No special precautions, Tipton says
Newly minted congressman plans to do business as usual
U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., won’t change the way he deals with the public in the wake of the shooting of an Arizona representative on Saturday.
Tipton, who was sworn into office last week, said his thoughts were with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., who survived the shooting, her family and the other victims of the “horrific shooting in Tucson.”
Tipton and Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., said they’ll meet with constituents as they have, notifying local law enforcement when they are in town, but taking no other precautions.
U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., plans to conduct education-related meetings at schools across Colorado over the next two weeks.
Those meetings will be conducted the same way his previous stops have been, his office said, adding, “We continually review our security procedures and will do so in the future.”
Two other members of Congress, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and Rep. Heath Shuler, D-N.C., said they planned to carry firearms for protection.
The Capitol Police issued a statement to members of Congress and their staffs emphasizing “there is no threat to members or their staff as a result of (Saturday’s) shooting. This appears to be the inexplicable act of a lone gunman who is in custody.”
Lawmakers, however, need to exercise their judgments about local conditions, the Capitol Police said.
GJResult, a Grand Junction tea party-related organization now calling itself GJResult Tea Party, issued a statement of condolence for Gifford and the other victims, and noted that the alleged shooter was “a man who obviously needed mental help.”
The United States “must strive to reopen the mental- and physical-health centers that were closed in the last several years for budgetary reasons to secure help for those that need it,” Tim Fenwick, president of the organization, said in the statement. “We must attempt to educate our children to the importance of life.”
Fenwick also called for discussion to replace anger and said social “understandings must be repaired to teach personal responsibility.”