In a year that began with a deadly insurrection at the US Capitol, American lawmakers have seen a sharp rise in the number of threats against them, and fears are mounting that such a trend will continue, The Guardian said in a recent report.
After Republican congressman Paul Gosar shared an altered anime video that depicts him killing Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and attacking US President Joe Biden weeks ago, all but three Republican members voted against censuring him and stripping him of his committee assignments, the report said.
“The Gosar incident served as the latest data point in an alarming trend in American politics,” it said, noting that Republicans’ muted response to Gosar’s behaviour has intensified fears about the possibility of more political violence in the US in the months to come, Xinhua news agency reported.
That cycle is already playing out in the halls of Congress, it said, citing an earlier report this year by the US Capitol Police (USCP) which saw a 107 per cent increase in threats against members of Congress compared with 2020.
The USCP chief Tom Manger was quoted as saying that he “expects the total number of threats against members to surpass 9,000 this year,” compared with 3,939 such threats in 2017.
Some of those threats have been on vivid display lately, with 13 House Republicans who voted in support of the bipartisan infrastructure bill in early November receiving threatening messages, it noted.