Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), the third ranking member of House Republican leadership as the majority whip, was shot in the hip on Wednesday morning at baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia. A congressional staffer and members of the congressional police force were also shot in the incident.
The gunman was killed by the Capitol Police security team. According to his Facebook page, the shooter belonged to a number of anti-Republican groups, including one called “Terminate the Republican Party.”
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) credited Capitol Police officers on the scene for preventing the shooting at a Congressional baseball practice with preventing more violence. Paul said, “I can tell you, that I think with absolute certainty, nobody would have survived without the Capitol Hill Police. They saved everybody’s life. Incredibly brave and deserve everyone’s praise, because, with this guy, who knows what his — how heavily armed he was, but nobody else had a weapon. So, he was just killing everyone — he would have. … They deserve our gratitude for saving — it would have been a massacre without them.”
According to confused early reports, the shooter used a semi-automatic rifle of unknown type, to fire as many as 50 rounds. These incidents are normally followed by calls from the Democratic leadership to ban rifles. Since the shooter was a Democrat supporter harming Republicans, the politics may play out a bit differently. Let us hope that the Republican Majority celebrates the “Good Guys” with guns who ended the threat from this disturbed man, fueled by violent rhetoric and hate speech without the familiar calls to disarm lawful citizens.