Former U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello, D-Va., called the shootings in Arizona “an act of cowardice and an act of treason against the democratic process,” while also saying it would be wrong to do anything that prevents the public from directly interacting with elected officials.

“People obviously should be sensible about security, but we can't allow this incident to prevent the democratic process from moving forward,” he told the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Following the House of Representatives' vote on the federal health care overhaul last March, a gas line was found severed at the Charlottesville home of Perriello’s brother. Tea Party activists had posted the brother's address online, apparently mistaking the home for that of the former Congressman.

The activists had encouraged people to “drop by” and thank the then-Congressman for his vote on health care.