UPDATE: President Trump says the shooter has died.
BREAKING: Trump says assailant in Scalise shooting has died, congressman in stable condition.
— The Associated Press (@AP) June 14, 2017
Original story below:
Early Wednesday morning Congressional Republicans were at a local D.C. softball field practicing for the upcoming annual bipartisan softball game. Apparently, the practice was the perfect opportunity for an angry (and probably crazy) leftist to attempt to hurt the GOP in any way he could.
The shooter has been identified as James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois. Hodgkinson is 66-years old and was a staunch supporter of Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, even going door-to-door for the socialist politician.
An acquaintance by the name of Charles Orear was shocked to learn what Hodgkinson had done.
Hodgkinson was a passionate progressive and showed no signs of violence or malice toward others.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Orear said when told by phone. “I met him on the Bernie trail in Iowa, worked with him in the Quad Cities area.”
Orear described Hodgkinson as a “quiet guy” who was “very mellow, very reserved” when they stayed overnight at a Sanders’s supporter home in Rock Island, Ill., after canvassing for the senator.
“He was this union tradesman, pretty stocky, and we stayed up talking politics,” he said. “He was more on the really progressive side of things.”
It seems that Hodgkinson was there to kill as many Republicans as he possibly could because prior to the shooting he was seen asking passers-by if it was Democrats or Republicans that had gathered for practice on the field below.
Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) recounted an “odd” encounter he had as he was leaving the field just minutes before the shooting: “There was a guy that walked up to us that was asking whether it was Republicans or Democrats out there, and it was just a little odd,” DeSantis told Fox News.
The Capitol Police saved many lives this morning from a shooter who had obviously planned to kill many Republican members. Shaken but OK…
— Rep. Mark Walker (@RepMarkWalker) June 14, 2017
Thankfully, Hodgkinson failed to kill anyone, but he did wound 5 people including House Majority Whip and GOP leader Steve Scalise (R-LA). Several officers and a congressional staffer were also wounded in the attack, but everyone appears to be on the road to recovery. Because Scalise is a Congressional leader the Capitol Hill police were in attendance providing protection, so when the shooting started they took over and were able to subdue the gunman, alive, within a few minutes. Even with police presence, Hodgkinson was able to get off about 50 rounds from his rifle, so one can only imagine the chaos that could have ensued had the police not been present.
Just a few hours after the attack Virginia’s liberal Governor Terry McAuliffe (D-VA) took to the media to argue that Virginia had to get more serious about their gun laws and gun control. Remember, the favorite Democrat principle of never letting a good crisis go to waste. It doesn’t matter to McAuliffe that D.C. has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, or that Hodgkinson is from Illinois which also has very strict gun laws. It doesn’t matter to McAuliffe that the attacker was a left-wing Democrat who was out to kill as many Republicans as he could and would likely have found another means of attack if he didn’t have a rifle. Instead of focusing on the underlying cause, namely Democrats overly aggressive and blatantly violent rhetoric these last few months… McAuliffe decided to hammer home gun control.
The reality is that if any of these Congressmen were allowed to carry firearms to defend themselves the situation would have likely been less dangerous. It was the guns of the Capitol police that stopped the shooter, not the gun laws of Washington, D.C.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who said he was at the baseball field when the shooting erupted Wednesday, praised the Capitol Police officers who exchanged gunfire with the attacker.
“Many people likely would have died this morning if not for the bravery of the Capitol Police,” Paul said in a statement released moments ago by his office. “My thanks to them are inadequate but heartfelt. They never hesitated to put their lives on the line to save everyone. Please pray for those who were injured.”
You’d think at this moment liberals would become more introspective and begin wondering if all of their violent rhetoric and their hateful words over the last few months might have caused this (or any of the violence against Trump supporters over the last year). But you’d be wrong for thinking that… instead, liberals took to Twitter to defend the gunman, mock the wounded, blame the victims, and cheer on violence against the GOP. You can read some of the vitriol here, and more of it here, but I won’t repost the disgusting liberal commentary.