• 34°

By Karissa Minn
kminn@salisburypost.com
Even after a shooter killed six people and critically wounded a federal representative in Tucson, Ariz., legislators from North Carolina say they won’t be stepping up their own security.
U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was one of 14 people wounded during the Jan. 8 shooting, which took place while she was visiting constituents outside a supermarket. Police arrested Jared Loughner, 22, in connection with the attack.
During his 14 terms in office, U.S. Rep. Howard Coble said he has received anywhere from 25 to 40 death threats in his 14 terms in office.
“I don’t think we ever forward those threats to law enforcement, because I just conclude that this is some guy who’s angry and he’s blaming me for it, and I dismiss it,” Coble said Thursday. “I may be not be so casual in light of the Arizona tragedy, but I don’t plan to arm myself with a firearm.”
He said it’s important to him as an elected official to be accessible to the constituents, and he doesn’t want anyone to feel threatened.
U.S. Sen. Richard Burr released a statement expressing a similar opinion.
“Senator Burr’s main priority is to be accessible to his constituents, and he does not think it is necessary to drastically increase his security when traveling in North Carolina,” said David Ward, Burr’s communications director.
U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, who said in a statement she was “horrified to learn about the senseless tragedy,” noted that Giffords was visiting constituents outside a grocery store when she was shot.
“Since I was elected to the Senate, I have hosted many similar open events across North Carolina, and I will continue to do so because the people of North Carolina elected me to listen to their concerns,” Hagan said. “I believe access to public officials is inherent to our democracy.”
Hagan’s press officer, Jack Pfeiffer, said Hagan does not plan to carry a gun to public events and trusts local law enforcement to protect her and those who meet with her.
U.S. Rep. Mel Watt could not be reached for comment, but the Raleigh News and Observer reported Jan. 20 that he doesn’t plan on carrying a firearm either.
“I support the right to carry a gun legally, but I don’t have that experience,” Watt told the News and Observer. “I don’t want to accidentally shoot myself in the leg.”
Contact reporter Karissa Minn at 704-797-4222.

Comments

Comments closed.

Local

City officials differ on how, what information should be released regarding viral K-9 officer video

High School

High school basketball: Carson girls are 3A champions

Lifestyle

High school, college sweethearts marry nearly 50 years later

Local

With jury trials set to resume, impact of COVID-19 on process looms

Legion baseball

Book explores life of Pfeiffer baseball coach Joe Ferebee

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education to receive update on competency-based education

Business

Biz Roundup: Kannapolis expects to see economic, housing growth continue in 2021

Business

A fixture of downtown Salisbury’s shopping scene, Caniche celebrates 15th anniversary this month

Local

Slate of new officers during local GOP convention; Rev. Jenkins becomes new chair

Landis

Landis officials narrow search for new manager to five candidates; expect decision within a month

Lifestyle

Together at last: High school, college sweethearts marry nearly 50 years later

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools sorts out transportation logistics in preparation for full-time return to classes

High School

Photo gallery: Carson goes undefeated, wins 3A state championship

Nation/World

Europe staggers as infectious variants power virus surge

Nation/World

Biden, Democrats prevail as Senate OKs $1.9 trillion virus relief bill

Nation/World

Senate Democrats strike deal on jobless aid, move relief bill closer to approval

News

Duke Life Flight pilot may have shut down wrong engine in fatal crash

News

Two NC counties get to participate in satellite internet pilot for students

Local

PETA protesters gather in front of police department

Coronavirus

UPDATED: Eight new COVID-19 deaths, 203 positives reported in county this week

Crime

Sheriff’s office: Two charged after suitcase of marijuana found in Jeep

Crime

Thomasville officer hospitalized after chase that started in Rowan County

Local

Board of elections discusses upgrading voting machines, making precinct changes

News

Lawmakers finalize how state will spend COVID-19 funds