This morning, a lone gunman opened fire on Congressional Republicans at an Arlington, Virginia baseball field where they were practicing for an upcoming game. Five people were shot, including Rep. Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana), before police shot and apprehended the alleged shooter, James T. Hodgkinson.
Rep. Scalise was shot in the hip and will reportedly make a complete recovery. Hodgkinson, who reportedly opposed Donald Trump and volunteered for the Bernie Sanders campaign, was taken to a nearby hospital where he later died from his injuries.
The outpouring of support on social media quickly devolved into a shouting match about gun control and who was to blame for the attack. Far right-wingers blamed liberal rhetoric that they believe escalates passions and sows the seeds of chaos. Liberals blamed lax gun control laws, pointing out that those targeted, including Rep. Scalise, are well known for opposing gun control of any kind, which others were quick to liken to victim blaming.
Gun control supporters will be interested to learn that Rep. Scalise has introduced legislation that, had it passed, would have made it easier for people from out-of-state to purchase firearms. ABC News reports that Hodgkinson, who hailed from Bellevue, Illinois, spent the last two months in Alexandria, Virginia.
Rep. Scalise, whose website proudly totes his A+ rating from the National Rifle Association, introduced the Firearms Interstate Commerce Act four times, in 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015. The legislation did not pass.
And now, a sampling of Republican tweets about guns:
Sen. Rand Paul was among those on the field today when Hodgkinson allegedly opened fire. He was unharmed.