The unimaginable happened Wednesday morning as most people were beginning their day, carrying out normal routines. In a ballpark in a residential area of Alexandria, Virginia, a deranged Democrat attempted a mass assassination of Republicans. During a practice game, with the annual Congressional charity baseball game scheduled for Thursday night, a man approached Congressmen leaving a bit early to avoid rush hour traffic congestion on their way to the Capitol to ask if the group were Democrats or Republicans. With their response as "Republicans", the man continued on. He opened fire on the Republicans.
Majority Whip Steve Scalise was at second base. He fell to the ground as he was shot, bleeding heavily. He remains in critical condition, with many surgeries ahead of him. A Tyson Foods lobbyist was watching the practice and was severely wounded. He remains in critical condition. Rep. Roger Williams from the Austin, Texas area, was injured but not shot in the scramble. An aide to Williams - a young man from Houston - was shot in the leg. Two of the three Capitol Police on Scalise's security detail were injured - one was shot, one described as injured during the attack. The shooter was shot by an injured Capitol Police special agent and later died at the hospital. Scalise was the only member of leadership with a security detail there. Had those special agents not been present, this terrorist attack would have been a massacre.
Guns saved everyone present but zealots are unwilling to recognize facts, even in terror attacks. Immediately the anti-gun lobby was fundraising off this attack. Former astronaut and husband of Rep. Gabby Giffords took another turn in the spotlight he pursues after every high profile shooting by giving an exclusive interview on ABC's Houston affiliate. He and Giffords run a PAC which targets incumbents who don't tow their line of gun control measures. ABC's Houston affiliate also aired bites with Rep. Sheila Jackson- Lee and Rep. Al Green during their lunch time newscast, giving time to their stories of being victims of threats. Both Democrats, this seemed wrong. With a majority of Republicans in elected office in D.C. from this area, why those two? Former House Majority Leader, Tom DeLay is from Sugarland and actually experienced an attack on his office on Capitol Hill where Capitol Police saved his staff. I tweeted about my opinion (shocker, I know!) and DeLay was interviewed briefly on the 10:00 P.M. newscast. Channel 13 favors Democrats and it's wrong, even if they are owned by Disney. Also, political reporter Miya Shea is married to Democrat State Rep. Gene Wu. The incestuous relationship of media and politicians is not good at the local level any more than it is at the national level.
Make no mistake, this was an act of political assassination. Evil lives among us and in today's overly heated and divided political world, this is the new level with which we find ourselves. Think I'm exaggerating? I wish that were true. I use a very basic method of checking the pulse of the general public - I shop at a grocery store. Normal enough of an activity, right? Yesterday I happened to have some shopping to do and headed out to a Kroger in my area. All was well until I began unloading my purchases onto the conveyor belt in the check-out. The cashier was chatting with another cashier (the store was in a bit of a lull in activity) and I overheard their conversation. My cashier said, "Well, it's to be expected. It's what everyone thinks about doing." I looked up at him, expressionless so as not to get his attention, and they continued on. His friend agreed with him and said, "They never tell us the whole story. They don't tell us the truth." Everyone thinks about doing that - to shoot up a field of people with whom you disagree politically? These were two young black men - I'd guess in their late twenties. In contrast, the youngish Hispanic man bringing in the shopping carts from the parking lot stopped and pleasantly conversed with me - how are you today? and the like.
For the record, there is a lot of blame to go around on both sides but blaming victims of acts of violence is wrong. The left was wrong in blaming conservatives for former Rep. Gabby Giffords' attack. The New York Times, for example, rushed out to bring up the long ago discredited blame game of Sarah Palin's map of targeted incumbents and Politico decided to run with the trope that Steve Scalise is a racist, so he deserved to be shot. Or something. The Scalise is a racist bit was also long ago discredited, but hey, there are political points for journalists to score, right? Speaking of political reporters who are truly hacktastic, the NYT's Jonathan Martin nefariously claims Republicans want looser gun laws.
Members of Congress went through the motions to call for unity and that lasted about 5 minutes. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi started to shed crocodile tears on the House floor as she spoke of Majority Whip Scalise but the botox wouldn't allow actual tears to flow. Then, a brief time later went back on the attack on Republicans. Fortunately, sales for the108th Annual Congressional Baseball Game that will be played is on track to shatter records in attendance and thus the amount of money contributed to the three charities that will reap the benefits of those willing to show the terrorist wrong. Another shooting terrorist's mother, though, was happily quoted by Pelosi, who blamed Fox News for her son's evilness. Wednesday's shooter had a record of violent behavior, yet Pelosi chose to quote another shooter's mother on the evils of watching Fox News.#Sad.
Just in case you are not convinced that the left hates Republicans and wishes for our demise, here are some hot takes from them after the shootings happened. It is stomach-turning stuff and along the lines of those cashiers in Kroger's comments I overheard. They wish death on those who have different political views.
I deliberately did not name the Arlington shooter in this piece. I will not be a part in humanizing him in any way.
Words matter. Actions matter even more.
**UPDATE** The shooter made a hit list of Republicans and this list was found by authorities. The political assassin listed, among others, the very congressman who answered his question in the parking lot that morning if those were Democrats or Republicans practicing on the field. Clearly, in his murderous rage, the man didn't even recognize those he specifically wanted to kill.