Rep. Jim Banks Targeted: Death Threats Spike in Political Chaos

Republican Rep. Jim Banks (IN) was the target of a disturbing threat this week. The perpetrator, Aaron L. Thompson, left multiple messages in which he wished death upon Banks and his family. Thompson, a 33-year-old Fort Wayne man, was arrested and charged with intimidation and harassment. He left 7 phone calls in a single day threatening Banks and his family, with one voicemail saying, “Here’s the choice: Your daughters grow up without their dad or you grow old without your daughters. How you like that? Let me know what your opinion is. I’ll make the decision. Love you f***ing f****t. Boom boom you pick which two daughters get shot.” This kind of behavior is absolutely abhorrent and completely unacceptable.

Banks has been working tirelessly for his constituents, which poses the question; why the threats? The suspect claimed to be drunk and politically motivated. It appears that in our politically charged environment, people are becoming more aggressive and increasingly willing to act on their hateful feelings. This rising unrest is concerning, especially for lawmakers and their families.

Several recent cases prove that threats to lawmakers and civilians alike are on the rise. Just last year, Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, was assaulted during a burglary at their San Francisco home. Political violence has also occurred outside the home, with Democratic Rep. Angie Craig (MN) being attacked in an elevator at her apartment in Washington, D.C. by a homeless man.

It is unacceptable that political disagreements lead to violence and threats. It is not democracy when citizens are afraid to exercise their freedom of speech or engage in the democratic process. Whether conservative or liberal, we must respect one another’s right to free speech and build a better future for all Americans without violence and threats.

Written by Staff Reports

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