“For those still wondering, he didn’t hate baseball or beautiful summer mornings in June…he hated Republicans.”
By Peter Hasson; Daily Caller:
James T. Hodgkinson, the shooter who opened fire on dozens of Republican congressmen and staffers at a baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, on Wednesday, had a list of Republican names in his pocket that was recovered by the FBI, The Daily Caller has learned.
The news that the shooter had a list of names suggests the shooting was not a random outburst, but instead appears to be a premeditated political assassination.
The list was written out on notepad paper and found in the shooter’s pocket, according to multiple sources with intimate knowledge of the situation, who spoke on condition of anonymity, citing the sensitivity of the investigation. The list of names included Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks, South Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan and Arizona Rep. Trent Franks, TheDC has confirmed. Fox News reported after this story that Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, Tennessee Rep. Scott DesJarlais and Virginia Rep. Morgan Griffith are also on the list. All six congressmen are members of the House Freedom Caucus, which contains the lower chamber’s most conservative members.
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Repeating Talking Points Represents a New, Sad Normal
By Morgan Deane; OpsLens:
Tragic news out of Washington that a gunmen opened fire on a Congressional charity baseball practice. At least five people are wounded including two capital police officers and Congressmen Steve Scalise.
The gunmen died from gunshot wounds sustained during the firefight with officers. Our thoughts and condolences go to all affected. Unfortunately, the conversation this event reignites will feature the same arguments—and represents a new normal.
Within the past month, there have been attacks in Manchester, London, Paris, and now in Washington. This week also witnessed the one year anniversary of the Orlando Pulse Night Club shooting.
The conversation concerning every terror incident is usually very similar. After the March London attack I discussed the rut in National Security conversation. One side worries that the event will be used by xenophobic racists to inspire backlash against immigrants and refugees, while the other side argues that their opposition is soft on defense and almost criminally negligent.
Additional mass shootings such as the Sandy Hook attack and today’s sad event provide a similarly repetitive narrative. Some blame the violence on the availability of guns, toxic masculinity and gun culture (even when the Orlando shooter shouted Muslim phrases), and others say that keeping law abiding citizens from owning guns is not the answer and instead advocate for better screening for the mentally ill and individuals with concealed and carry permits.
However, the argument needs a third side that recognizes the merits of the opposing two sides in order to result in productive dialogue and meaningful solutions.
The same endless arguments over gun control, extreme vetting, and the condolences offered on social media make the public feel better. Politicians can vent their rage, the public can change their Facebook profile picture, and everybody goes back to their daily lives believing that they did something to help. Celebrities might even throw in a charity concert where everybody joins hands and sings “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”
While expressing love is good and raising money to pay for the hospital bills of victims is even better, the best solution to these incidents is to create a society where events like these become less and less likely.
The solutions to these problems are often multifaceted and complicated, and regardless of the motivation behind Scalise’s shooter, western countries need stronger leaders and an engaged population that will do the hard work of moving beyond talking points and social media.
Until that happens, having the same argument over and over again suggests that an attack—followed by pointless debates and fluffy social media posts—reflects a new and tragic normal in western society.