healthcare reform.
Critics originally took Palin to task for the apparent use of the crosshairs of guns to identify the districts. The controversy re-ignited Saturday after the shooting, since Giffords’s district was included on the map.
Brady singled out the map as the type of rhetoric he opposed.