|Alexandria, VA immediately southwest to DC, is part of the DC, VA and Maryland area. The Potomac River is a natural border between VA and MD. It and Arlington, VA are two of the most Northern cities in the state of Virginia.|
Early this morning, DC time, Majority Whip Steve Scalise Republican from Louisiana was shot and injured while practicing baseball with some of his colleagues. The Republican congressmen were practicing for a game tomorrow against the Democrats' Baseball team that takes place annually to raise money for local DC children. It's a normally peaceful and relaxing charity baseball game that has been played by Democrats and Republics since 1909. The baseball pitch or baseball field is based in Alexandria, Virginia which is adjacent to Washington, DC. As a matter of fact, the metro train ride from Alexandria to Downtown DC is less than ten minutes. Shootings at Congressional baseball games and even the practices are rare. This is the first time it has ever happened. When the shots first rang out, Mo Brooks assumed he heard either a car backfire or a distant gunshot. This comes less than a day after Congress wrapped up a hearing with Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Yesterday's Sessions hearing and today's shootings were not linked nor coincidental. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is currently testifying to the House's Appropriation Committee.
Jeff Flake R-Az gives an eyewitness account of the shooting
Steve Scalise along with Rand Paul R-Kentucky, Jeff Flake R-Arizona and Mo Brooks, R-Alabama and the congressional aides and staffers witnessed the gunman shooting off 50 shots. About three aides and two capital hill police were injured by the now dead gunman. All five people including Scalise who was hit in the hip were not critically injured. Mo Brooks was on third base about to bat when the shooting happened. He saw nearly the entire shooting in front of him and gave the most detailed account. Jeff Flake who was in the dug out but could see Scalise drag himself to safety. Contrary to the movies and tv shows stereotypes, people caught up in a shooting never try to dodge bullets to save an injured friend. It has nothing to do with cowardice. It has to do with safety and common sense. Anyone caught in the gunman's cross hairs is a moving target. Rand Paul who was also in the dugout said that had anyone tried to run "it would've been a massacre." The injured will be back in Congress in due time. The Democrats Baseball team who were also practising for tomorrow's game in another part of the DC/Virginia area immediately condemned the attack and prayed for the injured Republicans. The gunman identified as James T. Hodgkinson came from Belleville, Illinois and was a vocal anti-Trump protester who criticized Republican congressman and Trump on his social media page. He also sent letters to his local newspaper focusing on GOP and cursing them. In short, Hodgkinson did not have mental problems. He was beyond angry at politicians since Trump won the elections. He is not the only one to be visibly angered by the current Republican congress. Congress has seen its share of political violence before. In 1996, a gunman managed to storm into the capital rotunda and shoot a capital hill police dead before being shot himself . The only other time, congressmen were in the complete line of fire was in 1954 when Puerto Rican independent movements militants fired onto the floor of the House of Representatives from the viewing gallery.
This is what the FBI has been telling the government and ordinary Americans for decades as far as terrorism and political violence goes. Americans extremist groups are more of a terror threat to their own country than a foreign terror group. Especially when small terror attacks or shootings take place. Not to excuse the threat ISIS and its takfiri cousins pose. Most of the violent shootings that are borderline terrorist attacks have been committed by Americans most of who are local to the area or come from further away where they are doing the attacks. The FBI has already started investigating the Scalise shooting.