(DailyVantage.com) – One of the hazards of working in a political environment is that the policy positions taken by one side or the other will, more often than not, spark a visceral reaction from the other side. This reaction may just take the form of strong words posted on social media or written to a local or national newspaper, but every now and again the reaction may take the form of a physical threat, and on occasion there may be a more deadly threat to life and limb.
A legislative office building in Nashville, Tennessee, had to be shut down for most of the day earlier this month when mail room staff discovered a quantity of “white powder” in several letters addressed to Republican staff. This came only a few days after white powder was reported in letters addressed to the homes of lawmakers in Kansas, although it is not known whether the Tennessee and Kansas events are connected.
Teams of personnel specially trained in the handling of hazardous materials were drafted in to deal with what could have turned out to be a deadly neurological toxin, and while the hazmat teams were able to eventually determine that there was no immediate threat and no risk to public safety, laboratory tests have not yet been completed, and the exact details of what the white powder consisted of are not yet available.
Jennifer Easton, a House Republican Caucus spokesperson, said that the letters received in Tennessee contained existential threats that appear to have been made by one or more liberal activists specifically targeting Republicans. The motive behind the delivery of the letters has not been made public, but Republican lawmakers are preparing for a special session over the summer to discuss gun control in the wake of the Nashville school shooting that killed three adults and three children in March.
The shooter involved in that incident, Audrey Hale, a transgender former student of the Covenant School, was killed at the scene by police officers.
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