Lawmakers reassess security in wake of AZ shootings

January 9, 2011

By Odette Yousef

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 Many members of Congress are reassessing their security at public events after this weekend's shootings in Arizona. The violent incident killed six people, including a federal judge, and injured many more, including U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords.

The shooting happened while Giffords was meeting with constituents at a public event near a supermarket in Tucson. Illinois Representative Jan Schakowsky says she often holds events exactly like that. “Does it make you think twice? Because frankly, I don't think twice when I have an event,” said Schakowsky. “Yes, it does,” she continued. “But I am not considering at this time changing overall my behavior in terms of my accessibility to constituents.”
 
But Schakowsky says she will heed suggestions from the Sergeant at Arms, the House’s top law enforcement and security official. Security was part of a giant conference call discussion on Sunday for members of Congress and their spouses. On the call, Schakowsky says House members were told they'd get briefings this week on how to handle their security. 
 
Already, Schakowsky says she’s received a call from the chief of police in Evanston, where she lives, to offer protection at her public events.