GRAVES: In The Wake Of Steve Scalise’s Shooting, We’ve Got To Learn To Be Americans First

Editor’s Note: A message from Rep. Garret Graves (R-Louisiana) on the events of this morning, in which Rep. Steve Scalise was shot in a attempted political assassination

Most importantly, we are thankful that our fellow Louisianian, Steve Scalise, is going to recover and remain strong. We will continue to pray for him, his wife Jennifer and kids as he goes through the healing process.  We also pray for the staff and others wounded in today’s attack.

The heroic efforts of the Capitol Police protection detail cannot be overstated – their sacrificial patriotism prevented a massacre. These heroes  risked their lives to save many others. God Bless them, and we pray for their speedy recovery.

Today is sobering and frustrating. It is sobering because it reminds us how quickly these senseless attacks can destroy lives. These can be fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, friends and neighbors.  They are not nameless or faceless individuals.

The attack is frustrating because I expect that this will ultimately demonstrate that words and rhetoric have consequences. Over the last several months, verbal attacks, divisiveness, and polarization have reached inappropriate and unhealthy levels in our government. Many thoughtlessly lob verbal grenades without considering the consequences.

The 435 members of the House represent the great diversity of our amazing nation. We bring these broad perspectives and priorities of our districts together in the House to advance America.  It is our job to find common ground and to work together to actually solve problems. We can disagree and have different perspectives without being disagreeable.  Sadly, it seems, politics in many cases has devolved into a dehumanized ‎blood sport. Contributing to the problem, many in the media and bloggers have evolved from reporters to editorialists and provokers spreading misinformation and sensationalism. I apologize for any contribution I may have caused.

All of us should take a big step back‎ to remember and embrace that above the tags of left, right, liberal, conservative and every title in between – we are FIRST Americans. This bond we share is more important than the politics we don’t. We must work together, from the foundation of our shared love of our country, our heritage and our freedom, to constructively create the America our countrymen and women deserve. Binding up the wounds will take time, but we must start now.

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