Wednesday, June 14, 2017


Five people, including House majority whip Steve Scalise, were shot while holding a baseball practice this morning in Alexandria, Virginia. The shooter has been identified as James Hodgkinson, an Illinois home inspector with strong progressive leanings. (For a sense of his beliefs, take a look at his Facebook page, if it's still up by the time you read this, or read his letters to his local paper.)

This could have been much worse:
Michigan Rep. Mike Bishop tells WWJ Newsradio 950 he was attending the practice around 5:30 a.m., in Alexandria, when shots rang out. He said he and his colleagues were “sitting ducks.”

... “He had a rifle that was clearly meant for the job of taking people out, multiple casualties, and he had several rounds and magazines that he kept unloading and reloading.”

... “The only reason why any of us walked out of this thing, by the grace of God, one of the folks here (security detail traveling with Scalise) had a weapon to fire back and give us a moment to find cover. We were inside the backstop and if we didn’t have that cover by a brave person who stood up and took a shot themselves, we would not have gotten out of there and every one of us would have been hit — every single one of us,” said Bishop.
I don't care that these people were Republican politicians and staffers (and, according to The Washington Post, at least one lobbyist, who was among the injured). This was meant to be as horrifying as the Pulse shooting in Orlando or the Bataclan massacre. I don't care if I agreed with the shooter on most issues. This was an evil act. This was a terrorist act.

It should be noted that in a sane society, Hodgkinson wouldn't have been able to obtain a gun.

Hodgkinson has a varied arrest record in St. Clair County, for offenses such as failing to obtain electrical permits, damaging a motor vehicle, resisting a peace officer, eluding police, criminal damage to property, driving under the influence and assorted traffic offenses.
Domestic violence? Resisting a peace officer? Eluding police? And yet in Illinois his gun paperwork was in order:
It appears that James Hodgkinson was recently taking target practice with a rifle in the lightly populated neighborhood where he lived, in the unincorporated area outside of Belleville. Police encountered Hodgkinson on March 24, records from the St. Clair County Sheriff show. The sheriff received a phone call reporting about 50 shots “in the pine trees” at the end of the short street where Hodgkinson lived.

A deputy responded shortly after 3:05 p.m. and found that Hodgkinson “did have in his possession a valid Illinois FOID [firearms owner identification] card,” and that the deputy advised Hodgkinson “to not discharge his weapon in the area.”

Hodgkinson apparently complied and the deputy left without taking any further action.
Nothing to see here -- Hodgkinson was just another gun-toting American, until he snapped.

Now, there's no evidence that Hodgkinson was influenced by that Kathy Griffin photo, or that Shakespeare in the Park production -- a check of his Facebook page shows that he put up anti-Trump posts with great frequency, but there's nothing about Griffin or Shakespeare. This hasn't prevented the usual suspects from making the connection:

And here's a Townhall article your right-wing uncle will soon send you as an email forward:
The Shooting of Republicans: Was the Gunman Influenced by 'The Resistance'?

... If ... eye-witness accounts are accurate, then there is no question that this potential massacre was the worst act of political violence that we have witnessed in this country in a long time.

Neither is there any question that it is the culmination of a trend of leftist violence that, in a variety of ways and in a variety of contexts, the left has been visiting upon Donald Trump’s supporters and Republicans generally from at least the time that our President announced his plans to run for the office back in June of 2015.

There have been literally hundreds of documented attacks against those sporting pro-Trump paraphernalia and attending Trump’s rallies.

Leftist billionaires and millionaires have been busy financing mercenaries, paid leftist agitators, to crash Republican politicians’ “town hall” meetings, to “get in the faces” of Republicans, a course of action that Barack Obama once infamously urged his supporters to appropriate when dealing with their political opponents.

Shortly prior to the last presidential election, a GOP campaign office in North Carolina was firebombed.

Academics, like Cornel West, along with others of his ideological ilk, have created a “Resistance” movement against, not any particular policies of the President and his party, but the very election of Donald Trump.

... that leftists have mainstreamed hatred of their opponents and legitimized political violence can easily explain how Republicans became targeted for death while practicing for an annual Congressional baseball game.
The right already has a simple, meme-ified, widely shared opinion on Black Lives Matter: It's a terrorist group. Rush Limbaugh says this. So does Milwaukee County sheriff and possible Trump homeland security appointee David Clarke.

Well, that's what's coming for the Resistance. You'll hear it in the future: The Resistance is a terrorist group. The key piece of evidence will be today's shooting.

Thanks a lot, James. Thanks for nothing.


UPDATE: More on Hodgkinson's violent tendencies:
In 2006, he was arrested for domestic battery and discharge of a firearm after he stormed into a neighbor's home where his teenage foster daughter was visiting with a friend. In a skirmish, he punched his foster daughter's then 19-year-old friend Aimee Moreland “in the face with a closed fist,” according to a police report reviewed by The Daily Beast. When Moreland's boyfriend walked outside of the residence where Moreland and Hodgkinson's foster daughter were, he allegedly aimed a shotgun at the boyfriend and later fired one round.

"[Hodgkinson] fired a couple of warning shots and then hit my boyfriend with the butt of the gun," Moreland told The Daily Beast on Wednesday.

Hodgkinson was also “observed throwing” his daughter “around the bedroom,” the police report said. After the girl broke free, Hodgkinson followed and “started hitting her arms, pulling her hair, and started grabbing her off the bed.”

... At court, Hodgkinson was no less angry. Moreland said that at an initial court appearance, Hodgkinson had to be removed from the courtroom after a series of eruptions.

"Every time the judge would talk to me, he would have an outburst and start screaming," Moreland said.

The charges were dismissed, Moreland said, after she got her dates "mixed up" and failed to appear on time for a second court date.
Got a gun anyway. God bless America.

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