Steve Scalise Nelson LewisThe weather is getting nicer, and now that the summer is in full swing, it’s time to get down and enjoy a baseball game.  Of course, now that means you run the risk of getting shot at, which is what happened to House Majority Whip Steve Scalise along with four other people yesterday morning when a gunman opened fire during a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia.  He was wounded in the hip by a shot and moved to MedStar Washington Hospital Center in DC, where he’s since been reported in stable condition.  Two of the people wounded, however, are in critical condition.  

The shooter has been identified as James T. Hodgkinson, a 66 year-old from Belleville, Illinois.  Hodgkinson arrived at the ballfield and asked people if the congressmen practicing were Republicans or Democrats.  He then opened fire and started shooting at the players, and was described by one of the players, Michigan Republican Representative Mike Bishop, as “hunting”.  Rand Paul was there as well, and described the baseball diamond as a “killing field”.  Desperate calls for help rang out, and within minutes Capitol Police and local officers arrived.  They subdued Hodgkinson, who has since been reported as dead.  

Since one of the first things Hodgkinson asked when he arrived at the baseball diamond was whether or not the lawmakers were Republican or Democrat, and that he proceeded to open fire once he heard that they were Republicans, chances are that this was politically charged.  Of course, he died before we could find out his motives, but the pieces are certainly there.  Hodgkinson’s Facebook page was riddled with more pro-Bernie Sanders posts than a first-semester college freshman who just finished reading Marx for class.  Even his LinkedIn page had a profile picture with Bernie’s famous mad scientist hair and glasses with the words “The Dawn of a New Democracy”.  Call me old-fashioned, but LinkedIn is typically not the place to get political (unless you’re talking office politics).  Hodgkinson was also fervently anti-Trump; he onced signed an online petition calling for him to be impeached, and was a member of several anti-Republican Facebook groups.  

Hodgkinson I find it unusual that a liberally-charged political shooting was able to be carried out because of the gun laws that liberals themselves want to tighten.  Bernie, however, is known to be a bit lighter on gun control than some of his liberal peers (at least relatively speaking), since he’s a hunting enthusiast.  However, Bernie did speak out against the action, calling it “unacceptable”.

As a teenager, I remember the feelings of shock that came after the Columbine shootings.  Ever since, shootings have become more and more common, from the Virginia Tech shooting, to Sandy Hook, and countless others since.  It’s awful to see that in the current world we live in, these are becoming more and more common.