Arizona shooting: Seven times politics turned to threats or violence last year

Saturday's shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D) of Arizona wasn't the first time in recent memory that a member of Congress has been targeted for his or her views.

By , Staff writer

2. Sen. Patty Murray

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    Sen. Patty Murray (D) of Washington, (l.) accompanied by Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, announces her commitment to serve as the next chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee on Nov. 30.
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“I hope you realize there’s a target on your back now," a Washington man said in a message left on an answering machine in Sen. Patty Murray's Seattle office in March.

That man, Charles Alan Wilson of Selah, Wash., left at least 13 profanity laced messages targeting Senator Murray's support of the health-care reform bill, according to an FBI affidavit.

Mr. Wilson, when contacted by an undercover FBI agent, said that Murray and Sen. Maria Cantwell (D), also of Washington, “need to be strung up” and that he carries a handgun and would not blink if given the chance to shoot her. "It's not a threat, it's a guarantee," he said in one message.

Wilson, who was sentenced to a year in prison for his threats, added that he thought Murray would have a target on her back for life for her stance on the health-care bill.

“There are a lot more of us. There are a lot of crazy people out there, and your security may stay with you for a long time, but somebody will get through,” he said.

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