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Jenkins, Manchin react to Alexandria shooting


The Register-Herald

BECKLEY, W.Va. – After a gunman opened fire Wednesday morning on a group of Republican lawmakers, Congressman Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va., said he believes the rhetoric, tenor and tone of the country must shift.

“We all need to take a deep breath, slow down and be conscious of what is being said and how it’s being said,” Jenkins said. “We can disagree, but we must understand that our tone and our passions can send a very serious and destructive message.”

Jenkins said he was not present at the ball field where the shooting took place. He learned about the incident as he was shaving just after 7 a.m.

He said he is thankful for the law enforcement officers and their actions during the incident, but he said the country must now focus on unity.

“What is happening in the political dialogue and discourse in this country is at a tenor that in many cases crosses the line and must be tempered. We can disagree in policy, but we also must understand we are all Americans. It is America first, and an attack on any one of us is an attack on all of us.”

He said elected officials play an important role in setting the tone for behavior.

While noting he is a “proud and staunch defender of the Second Amendment,” he said now is not the time to talk about gun control.

“It is just simply to me, in this moment of concern and grief and prayer and desire to set a tone of bipartisanship, that this is not the time to try to score political points by anyone… The time for discussion of policy is later.”

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., also issued a statement: “Gayle and I are sending our thoughts and prayers to Congressman Scalise, aides and Capitol Police officers who were injured today and their families. It’s unimaginable that someone would target my colleagues as they were practicing for a charitable baseball game that creates bipartisanship and camaraderie.”

He continued, “We must also never take our Capitol Police for granted. They put their lives on the line every day to protect us and we must always remember to thank them for their service and sacrifice in the line of duty. We wish everyone injured a speedy recovery.”

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