On Wednesday in Alexandria, VA, a suburb of Washington, D.C., 66 year-old James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois, walked onto a baseball field and opened fire. The men on the field were Republican congressmen and staffers.
Republican Majority whip, Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, was shot, as were at two GOP staffers and two Capitol Police officers. Hodgkinson died in the hospital after being shot by Capitol Police on the scene. While Scalise was reportedly in critical condition, he and the other victims are expected to recover.
We still do not know exactly why Hodgkinson did this. However, we do have a solid possibility: he may have done this because his intended victims were Republicans. Several pieces of evidence support this conclusion.
Just before the game, a man matching Hodgkinson’s description asked Rep. Ron DeSantis (R, FL-6), “Are those Republicans or Democrats out there practicing?”
Hodgkinson’s Facebook shows that he is an ardent anti-Trumper and a Bernie Sanders supporter. He is a member of groups like “Illinois Berners to Resist Trump” and “Terminate the Republican Party.” The latter Facebook page carries the caption “This Ain’t the Party of Lincoln Anymore.”
Hodgkinson brother, Michael Hodgkinson, has also said in an interview that, “I know he wasn’t happy with the way things were going, the election results and stuff.”
If–and I cannot stress this enough, if—this shooting was staged to kill Republican lawmakers, then we are seeing members of the Left go farther down the rabbit hole of political violence. Such a path is what we see in banana republics and African kleptocracies. In such nations, you simply kill your political opponents rather than allowing the political process to run.
Many Twitter accounts are blowing up with praise for the shooting. Some are tweeting that the GOP lawmakers deserved what they got. Other are using it as an excuse to slam Scalise as a shill for the gun industry. Yet others are attacking him over seeking health care reform.
However, to their credit, elected Democrats have largely come out against this shooting. According to TheBlaze, Democrat Rep. Reuben Kihuen (NV-4) tweeted a photo, showing the Democrat baseball team, bowing their heads in prayer for their congressional colleagues. In addition, after Democrats won Thursday’s charity baseball game, they gave their trophy to the Republican team to put in Rep. Scalise’s office.
Let’s hope that both parties continue to rise above politics and condemn such acts of violence.