Tucson shooting raises concerns for local lawmakers

FRESNO, Calif.

Congressman Dennis Cardoza is moving his Stockton office into a more secure location after the tragedy in Tucson. One former congressman says unfortunately, in fulfilling your elected obligations- you are somewhat vulnerable.

"99.5 percent of the time members of congress don't have any protection."

After 16 years in congress, George Radanovich is cautious to jump to any conclusions about what security elected officials may need when they are back home, meeting with the people they serve.

Radanovich said, "When they start looking at remedies, that's what makes me worry because your whole job is to listen to your constituents and represent their views in Washington and I don't want to see any of that restricted and people have a right to talk to their elected official."

The shooting rampage has already prompted Congressman Dennis Cardoza of Merced to move out of his Stockton offices. He's looking for a government owned building that offers a higher level of security.

Despite the frightening attack, Congressman Jim Costa of Fresno says he is not changing the way he goes about living and working when he's back home in the central valley.

"I live in Fresno, I shop, I go around. I go to sporting events and other things like everybody else and I will continue to. I mean, if I can't have a normal life, we should not expect our local elected officials nor members on the state, or legislature or congress to be in a bubble."

Costa has served with Gabrielle Giffords on various committees and knows her well. He describes her as tenacious and well connected.

Radanovich says he applauds her for being accessible to constituents. Over the years there have been moments Radanovich has felt vulnerable, and those were the times he reached out for more security.

Radanovich said, "There were some town halls and things along the way where you might wonder but if there were charged, if they were emotional issues and charged issues quite often we would have local law enforcement there and available and I think that's a real good answer for something like this."

Threats to lawmakers are not uncommon. Cardoza has received several in the past. In his press release today, he said he is moving his office in part, so constituents also feel safe when visiting him.

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