The gunman who opened fire on Congressman Steve Scalise and several others Wednesday morning at an Alexandria, Virginia baseball field was a left-wing Republican-hating loon inspired by “Democrat hate speech,” a leading national gun rights group has alleged.
The Second Amendment Foundation today said Democrat hate speech that has been “going on since Donald Trump was elected” last November has agitated the liberal voting base to such a degree that such an incident was bound to happen.
“When liberal leftists support the assassination of President Trump on stage what do you expect to happen,” SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb stated. “Hate speech and actions incite this kind of violence. It is time for Democrats like Reps. Maxine Waters and Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Chuck Schumer, Barrack Obama and Hillary Clinton and many of the talking heads at CNN and MSNBC to shut up.”
The gunman, identified as James Hodgkinson of Illinois, a volunteer for the 2016 presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders, was fatally wounded in an exchange of gunfire with local and Capitol police. He wounded Scalise, the House Majority Whip, along with a congressional aide, a lobbyist and a Capitol police officer, according to an updated report from the FBI. Prior to opening fire, he reportedly approached some people and asked whether Republicans or Democrats were on the baseball field at the time, practicing for the annual charity baseball game, which will be held Thursday evening.
Sanders confirmed that Hodgkinson was a campaign volunteer, but he denounced the shooting in a statement on the Senate floor. . According to The Week, Congressman Mark Walker, a North Carolina Republican, told NBC News that it appeared “the gunman was there to kill as many Republican members as possible.”
SAF is a non-profit organization that specializes in education and legal action in defense of the right to keep and bear arms. Gottlieb told Liberty Park Press that his remarks were appropriate because the political environment has been poisoned by the kind of rhetoric he has been hearing for the past several months. Rather than blame guns and the Second Amendment, he thinks it is time to put the blame where it really belongs.
The Washington Examiner is reporting that Congressman Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) said Congress should consider allowing members who are licensed to carry in their home states should be able to carry in Washington, D.C. There is legislation currently in Congress – but apparently gathering dust in committee – that would require states to recognize carry permits and licenses from all other states. It is called the National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act.
Gottlieb noted in his press statement that it was fortunate to have two Capitol police officers at the field, serving as his security due to his congressional rank.
“Congressman Scalise and others at the field this morning were lucky to have the protection of courageous Capitol police officers, the good guys with guns who took down a bad guy with a gun,” he continued. “But what if they hadn’t been present?”
Congressman Mike Bishop of Michigan, who was at the baseball field, told a reporter, “The only reason why any of us walked out of this thing, by the grace of God, one of the folks here had a weapon to fire back and give us a moment to find cover.”
“Maybe now the anti-gun rights Democrats will support everyone’s right to carry a firearm for self-defense,” Gottlieb said. “We are the first line of defense when it comes to personal protection from crazed individuals.”
Hodgkinson’s Facebook page, which clearly revealed his political leanings and his dislike for the president and Republicans, has been taken down. It was deluged with comments from people during the hours it remained active following the shooting.
Scalise, who was wounded in the hip, underwent surgery for his wound and is expected to fully recover. The wound was not life threatening.
Agents with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were reportedly rushing a trace on two guns recovered at the crime scene that the would-be killer was apparentlyn carrying. One was a rifle and the other a handgun.