Illinois Rep. Rodney Davis, among the Republican congressmen who survived a sniper attack last week, said Sunday this was the “best Father’s Day” of his life and renewed a call for politicians to stop the political vitriol that appears to have inspired a wave of violence across the nation.
“It’s the best Father’s Day I’ve ever had, to come back and see the outpouring of love and support from the people who love and know me best, including my family,” Davis told “Fox News Sunday.”
Davis, who pulled out a piece of shrapnel he found is his equipment bag after the attack, was among 19 GOP senators and House members practicing Wednesday morning for a Democrats vs. Republicans charity baseball game.
Five people were shot in the attack, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., and the gunman, James Hodgkinson, who was killed by two U.S. Capitol Police officers on security detail at the practice field in northern Virginia.
Davis said security for members of Congress will have to become “more of a priority than we’ve had in the past.” But he stopped short of supporting calls for a change in gun laws that would allow a member of Congress to carry a gun.
“That’s a debate we continue to have,” said Davis, who called the shooter a “maniac.”
Davis returned to Capitol Hill after the attack and told reporters, while still in his practice uniform, “This political discourse that we’ve had has led to hate and it’s led to gunfire.”
On Sunday, he added: “I hope and pray that we can take this day and turn it into an opportunity to come together. Let’s stand up to this hate on both sides. Let’s stand up to the rhetoric that has led to this polarization, that has led to bullets being fired on a baseball field a few days ago.”