Lessons From the Shooting?

Republican Congressman Steve Scalise was among the wounded yesterday when a gunman opened fire at a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia.

With one of their own now a victim of a mass shooting, will Republicans finally start thinking sensibly about gun control and finally rethink their penchant for violent political rhetoric?

Yesterday's attack in Alexandria, Virginia was unfortunately not the only shooting of the day.

In San Francisco, a gunman opened fire at a UPS facility - killing 4 people and wounding 2 others.

This is the country we live in.

Gun violence - for a whole host of reasons - is a fact of life here.

So what can we do to solve this peculiarly American problem once and for all?

The man identified as the shooter in yesterday's attack on a congressional baseball practice in Virginia was a Bernie Sanders supporter who hated Republicans and Donald Trump.

Bernie has condemned the shooter - and the attack:

"Our prayers go out for a full recovery of Rep. Scalise, the congressional aides and police who were injured. We've got to stop the violence."

The irony, of course, is that it's historically been Republicans who've openly endorsed violence against politicians and the government.

For example, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul - who witnessed yesterday's shooting - said this in a tweet last year: "Why do we have a Second Amendment? It's not to shoot deer. It's to shoot at the government when it becomes tyrannical!"

When it comes to mainstream politicians, only Republicans talk this way about political violence. Maybe it's time for them to rethink that kind of talk?

Should we repeal the second Amendment?


CAREEN's picture
CAREEN 1 week 2 days ago

I believe the 2nd amendment should have reasonable restraints but that will likely never happen because of the NRA. Note that Scalise has an A+ rating with The NRA. And now some Republicans are blaming Obama and relatively tighter D.C. gun laws for yesterday's shooting at the D.C. ball park. Reasonable gun laws seem impossible in the current Republican environment. Very depressing.

ChristopehrCurrie's picture
ChristopehrCurrie 1 week 2 days ago

It is worth thinking about what may happen if millions of right-wing "gun enthusiasts” begin experiencing unexpected very serious financial/health trauma as a result of the passage of Republican/Trump legislation. History is full of examples of where violence has erupted when (corrupt) democracies failed to represent the people.

ScottFromOz 1 week 2 days ago

The question of the day is "Should we repeal the 2nd amendment?"

Nope. What we should do is outlaw the violent, traitorous Republican party.

VirgilGB's picture
VirgilGB 1 week 2 days ago

It'll never happen. 'They' want you to have guns. How many times have you seen a western where the pro killer pushes the angry farmer 'til he finally pulls his old rusty gun out of his belt and is blown to bits by the bad guy. "But I feared for my life, sir. That farmer must have been on meth or something. So, okay, who's the next trouble maker on that list we got from the NSA?"

Does seeing thugs dressed in uniforms seem at all familiar? If you don't see it coming, you're refusing to look.

funkutron's picture
funkutron 1 week 2 days ago

Imagine that, Democrats wielding guns! And If the Republithugs go after Social Security, Medicare, even legalized weed, you're going to see more of this kind of thing. People are fed up with the status quo, and they're starting to fight back. Because all the rest is just talk and partisan gridlock, it's juvenile!

Btravelen's picture
Btravelen 1 week 2 days ago

The first thing that was known about the gunman was that he was a Bernie Sanders supporter.. smh.. the Cons aren't very vocal when their brand is doing the shooting.. we'll see now..

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 1 week 2 days ago

Much like the bible, the second amendment gets conveniently distorted to meet the needs of right-wing extremists everywhere. I own an authentic Rev War musket and often think about that relic as the actual frame of reference our founders had when penning the second amendment.

Repealing the opportunity to semantically distort an amendment won't stop individuals like the extreme right-wing pizzagate gunman. The fascist fake news media prompted him and I'm sure many more thousands just like him are out there.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 1 week 2 days ago

Diane: Rather than constantly complain about the postings of individuals who care deeply about social and economic justice, try participating by sharing your thoughts on the issues being discussed.

For example, what's your opinion of the American Health Care Act?

How do you feel about the massive tax cuts being proposed for billionaires?

Do you really think continued extreme concentration of wealth will have a happy ending?

What do you think about Putin selecting your political party as his weapon of choice to weaken our democracy?

deepspace's picture
deepspace 1 week 2 days ago

America and the rest of world civilization is in a bad spot -- a really bad spot!

