Rep. G.K. Butterfield had once been proud to be in Congress. In fact, a few years ago he had even installed a message on his congressional license plate showcasing that he represented North Carolina 1.
However, recently the number of threats received by members of Congress has led to those days being long gone. In fact, the Capitol Police has been forced to open thousands of investigations. There have also been requests for extra funding for lawmakers’ security both while they are in Washington and when they are back home. All of this is as lawmakers are trying to ensure they won’t be the next victims of targeted political violence.
Butterfield, a veteran, has now taken steps to remain unidentifiable in public. This included removing the congressional license tags from his car. As Butterfield has mentioned, he made this decision after the Jan. 6 attack.
These concerns are felt by many in the government as over the past year the number of threats and investigations launched by the U.S. Capitol Police have increased. In 2017 the number of investigations was 3,939. In 2021 that number had increased by 150 percent, reaching 9,625.
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), a member of the select committee investigating the Jan 6. Capitol attack also noted the increase in the risk level. He also said that people nowadays seem to feel fewer inhibitions about “attacking public officials.”
President Biden also spoke up about the unprecedented levels of violence. He also criticized those who view violence as an acceptable political tool, and spoke about how they are a “threat to democracy”. In this key statement, he also spoke about former President Trump who has repeatedly failed to condemn violence.