GOP Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky recounted Sunday two violent events that interrupted his 2017, describing the shooting of GOP Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana and the assault he suffered shortly thereafter at the hands of a disgruntled neighbor.
Paul, who was hospitalized in early November after being assaulted by a neighbor, described that incident before delving into the experience of watching his colleague sustain a near fatal gun shot wound during a practice for the annual Congressional baseball game in June.
“You know my colleagues come up all the time, and they want to make sure there is some kind of deterrence because people don’t want to think that its open season on our elected officials,” Paul told John Dickerson on CBS “Face The Nation.”
“You know, I was also at the baseball field when we were shot at with semi-automatic fire and Steve Scalise was severely wounded, and I was ten feet from a young staffer who was shot in the leg. So, yeah, I’ve been involved in violent attacks twice in the last year,” he said.
Paul sustained six broken ribs and damage to his lung after his neighbor, retired physician Rene Boucher, tackled him from behind while he was doing yard work at his Kentucky home. Some neighbors have speculated that the altercation was the result of years of “quibbling” over yard waste,” and Boucher’s lawyer maintains it was “unequivocally not about politics.” Paul himself has not speculated as to the motive. Boucher pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault a few days after the incident.
Paul chastised the media for what he views as an overstated focus on the motive behind the shooting and the assault, arguing more attention should be paid to developing strategies to prevent future violence.
“People got obsessed, some in the media, about the motivations. But I think really we usually don’t ask if someone was raped or mugged why the person did it. We want punishment or deterrence,” he said.
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