Lawmakers face security concerns after AZ shooting

January 13, 2011 5:52:23 PM PST
A lone Livermore police officer stood watch at a ribbon cutting for a new bus service in the Tri-Valley area, an event attended by two cCongressmen and a number of local dignitaries.

"I noticed there was a police officer here as I walked in today," said Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Creek, said.

Garamendi said he was not overly concerned about security.

"I know that this particular valley is not one that is angry; they're concerned, but they're not angry," he said.

Garamendi and Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton both presided over the ribbon-cutting for the new Tri-Valley Rapid Bus Service before about 100 people. The event, held inside Livermore's Shrine Center, was invitation-only and not open to the general public. However, in light of the mass shooting last Saturday at a shopping center event held by Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, local organizers were not taking any chances. After discussions with local police, it was decided a single uniformed officer as added security was sufficient.

"Generally speaking, when there's an event like this, the local towns provide police just to make sure there's order," McNerney said.

Garamendi told ABC7 he experienced a potentially deadly situation first-hand 35 years ago, at a gathering of farmers in the Central Valley.

"Trouble is not new, not new to me anyway," Garamendi said. "My first experience with it was in 1975 in San Joaquin County. Following the Agricultural Labor Relations Act where I voted for it. The farmers were very mad. The farmers wanted me to come down and tell them why I voted for it. I did and about 15 feet away from me while I was on a podium, a farmer stood up, took out a .45 automatic and said 'I'm going to kill you, you SOB. You've ruined my farm.' Fortunately, his friends pulled him down."