This is the new normal for members of Congress. One year after the horrific congressional baseball shooting that almost took the life of Rep. Steve Scalise and former Hill staffer Matt Mika, members are keenly aware that serving in public office has put a target on their backs.
“The true reality is if somebody wanted to do me harm, they could probably do that with relative ease and that is sad,” said Rep. Chuck Fleishmann (R-Tenn.), a New York City native.
The threats against them have skyrocketed.
In 2016, there were 902 threatening incidents and communications against members of Congress. By 2017, the reports had more than doubled to about 2,000, according to the House Sergeant at Arms office.
... Jefferson's comment in an 1825 letter to William Short: "Some are whigs, liberals, democrats, call them what you please. Others are tories, serviles, aristocrats, &c. The latter fear the people, and wish to transfer all power to the higher classes of society; the former consider the people as the safest depository of power in the last resort; they cherish them therefore, and wish to leave in them all the powers to the exercise of which they are competent."5 To date, however, the most likely source of this quotation appears to be a series of debates on socialism published in 1914, in which John Basil Barnhill said, "Where the people fear the government you have tyranny. Where the government fears the people you have liberty."
We shall see.