This morning, a shooter, a white man, took shots at members of Congress and their staffs who were practicing on a softball field in Suburban Washington, D.C. (Virginia actually), and 51-year-old Congressman Steve Scalise (R-LA) and five staffers were wounded. The shooter was subsequently shot and killed by police.
Our political world has gotten to be quite heated and there are people who, unfortunately, are apparently unable to control their tempers. I presume this is the situation that occurred this morning. A man, who reportedly asked if those were Republicans practicing softball, then opened fire and finally was shot and killed by officers. We have already learned that he was a worker for Sen. Bernie Sanders (D) so that provides a glimpse into his political belief system.
Some will be quick to try to lay this at the feet of President Trump, but I submit there is more than enough blame to be shared by all the politicians no matter their party. Our government is seen by some as somewhat malfunctioning (actually it is functioning as designed but that is often deemed a malfunction by us folks in fly-over country) at this time, and there is no way of knowing what the driving motive was for this man who is now dead.
There have frankly been times when I have been angry at one or more of our country’s politicians. I have the luxury of writing about my beliefs and have no need nor any desire to harm one of those politicians with whom I might be politically-crossways at the moment. I am aware, though, that we have some people in this country who are apparently unable to separate their anger from their actions. More will undoubtedly be learned about the shooter and we’ll hear, watch and read about this for many days to come.
There will be renewed calls for a physical ban on the ownership of all firearms. That is simply a reality for today. BUT, there must be simultaneous reminders about the Constitutional and legal rights of Americans which, in my world, small ‘t’ trump the outcry against our freedom to own firearms. There are, and unfortunately will likely always be, people who simply are not in possession of all 52 cards in their deck, who are capable of this kind of shooting. I presume this man was angered by something that had been done or left undone by D.C.-based politicians, and this is how he chose to demonstrate that he was upset.
If there had to be a death, I am of the mind that the shooter was the appropriate person to lose his life. I know that every effort will be made to determine what he was angry about and why he resorted to this “solution”, as he saw that, in his twisted mind. I am very happy that law enforcement officers were available and took the appropriate action quickly.
Guns exist. Good people and not-so-good people exist. People of sound mind exist as well as those who might be troubled for one or another reason. Guns in the wrong hands can lead to things like this. Open carry of handguns is legal in Virginia; concealed carry of any firearm is illegal in Virginia. A person openly carrying a long gun in a populated area of Virginia, essentially next door to the District of Columbia would evoke instant fear even though that technically would not violate Virginia law as I understand that law.
This brings us full circle to the current political climate in our country. President Donald Trump was elected by a majority of the voters who cast their ballots. Some are angry and some are disappointed by that vote. Those who are angry are making their feelings known regularly but this seems to be the first time that has ended in violence. This is not President Trump’s fault. This is not the fault of any of us who voted for Mr. Trump.
This man had some sort of problem. Ideally, we’ll likely learn more about his physical and mental state as the investigation goes forward. There will likely be some resolution to why this occurred before the investigating has been finished. There will also likely be renewed shouting from those who oppose any kind of legalized carry.
For all, though, might we give a bit of thought to what could’ve been the case had someone with a firearm concealed legally and carrying at the time of this tragedy been able to bring the shooter down by inflicting injury BEFORE the shooter did his killing? This is not just the stuff of Western movies or comics.
Our world has changed and not always for the better.