Ron Barber Says Threat Won't Deter Him From Job; Arkansas Arizona Suspect Indicted

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Congressman Ron Barber
Arizona Congressman Ron Barber, shot twice during the 2011 Tucson massacre that wounded his former boss, Gabrielle Giffords, won't let a phoned-in threat bother him.

Details are still murky concerning last week's arrest of a man from Arkansas who phoned in a threat to the Democratic Congressman's Sierra Vista office.

In a statement released today, Barber makes it clear that he's not cowed:

See also:
- Michael Cummins Threatened Ron Barber With "Bashing" in Message From Arkansas, Feds Say


"The safety of the people I represent here in Southern Arizona and my staff is my top concern," Barber wrote to New Times. "I would like to thank the law enforcement personnel for the job they do protecting our communities. This incident will not deter me from doing my job and serving the people of Southern Arizona."

Michael Wayne Cummins, born in 1968, called Barber's office on August 20th, according to court documents.

After spelling his name for posterity's sake, he told a staff member, ""I am not interested in killing Ron, but I am interested in bashing his teeth in and seeing him rot in hell."

Cummins allegedly continued, " "I am just going to start killing people indiscriminately."

Cummins was arrested in Fort Smith, Arkansas on August 26th, shipped to a cell in Arizona, and subsequently indicted for making the threat. He's under a detention order and is scheduled for an arraignment on October 4th.

The FBI won't comment on the case. Neither will the Arizona U.S. Attorney's Office. Was this a case of nasty drunk-dialing, or a right-wing militia group trying to send a message to a high-profile, left-wing Congressman? We'll let you know when we learn more.

UPDATE September 24th -- It appears that Cummins isn't from Arkansas, but has lived in Sierra Vista for the last few years. Police in Fort Smith, Arkansas, told us today that records show Cummins has a driver's license out of Arizona. He also gave police a Bradford, Pennsylvania, address, upon his arrest. Wil Wiemer of Sierra Vista, Cummins' stepfather, says his stepson -- the son of his late wife -- is mentally ill and typically refuses to take his meds. Wiemer hasn't talked to him in years, but saw him in Sierra Vista two weeks ago, he says.


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5 comments
MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Guns aren't the problem.

The people diagnosed as mentally ill who refuse to take their meds and have access to guns are the problem.

mikegray10
mikegray10

Barber is no more "left-wing" than Jim Kolbe was. Barber votes with the Republicans, often as not, and always votes to support the military, since he has two bases in his district and he thinks he works for them. And he still foolishly believes that the border needs more protection.

66rock
66rock topcommenter

Interesting and anxious to find out which he is.  Either way, hopefully a mental exam will be in order.  We can no longer assume that someone, drunk or not, will not act on threat in future.

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