As you no doubt already know, there were shootings today on both coasts. Out East, a crazy old man opened fire on the GOP’s baseball team, wounding at least five people. One of those was the Majority Whip of the House, Steve Scalise of Louisiana, who is reportedly in critical condition. We’re told the injured included two Capitol Policemen, a congressional aide and a lobbyist.
His weapon of choice was apparently a rifle. We don’t know what kind yet, but it has been described as “M4-like.”
Note – we’ve linked the 911 traffic below if you want to listen to it.
Out West, another person shot and killed three UPS drivers and injured several others at the UPS facility in Potrero Hills, in San Francisco. He then killed himself. His weapon of choice was apparently an assault pistol.
We’re not entirely sure what that an assault pistol is, but presumably possession of one in that city, and that state (which have some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country) is illegal. We’d like to know more. Was it an AR pistol? A semi-auto pistol? Was this description used intentionally — that sounds a little tinfoil-hat-ish, but seriously …WTF is an assault pistol, and why would they call it that?
Regardless, San Francisco being San Francisco (and California being California), the weapon was almost certainly illegal. Just like killing someone.
Speculation about what the national reaction will be politically is the topic of the day on social media. A few comments are worth noting.
One came from Ohio Representative Brad Wenstrup, a veteran combat surgeon who served in Iraq. Said Wenstrup,
“I felt like I was back in Iraq but without my weapons…If Scalise was not there, he’s the one with the security detail, we wouldn’t have had any protection, and God knows how bad that might have been.”
Nobody wants to be in a gunfight without a gun, that’s a fact…and even the best LEOs are limited by the laws of physics and averages when it comes to being in the right place at the right time to stop a murderer.
Representative Joe Barton (R-TX, and the team’s manager) said,
“…thank God he wasn’t a very good shot.”
Yep. Cannot argue with that.
Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) told an ABC affiliate in Buffalo, NY, that he’d be carrying a gun thenceforth.
“You look at the vulnerability. I can assure you, from this day forward, I have a carry permit, I will be carrying when I’m out and about…On a rare occasion I’d have my gun in the glove box or something, but it’s going to be in my pocket from this day forward.”
However it was Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama who gave probably the best answer we could possibly have heard, although few news outlets seem to be publicizing this part of his response.
“The Second Amendment right to bear arms is to ensure that we always have a republic. And as with any constitutional provisioning the Bill of Rights, there are adverse aspect to each of those rights that we enjoy as people. And what we just saw here is one of the bad side effects of someone not exercising those rights properly. But we’re not going to get rid of the First Amendment because some people say some really ugly things that hurt other people’s feelings. We’re not going to get rid of Fourth Amendment search and seizure rights because it allows some criminals to go free who should be behind bars. These rights are there to protect Americans, and while each of them as a negative aspect to them , they are fundamental to our being the greatest nation in world history….”
The calls from the left for stricter gun control were predictably quick to hit the airwaves and social media. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said it wasn’t time to talk gun control, but then said,
“I have long advocated — this is not what today is about — but there are too many guns on the streets,” he said to reporters. He added, “I have long talked about this — background checks and shutting down gun show loopholes. And that’s not for today’s discussion, but it’s not just about politicians. We worry about this every day for all of our citizens.”
Not that it should be the primary focus of discussion, but the shooter was an avowed and staunch Democrat, who confirmed the political affiliation of his victims before he started shooting.
Was his political affiliation the causative factor? Not directly. He had a past history of violence and was likely mentally ill…but let’s don’t completely lose sight of the irony here either.
Let’s also not lose sight of the many statements inferring the shooter in Alexandria “does not represent all Democrats.” Of course he doesn’t. Not any more than he represents all gun owners.
Other responses from the left contained remarkable vitriol, some implying (or outright saying), Scalise (who has an “A+ rating” from the NRA) got what he deserved. While despicable, such behavior is by no means solely a liberal activity. We’d like to see reasonable people on the left to call them on it, just as we’d want people on the right to police their own.
There are fuckwits on both sides of the aisle.
In any case, it will be interesting to see what develops in the coming days.
The gunfight lasted nearly six minutes, it sounds like.
Mad Duo, Breach-Bang& CLEAR!
Emergency: Activate firefly, deploy green (or brown) star cluster, get your wank sock out of your ruck and stand by ’til we come get you.