Thursday, June 15, 2017

An Attack On All of Us

James Hodgkinson, a home inspector from Belleville, Illinois, died at a hospital in Washington, D.C., following a shootout with Capitol Police at a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia. Hodgkinson opened fire on Republican lawmakers practicing for an upcoming baseball game. The shooter was a Bernie Sanders supporter and vehemently opposed to the Republican party, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.  Yes, one of those 3 things is not like the other two. Except to James Hodgkinson who once described Clinton as “a Republican in a Democrat’s pants suit”. 

Bernie Sanders quickly issued a statement condemning this man’s actions and the use of violence. 

The baseball game the Republicans were practicing for was a charity match up against Congressional Democrats, a rare show of bi-partisan cooperation. Ironic, maybe? 

As I write this on Wednesday afternoon, I’m predicting some variant of the following will occur. Someone on Fox News or Trump or a GOP mouth piece will note, “Oh, there was all this hand wringing on the liberal left about so-called ‘hateful, inflammatory rhetoric' on the right that could push people to violence. But look! It was a liberal who fired the first shots.”  

Let’s see what happens next.  

June 14, 2017, 2:38 PM 


And here we go.

After Shooting, Some in GOP Blame Incitement by Democrats

NBC News, JUN 14 2017, 7:31 PM ET

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich blamed a "pattern" of "increasing hostility on the left" in an appearance on Fox News, prompting the host to press him on whether it was appropriate to be making such charges at such a time.

Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway stoked the narrative on Twitter, as did Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, retweeting a tweet from a conservative commentator that connected the shooting to a controversial new production of William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar.” In the production, Caesar, who is assassinated on stage, is portrayed in a way meant to invoke Trump.

Others on the right linked the shooting to comedian Kathy Griffin, who was fired from CNN's New Year's Eve special for posing with a fake severed and bloody Trump head. She later apologized.

Former GOP Rep. Joe Walsh posted this on Twitter:  “Today's shooter was a hard core Lefty, a big Bernie fan. Too much hate on the left. Way too much. It's dangerous.”

Rep. Chris Collins, R-NY, the first congressman to endorse Trump during last year’s presidential primary, told local station WKBW that Democrats’ “outrageous” rhetoric can incite violence.

And get a load of this headline:  

Pastor Who Linked Obama To Antichrist Says Stop Demonizing Politicians

I guess its different when "your people" are getting shot at.

But these voices were outmatched by calls for support and unity in the aftermath of the shooting. 

Paul Ryan: ‘An Attack on One of Us is An Attack On All of Us’
NBC News, JUN 14 2017, 5:40 PM ET

Somber and shaken members of Congress put politics aside for at least a few hours as they walked through the halls of the United States Capitol Wednesday after a gunman went on a shooting rampage targeting Republican lawmakers at an early morning bipartisan baseball practice at a nearby Virginia field.

House Speaker Paul Ryan took to the floor to address the shooting. "We are all horrified by this dreadful attack on our friends and on our colleagues and those who serve and protect this capital. We are all praying for those who were attacked and for their families. And we are united. We are united in our shock, we are united in our anguish. An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.”
Yes, there was the partisan finger pointing I was expecting. There are those who will always find a way to live down below my lowest expectations. Maybe tomorrow, when the shock has warn off and talking points have been buffed and polished, there may well be more such rhetoric.  
But for most of the day, a lot of people presented the side of our better angels. In an age when so many take sides on every single little thing to invoke victimization or demonization, that restraint and decorum in the face of tragedy was remarkable.
Now if Congress could figure out how to keep doing that without getting shot at, there may be hope for us yet.
June 14, 2017, 9:15 PM 
This sadly was not the only shooting today. 
Huffington Post, 06/14/2017 12:39 pm ET
At least four people have died, including a gunman, following a shooting at a UPS facility in San Francisco’s Potrero Hill neighborhood on Wednesday morning, police confirmed.
The unidentified gunman shot a total of five people around 9 a.m. local time before turning turning what acting chief Toney Chaplin described as “an assault pistol” on himself when police entered the building.
Everyone, remember to be good to one another.  

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