The NRA not Bernie Sanders is to Blame for the Virginia Mass Shooting
You know me-I’m no big fan of Bernie Sanders. Assuming you know me at all. But to blame him for Alexandria is risible.
The GOP has decided: the only mass shootings that are outrageous are those where the shooter is either:
2. On the Left.
That’s how they choose to judge it. Note that this has a long history. After JFK was assassinated, Barbara Bush said she prayed it was a Left wing nut job not a Right wing nut job. In truth, as Paul Waldman noted, those who perpetrate political violence are either:
1. Right wing
2. Left wing
3. Or no wing.
No particularly ideology or point of view has the market cornered for political violence which must always be condemned-and is always counterproductive even in instrumental political terms.
But the notion that calling the GOP the party of the rich and 1% is tantamount to incitement to violence is risible:
“The Virginia Shooting Isn’t About Bernie. It’s About the Right’s Embrace of Guns.”
“Concentrating on James Hodgkinson’s political leanings obscures the real problem of gun violence in America—and why it’s happening.”
Of course, this is how the Right always prefers to judge political violence-the political leanings of the perpetrator.
“Soon after James Hodgkinson brought an AR-15 assault rifle to a baseball field in suburban Virginia and opened fire, injuring Republican politicians and staffers, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich offered his explanation for this horrific incident.”
“It’s part of a pattern,” Gingrich said on Fox News. “An increasing intensity of hostility on the left.” Rush Limbaugh called Hodgkinson part of “the deranged based of the Democratic Party.” The National Review’s David French referred to the shooting as “a textbook example of lone-wolf progressive terrorism.”
“We’d expect no less from right-wingers like Gingrich, but this view was also parroted in a New York Times article under the headline “Attack Tests Movement Sanders Founded” by reporter Yamiche Alcindor. She wrote, “The suspect in the shooting in Virginia put a new spotlight on the rage buried in some corners of the progressive left.”
Yes, for someone like Yamiche Alcindor to buy into this narrative is particularly disappointing and worrisome.
“These were among many comments by pundits and journalists who sought to pin Wednesday’s violence on Hodgkinson’s political views: his hatred of Donald Trump and his support for Bernie Sanders.”
“This is nonsense. Hodgkinson, 66, who died from injuries sustained during a shootout with police, was a psychopath who had a history of domestic violence and run-ins with law enforcement. He may have justified his rage with a layer of political rhetoric, but that has nothing to do with Sanders, Sanders’s supporters, or the broader American left. The attempt to “normalize” Hodgkinson as a typical Sanders supporter—or even as a strident Sanders supporter—is totally off-base.”
“From what we’ve learned already, it is clear that Hodgkinson had come unhinged. His previous run-ins with law enforcement over the years were totally unrelated to politics. According to another story in the Times, in 2006, Hodgkinson was charged with domestic battery, aggravated discharge of a firearm, and criminal damage to a motor vehicle after confronting his daughter at a neighbor’s house. The charges were later dismissed.”
“When it comes to inciting violence, the person on whom the media and politicians should be focusing is not Bernie Sanders but Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice president of the National Rifle Association. While Sanders immediately condemned the Virginia shooting, we haven’t heard a peep from LaPierre or his organization. You’d think that LaPierre would at least express his concern for Representative Steve Scalise, the House majority whip whom Hodgkinson shot and who is now in critical condition in the hospital. Scalise has a 100 percent rating from the NRA.”
“Nor has LaPierre or the NRA weighed in on another mass shooting that occurred on Wednesday. This one was in San Francisco, where Jimmy Lam, a 38-year-old UPS driver opened fire with a handgun inside a UPS delivery center, killing three coworkers and injuring seven others before fatally shooting himself as police closed in. According to news reports, Lam had a history of mental illness and arrests for drunk driving.”
Indeed, David Frum touched on the whole problem:
“America is more vulnerable to assassins than most other democracies, for many reasons. The United States is a less-surveilled society than Britain or France. American police forces are more decentralized than those of most European countries. Above all, the U.S. is vulnerable to this crime because targeted killing typically requires access to a gun—and guns are easier to acquire here than in any comparably developed society. We’ll learn more about when the Alexandria murderer decided on his crime, and whether his weapon was legally acquired. The commonwealth of Virginia certainly did its utmost to ease his way, however, by conferring the legal right to move about with an openly brandished rifle. (The City of Alexandria, though, where the shooting took place, bars the open carry of assault weapons.)”
In other words, whatever this disturbed shooter’s layered political rhetoric, it’s the NRA who has the true blood on its hands. Our lax gun laws allowed him to go about his business after repeatedly firing his openly brandished rifle out in public.
That’s just plain nuts whatever someone’s political leanings.
P.S. So the Gravis poll against Peter King NY2 and it has good news-almost too good to believe.
In my March poll I trailed King by 11 and thought that was very good news. Now Gravis has me up by 10? Still, the moment of truth is next week when Gravis writes up the press release.
And-yes-I do need donations if I have any hope of bringing around the local party to seeing that I am the chance to break out of the party’s long losing streak against King.
Whether you live in NY 2 or across the country, you can donate. As yourself whether you cannot afford even $5 or $10 dollars.
There is nothing more important in getting answers to Trump-Russia collusion than a Democratic House in 2019. Peter King is on the House intelligence committee. I think we all know that he will never be any part of the solution for getting to the bottom of Trump Russia.
Please donate to help me in my part of the effort to fight for a Dem House.
We can have a Dem Congress, we must have a Dem Cogress, and we will.
Thank you. We must have a Dem House. And so, we will.