Congressional Staffers Shaken But United by Arizona Shooting


"I don't think you'll see members all of a sudden clear their schedules of public events that bring them in contact with their constituents. I think people will be mindful of it in that they'll have heightened situational awareness at events that they do, but I don't think it'll stop them from scheduling that event and executing that event - that would be bad for Congress and bad for the country if that happened."

One former Hill staffer told ABC News that there have only been a handful of incidents in her career when she ever feared for her safety.

"There have certainly been individual instances where I've been nervous about my safety, but I've generally never felt any less safe at an event for my boss than I have on a plane or crossing the street," the staffer said.

"We sometimes get so lost in the work we're doing that we don't realize the potential consequences it may bring."

Once, the staffer said, her former boss was named in a trailer for a movie encouraging gang members to kill people viewed as threats, and her cell phone number was obtained by the movie's creator.

Tucson Shootings and Capitol Hill Staffers

"That was truly terrifying for me," the staffer said. "At the same time, though, I saw it as a message that we were making progress and doing something right, and it was more important than ever not to back down in fear."

"There are eye-opening experiences when you realize that the work you do for Congress may put you at risk, but aside from a few scattered and extreme cases, I've never been concerned about my safety," she said.

ABC News' John Parkinson contributed to this report.

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