This morning a man with a rifle opened fire on several members of Congress as they practiced for an upcoming charity baseball game intended to raise money for local boys and girls clubs throughout the nation.
After overcoming my initial shock and sadness of the incident, I began to ponder who might be behind it. I felt convinced that it was not an act of international terrorism from the likes of ISIS or Al Qaeda. I knew it had to be a domestic act, but by who? I had many theories on who might be behind this event of extremism, but first, like many others, I am guilty of some knee jerk reacting, where I drew some conclusions that turned out to be inaccurate.
In the earliest reports it was revealed that shooter was a white male and that he had been subdued, and that he was in custody. To me, that sounded as if he had been wrestled to the ground and arrested without further incident, and was escorted in the back of a police cruiser to jail where he would be interrogated. A feeling of anger began to boil up in me. My first thoughts were; “Another white man shoots people and is arrested without incident. If he had been a man of color he would be shot dead immediately. Maybe they didn’t ‘Fear for their lives?'”.
I am one of those people who has a real problem with hypocrisy and the so called white privilege. I believe our only chance of ever achieving a peaceful society is if all people are regarded with respect and to stop dividing ourselves by trivial things; such as skin color or religious beliefs. When there has been so many incidents of unarmed black men being gunned down for not “following commands”, I became more than a little teed off at the perception that a white man shot members of Congress and two capitol police agents, and was taken alive.
However, my initial reaction appears to be out of line, as President Trump announced that the shooter had died of wounds sustained from the return fire by the capitol agents in charge of protecting the higher ranking members of the Senate. Even though this account of the events has not been confirmed by the police at the time of writing and Trump likely announced it prematurely, it appears to be true.
Now that we have gotten my initial and emotional reaction out of the way, lets go over the theories I had on what may had motivated the shooter and what it turned out to actually be. Then I would like to go over what I think we should accomplish from here.
SCENARIO 1 – The Shooter is a Trump Supporter. He sees how the Republicans of Congress are not backing Donald Trump 100%. With the likes of Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham often challenging the president and criticizing his more controversial behavior, he becomes embroiled and believes it’s his duty as a loyal Trump supporter to set them straight.
SCENARIO 2 – The shooter voted for Trump. He may or may not had been an actual supporter, but he fell for the rhetoric that Trump would see to it that all the little people in America would be taken care of. Now with the Senate working on a cold and heartless health care bill, that the president and members of the House celebrated a month ago, he feels let down and angry. He decided to express that anger in the most extreme way.
SCENARIO 3 – The shooter is a parent of a victim or a survivor of the many mass shootings of recent years. He is frustrated by how little regard the Republican Party gives the issue of gun violence. He decides to take matters into his own hands and show them just how serious an issue it is, daring them to ignore it now.
SCENARIO 4 – The shooter is a Democrat. He is angry about the loss to Donald Trump in the 2016 General Election, and his anger has been building over the last six months with each insult to our country by Trump. He is possibly embroiled by Bernie Sanders’ recent warning that we are headed towards and autocracy system of government and that the Republicans are enabling it. He decides he has had enough and takes matters into his own hands.
All the latest reports suggest that it is indeed scenario number 4, as the shooter’s Facebook page indicates that he was a loyal Bernie Sanders’ supporter and even volunteered on the campaign trail. His Facebook page also contained some strong anti-Trump and Anti-GOP rhetoric.
I would like to point out to anyone who may hail this shooter as a hero that he did not do anyone any favors. For the last year, rightwingers had been trying to paint liberals as the violent ones with mental problems. The shooter only gave them more evidence to back up their claims, although ignorant and inaccurate, you can rest assured they will use it.
This incident did nothing to help our efforts in removing the Trump administration or winning the upcoming midterm election. The shooter’s motive was completely self serving and may be used against liberals. He only made things 10 times worse. I condemn him with the strongest words and you should too. Violence is never the answer.
Since the story broke, Republicans in all branches have come out to express their feelings on the attack. Every one of them has said they are praying for the victims and then praised the heroics of the capital police agents for subduing him before he was able to kill or wound more people. All of that praise and prayer is fine, but at the end of the day will any one of these Republicans address the problem at hand, that led to this horrific incident, or will they just brush it aside as they so often do and carry on as usual?
My hope is; after they have witnessed it first hand and seen the potentially devastating effects of such an attack to their own friends and colleagues, that they will return to Congress tomorrow to seriously discuss the issue of gun violence that is facing our nation today, and work alongside the Democrats to find a solution to that problem. Never mind the hypocrisy of how they barely acknowledge it when it happens to someone else, the important thing is that they get on the right page now.
We can only hope, but after today, no Republican lawmaker of sound mind can just brush it off as a non-issue.