Virginia shooting: Steve Scalise injury tests gun debate under Donald Trump presidency

Frederick Owens
June 17, 2017

In the aftermath of the an attempted mass assassination of GOP congressmen on a baseball field Wednesday morning in Virginia, Capitol Hill buzzed with calls for unity and bipartisan prayers for wounded Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise.

The congressional baseball game - a century-long tradition to benefit charity - and the team practices are sacred to many lawmakers who say it brings the two parties together like nothing else in Washington.

"The field was essentially a killing field", said Sen. So much of the gun violence in America is not only senseless, but preventable. A mass shooting, by this definition, requires four people other than the shooter to have been hit.

This is a striking departure from recent political history, when clashes over gun rights often fell along regional rather than partisan lines. And we'll never be safe if dangerous people can so easily get their hands on guns.

During a brief press conference, President Donald Trump announced the gunman had died of his wounds.

"The eight-year assault on your Second Amendment freedoms has come to a crashing end".

Member of Congress decided not to postpone the game between Democrats and Republicans, which raises money for several charities, including the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington.

U.S. Rep. Mike Bishop, a Republican from Rochester, may have fueled that delusion, however inadvertently, when he told a WWJ Newsradio 950 interviewer that the terrifying moments he and two of his MI colleagues spent in the gunman's line of fire had "changed everything as I know it forever". The conventional wisdom among liberals is that pro-gun lawmakers reject such preventive measures out of craven obedience to the NRA, whose self-interest in wider gun ownership is self-evident.

"They have an NRA rating they want to keep", he said. Other journalists immediately used the shooting to call for gun control.

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Political leaders on the Gulf Coast who favor expansion of gun rights and those who would like restrictions saw ways the shooting would have been impacted by different regulation.

Similarly to the debates that crop up following every highly publicized shooting in the United States, people waged passionate arguments both for having stricter gun control laws and for looser laws would have helped prevent the attack.

She said after the Newtown shootings, "Connecticut passed the second strongest gun laws in the nation, and these laws are already saving lives". Any new federal laws, she conceded, would take several more elections. She called the shooting "an injury in the family."House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., sounded a similar note: "We are all horrified by this awful attack on our friends and on our colleagues who serve and protect this country."An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us", Ryan said.Although politics appears to be implicated in the shooting, that's no reason for anyone - officials or citizens alike - to make it a political talking point".

Shooting up congressional representatives is awful.

Gross: We're always hopeful that Congress will get with the program, do right by the American people and pass reform that keeps guns out of risky hands; it's what keeps us coming back every day.

After an initial reaction - "Oh my god" - and a follow up post offering support to Scalise, the Capitol Police and "everyone who was on the scene", Murphy's feed switched its focus to the still-secret Senate Republican health care bill.

One way to interpret the white paper is as a message to the new administration from an agency that for many years has seen its authority restricted by NRA-backed Republican lawmakers.

"These rights are there to protect Americans", he said. "But if we didn't have return fire right there, he would have come up to each one of us and shot us point-blank".

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