Wednesday, June 14, 2017


I turned on the news in the car this morning and heard about the shooting at a "Congressional baseball practice", in which some of the Republican caucus go play ball with each other.  A man with a rifle shot at them, hitting several.  It was only because Majority Whip Scalise has a security detail that there were Capitol Police there to respond.

What the hell.....

Initial descriptions suggest the shooter was a middle aged white man.

Our discourse has become so heated, so vile, that an over-wrought citizen take a too-easy to obtain weapon and fire a murderous volley at Congressional representatives.

There is nothing that justifies this.  Nothing.  No matter how angry the man was, nothing.

Was this someone on the left, angry at the Congress?  I hope not.  Violence is never an answer.  But what could have driven this?   Perhaps he was facing loss of his medical insurance, one of the 20million who will be a sacrificial victim at the tax-cut altar.  Perhaps he was helpless in the face of job losses and opioid addiction.  Perhaps he was simply insane.

But the aftermath will be the usual thing.  The voices on the extreme right  will rise in anger against the liberals.  The extreme left will use inflammatory language as well. The divide hardens, and we become further disunited.

But let us be clear:  violence is wrong, and violence against political figures is the antithesis of our democracy.  Throw the book at this guy.  We don't do this.

Update:  the shooter was killed.  He was a progressive, a Sanders supporter, with a history of anger-issues.  Cue the usual responses.


Brother David said...

As to why they were having baseball practice, they were getting ready to play the Democrats in a charity game this weekend. So a rightwing wacko could have easily sought out the Dems practicing somewhere. Do any of the Dems qualify for security details?

JCF said...

A 66 year-old white guy: smack dab in *Trump's* demographic!

I get the rage. I get the desire to confront (Yell something rude at play-baseball-while-healthcare-burns Scalise? You bet!)

But guns. Use explosives to penetrate another human being's body with pieces of metal. I will NEVER get that. And I never want to. [Nor knives---remembering the heroes of Portland.]

Prayers for Peace with Justice/Justice with Peace...

Kevin K said...

Well said. Have we reached the point where our political opponents are traitors and threats to our well being worthy only of death? Can't the center hold?

IT said...

This is an excellent article on the subject. It's time to stop inflaming the base--and to call them out on the flames.

"There's a lot of discussion about whether the political environment is getting scarier because of irresponsible rhetoric. But I think the issue is broader: We are in a dangerous time, both for the effectiveness of important social institutions and for the physical safety of lawmakers, because of a collapse in public trust in authority....I think the best way to turn down the temperature about Washington is for politicians to do their jobs well: Listen to your constituents. Say your opponents' ideas are exactly as bad as you think they are, but no worse. Pass laws that are popular."

Kevin K said...

Robert Heinlein had some short stories that argued Humans go through periodic bouts of lemming like madness.