PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – U.S. Congressman Chaka Fattah greeted students at the Mathematics, Civics and Sciences Charter School of Philadelphia Monday, sticking with his public appearance schedule. He says the attack on Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and people in the crowd at her public appearance Saturday would not change his routine.
“I’m arriving, I’m by myself and going about my business”, says Fattah. “We would do a disservice to her if would then use this as an excuse to step back from the public eye.”
At 11a.m Monday morning, when the nation paused for a moment of silence in memory of those killed or injured in Tuscon, Fattah and a group of seniors also bowed their heads.
Fattah says he knows and is praying for Gifford, so is Congressman Bob Brady who says he plans to introduce legislation to include members of Congress in the law that makes it a crime to put a symbol, like a target, on the President.
“I don’t think they should put a symbol on any members of Congress. No bull’s-eyes, no crosshairs, again, it triggers off some nut. I don’t know what’s in their mind, I don’t know what they’re thinking.” says Brady.
Brady says he is still making public appearances without protection, as usual. Freshman U. S. Congressman Pat Meehan says he will do the same.
“The vast majority of people would not consider something like this and as a result I do not intend to change in ay way my interaction with people out there,” says Meehan.
Pennsylvania United States Senator Bob Casey says he won’t change the way in which he crisscrosses the commonwealth to meet up with constituents, in light of the Arizona shooting rampage.
Senator Casey understands security inside the capitol, but when he’s in his district, he wants to meet and greet:
“I don’t think the way we interact outside of the capitol will change all that much, and it shouldn’t,” said Senator Casey.
But, he feels strongly that public officials or the politically active have an obligation to lower the heat when there are deep divisions on issues. Senator Casey went back and re-read portions of Abraham Lincoln’s inaugural addresses:
“Both of them, before the civil war and after the bloodshed had good warnings and admonitions for the country that time about malice toward none and charity toward all.”
Casey urges everyone to show respect for each other, and heed the words of Lincoln’s first inaugural, which concluded with the belief that all will again be touched ‘by the better angels of our nature.’
Reported by Steve Tawa, KYW Newsradio; Robin Rieger, CBS 3