Tampa Bay Times Editorial
June 14, 2017
The shooter who opened fire on a congressional baseball team practice committed an insane and despicable act. He is dead, but still living and breathing is a malignant political environment that has come to be regarded as normal, one in which James Hodgkinson came to the crazed conclusion that hunting down members of Congress was a legitimate political solution.
The violence in Alexandria, Va., wounded five and claimed yet another safe space in America — a neighborhood baseball field — where members of Congress, their staffs and their children were preyed upon at dawn even under the watch of armed guards. Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the House majority whip, was struck, along with four others. Hodgkinson, 66, who was killed in the firefight with Capitol Police, was revealed to be a disgruntled liberal activist. Minutes before the shooting, he apparently approached Florida Rep. Ron DeSantis and asked who was on the field — Democrats or Republicans.
Shocked? Consider: This is the same deeply partisan and flatly soulless atmosphere in which a comedian posted a photo of the president’s bloody, severed head as a joke, expecting laughs. In which rancorous, personal tweets fly with impunity across our screens, entirely normalized. It all needs to stop. Political differences have escalated to indecency — and now violence — which demands an immediate commitment to more civilized discourse. We are all Americans, first and foremost. [READ MORE]