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Political Terrorism

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Call the Alexandria baseball shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise and others what it is.

U.S. News

By Peter Roff | Contributing Editor for Opinion

The relative peace and quiet of an Alexandria, Virginia ballfield on a steamy but otherwise unremarkable morning was shattered by gunfire Wednesday when an Illinois man allegedly opened fire on a group of Republican lawmakers practicing for an upcoming charity baseball game.

The shooter, now deceased, has been identified as 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson, a Bernie Sanders supporter from Belleville, Ill. His social media accounts reveal him as someone intensely political and alarmed at the conservative direction the country has taken since the last election.

If his motivation was political, if he was attempting to strike a blow for his cause by taking out as many Republican lawmakers at one time as possible, it would not be all that surprising. The self-described anti-Trump resistance has already stooped to violence before. Then it was largely attacks against property although a punch or two has been thrown. Hodgkinson appears to have kicked things up a notch.

It is remarkable therefore that those potentially most affected by this, including President Donald Trump, have been counseling reconciliation and unity. They have not, as Democrats and liberals routinely do after acts of violence that appear politically motivated, sought to blame and shame their opposite numbers for creating an environment in which such things are possible.

Read more: https://www.usnews.com/opinion/thomas-jefferson-street/articles/2017-06-14/the-baseball-shooting-of-republican-lawmakers-was-political-terrorism