On Wednesday, James T. Hodginkson walked onto the field where members of Congress were practicing for a bipartisan baseball game and opened fire. He wounded two Republican members of Congress, a lobbyist, a congressional staffer and two police officers.
This comes in an atmosphere of increasing political discord. There have been riots on campuses over the results of the previous election as well as other matters, comedian Kathy Griffin posed with what appeared to be the decapitated head of the president, and a recent play staged the assassination of an actor that resembled the president. In addition, a bomb was planted at the Republican headquarters in North Carolina during the last election.
These incidents have led to a toxic political atmosphere that has many Americans concerned about the future of our country. It is very refreshing that the politicians in Washington have taken the time to show a spirit of unity in the face of this tragedy.
A Show of Support
The Democrats, along with their Republican counterparts, were quick to condemn the shooter that carried out this attack. Bernie Sanders was particularly appalled as this attack came from one of his supporters.
He renounced violence, stating “I am sickened by this despicable act. Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society, and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms. Real change can only come about through nonviolent action, and anything else runs against our most deeply held American values.”
His sentiments were echoed by Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who called the shooting “despicable and cowardly.” She also noted that, “On days like today there are no Democrats or Republicans, only Americans.”
Despite being a vocal opponent of President Trump, she showed her support for him by offering prayers of protection for him and his family in the wake of this tragedy.
Gabby Giffords, a former Democratic Representative from Arizona, also condemned the attack and showed support for the victims. “My heart is with my former colleagues, their families & staff, and the US Capitol Police- public servants and heroes today and every day,” she tweeted.
The general reaction to the attack was a general show of support by Democrats towards their Republican colleagues and a reminder that we share a common, American heritage. The baseball game, a bipartisan event done for charity, is scheduled to go on