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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Republicans rush to politicize shooting at congressional baseball practice



Police tape cordons off the scene of an early morning shooting in Alexandria, Virginia, June 14, 2017..Senior Republican Congressman Steve Scalise was among several victims shot and wounded at a baseball practice ahead of an annual game between lawmakers.Scalise was reportedly shot in the hip. Scalise is the majority whip who rallies Republican votes in the House of Representatives. / AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski        (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
One of the rituals in the immediate wake of a mass shooting in America is for people who support stronger gun laws to be told not to politicize it, a rule that in no way applies to the gun-loving crowd. And with four people wounded, including Rep. Steve Scalise, in a shooting at a Republican congressional baseball practice Wednesday morning, the push is on to politicize the event from the right. 

Donald Trump Jr. retweeted someone linking the shooting to the production of Julius Caesar featuring a Trump-like Caesar. (Still waiting on the retroactive outrage over an Obama-era production featuring an Obama-like Caesar.) 

Kellyanne Conway retweeted—with hashtag “this”—a quote from one of the Republicans in attendance at the practice saying someone he thought may have been the shooter had asked if it was Republicans or Democrats practicing. 

Rep. Chris Collins pointed a finger at Democrats, saying “The rhetoric has been outrageous, the finger-pointing, just the tone and the angst and the anger directed at Donald Trump” and that this can “fuel the fires.”

For the record, we still don’t know anything about the shooter, and whether it turns out to be politically motivated or not and whatever his politics, shooting people is a terrible thing. But whatever you do, don’t politicize it by pointing out that stronger gun laws might possibly have made it harder for the shooter to get a gun. Or to get a gun that could get off so many shots so quickly. Possibly! Sorry for getting all political on you, there—I realize that’s a right reserved for Donald Trump Jr.

And for the record:

Virginia:
No background checks
No licensing
No registration
No permit req’d for concealed carry of long guns
Open carry long guns & handguns

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