Legislation Proposed To Protect Lawmakers From Threats

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If the President gets protection against threats on his life, the same should go for elected officials and government appointees.

From CNN:

Washington (CNN) – Rep. Robert Brady, D-Pennsylvania, said he will introduce legislation making it a federal crime for a person to use language or symbols that could be perceived as threatening or inciting violence against a Member of Congress or federal official.

Brady’s decision to offer the legislation comes less than 24 hours after a gunman attempted to assassinate Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Arizona, in a shooting that claimed the lives of a federal judge, and a nine year-old girl, among others.

“The president is a federal official,” Brady said in a telephone interview with CNN. “You can’t do it to him; you should not be able to do it to a congressman, senator or federal judge.

Honestly, I’m surprised that this doesn’t already exist. And it’s truly unfortunate that a tragedy like this had to bring it about.

Let’s just hope it’s bipartisan when the vote comes up.

  • William Teach

    Yeah, well, that might not work out so well for those of us on either side of the political aisle. Elected officials are not necessarily the most honest folks, and could use the law to shut to political speech that is simply critical. We’ll have to see what the language of the bill says, but, restricting language is a slippery slope, my friend, and, really, there are already laws against using threatening language to start with, they just cover all citizens.


  • http://stubbornfacts.us Simon

    This weekend has already shown why such a law would be untenable. What does it mean to “use language or symbols that could be perceived as threatening or inciting violence against a Member of Congress or federal official”? To judge by the left’s behavior over the weekend, such a law could lead to an indictment of Palin during a liberal administration. This proposal is nothing more than a ploy to manufacture faux outrage when the Supreme Court strikes it down—the evil cousin of Mark Levin’s cynical “demon pass” lawsuit.

  • Agnostick

    Simon’s going over the edge, as usual. Good to know that there’s a site jester here at the Donk…

    While I agree that such a law probably wouldn’t survive a Constitutional test in the courts… it’s equally laughable for Simple Simon to suggest a “Palin indictment.” Simon can only wish that she would get that kind of attention, I suppose.

    I can’t predict the future, but I think there’s a chance that this weekend was Sarah’s Swan Song. Her reality show is off the air, she has no gainful employment… and I can’t help but wonder how many speaking engagements and invitations will be coming her way in the next few weeks and months. True, she’s not responsible for the Giffords shooting–but she’s demonstrated a streak of recklessness that any decent liability attorney would’ve advised against.

    “Would you like a baked potato or fries with your mooseburger?”


  • kranky kritter

    Making actual threats or actually inciting people to violence is already a crime.

    I really don’t know what “symbols or language that could be perceived as threatening” is supposed to mean. It sounds way, way, way too broad to me. I don’t like it.

    This proposed law sounds to me like a neighborhood group wanting to put a chain link fence around a pond after a kid drowns. Giffords and the other folks who got attacked in Arizona were not attacked because of a lack of legislation.

    And I don’t really support establishing 435 secret service details because of one kook, either.

  • http://stubbornfacts.us Simon

    Agnostick, the proposed law felonizes “us[ing] language or symbols that could be perceived as … inciting violence against a Member of Congress or federal official.” This weekend, the left has accused Palin of using rhetorical images—both verbal and visual—that incited the attack on Rep. Giffords. (Doug Mataconis rounds up some of it here, and Kos’ instant “Mission Accomplished, Sarah” tweet is iconic.) No, you’re right, if there was a law criminalizing what they’re accusing her of doing, they certainly wouldn’t
    be pushing for her indictment. Not that bunch. I’m making a leap too far. Oh… Wait…

  • Tillyosu

    Does anybody seriously think a law like this would have actually prevented this attack? There’s no evidence as yet that Loughner made any threats against Giffords, so how would this legislation have helped?

  • Tully

    Does anybody seriously think a law like this would have actually prevented this attack?

    Only morons. Ironically, during the reading of the Constitution on the House floor it was Gabby Giffords who read the First Amendment.

  • Mike A.

    knee jerk reaction to a tragedy.

  • Buwahaha

    Justin, hope you don’t cry too loudly when bloggers’ speech is curtailed, contained, and controlled. Funny how we always want to shut “the other side” up.

    I think Hall’s approach to free speech is better.