DFW AIRPORT (CBSFW.COM) – Just in time for Father’s Day weekend, Republican Congressman Joe Barton of Ennis returned home with his two sons after they escaped the shooting at baseball practice unharmed.
“You feel blessed just to be here to have a press conference.”
The Congressman still becomes emotional two days after the gunman repeatedly fired shots at them and the other Republicans including Louisiana Congressman, Steve Scalise who remains critically injured. When Barton says he ran into one of the dugouts, he didn’t see his youngest son Jack right away.
“I said, ‘where’s Jack, where’s Jack’ and members already in the dugout had put him under the bench and had put their bodies to protect him.”
Barton’s oldest son Brad was also there and says he dropped to the ground wondering what to do next. “Do I lay flat, do I stand up to get shot? Do I run to Jack and my dad? I ultimately lay there ’til the police arrived.”
He says he called his wife, but had to leave a voicemail.
“She reported 36 shots in those two and a half minutes.”
After the shooting, Congressman Barton says he doesn’t want to have to hide behind swat team members just to attend a public event.
“Democracy won’t work if people like myself are not available to people in town halls, in civic functions, in political functions.”
He says members of Congress should tone down their political rhetoric.
“We need to emphasize the start of our title which is United States Representative and stop focusing on what’s after, which is R or D.”
Barton says compromise is not a dirty word. He is the captain of the Republican baseball team. While they lost Thursday night’s game to the Democrats, Barton says, “I think the American people won because we showed the Congress who represents the people will continue and not be intimidated.”