The ubiquitous outward violence in society, whatever form it takes, is the expression of the disharmony in our individual minds as we interact daily with all of those around us. And, each in our own way, we have all contributed to a world on the brink of destruction. Although it is a matter of degree, no one is entirely innocent. We are all culpable for the problems, and we are all responsible for discovering the solutions and changing the paradigm. We can't wait for someone or something else to flip the switch in our minds, to tell us what to do. Understanding has to be through self-awareness.

Of course, for whatever reasons, willful violence has always been an integral component of our psyches throughout the course of our species' evolution. However, at this point in time, it has reached a destructive crescendo unimaginable barely a hundred years ago. In a shrinking world with an expanding civilization, the rapidly increasing rate of our population explosion, technological advancements, and communication networks, coupled with evermore alarming and polarizing political and religious intransigence, wealth disparity, and a penchant for unsustainable materialism on a planet with declining resources, has pushed us to the limit of our ability to cope and survive much longer.

It seems that Homo sapiens' cold, calculating intellectual prowess has evolved faster than a sense of compassion, empathy, and oneness with nature, which is the absolute and harmonious basis upon which all life flourishes, including our own. In other words, life does not exist in isolation; it is a phenomenon that constantly relates to all things on a fundamental level without any separation.

It will probably be impossible to just "think" our way out of our dire predicament in the conventional sense, like solving a math problem or puzzle. Otherwise, after ten thousand years of trying, we would have succeeded by now. It will likely take a fundamental, evolutionary advancement in our core psychological makeup, a higher awareness, so to speak, of what it means to actually live and feel and relate, beyond the mere thought of it, the mere concept that is forever one step removed from the fact of living, that timeless state with no past or future, which is the source of all energy, and which exists at this very moment in an unbroken succession of constant movement.

If we can't expand our narrow, isolated consciousness, grow out of our fearful and violent nature, and adapt our basic and ongoing approach to a swiftly changing environment, we may very well continue down the path to extinction, like so many other hominids before us. In view of Earth's harsh and uncompromising geological past and the long progression of life that occurs in fits and starts, if we don't change, that eventual outcome is self-evident beyond mere ideation and opinion.

funkutron's picture
funkutron 1 week 2 days ago

I could not have put it any better! That's a brilliant piece!

ErinRose's picture
ErinRose 1 week 2 days ago

We should start with the violence on the TV and other "entertainment". From childhood, we are programming people to view violence as the norm. Meanwhile, like mindless boobs, we continue to wander around and around in the question of gun restriction as some kind of answer to crime; never mind that if a person is set on harming another they can use a baseball bat, a kitchen knife, a rock. Shall we end all baseball games? Shall we close down all kitchens? Shall we quarantine all rocks? C'mon. Get real. Stop the entertainment brain programming, re-open all of the mental health clinics Reagan closed down, and stop stigmatising people with labels like "mental illness" for some conditions (depression) that are as common as the common cold. Guns do not kill people. People kill people. The Left needs to wake up. As long as this government has not returned habeas corpus, as long as this government has not rescinded Posse Comitatus, I say; hold your guns near and dear. Also, the media makes a big hoopla out of every incident where a gun is involved. Just stop and think; how many gun things happen in a day that don't result in some scandal? I've seen studies that say the amount of gun violence is nominal to insignificant considering there are 340 million people in this country and not all of them are gun waving crazies. But for those who are susceptible, we need to stop treating violence like it belongs in society. The only reason gun violence is touted in entertainment is because it makes money. So, we're back to the profit motive again.

stecoop01's picture
stecoop01 1 week 2 days ago

Deepspace...please, run for president! The world needs a leader who thinks as clearly and deeply as you do.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 1 week 2 days ago

Haw! Thanks but no thanks; that would be way too suffocating and demoralizing. Now, please tell Diane that she has me all wrong.


Outback 1 week 2 days ago

So, deepspace, if as you claim, it's not possible to "think" our way out of our predicament, what possible solution are you proposing? Some kind of spontaneous spiritual epiphany? If so I stand ready to change my blog name to "99th monkey". Who will be number 100?

Bill D's picture
Bill D 1 week 2 days ago

There is little doubt that you, and all of your readers are very disturbed about the shootings at the Rupublican practice for the baceball game tonight between the Republicans and Democrats, and all those injured are in our thoughts and prayers for a swift recovery. I'm sure you've heard the opinion expressed on such shows as Rachel Madow and Lawrence O'Donnel that it is very heartening that many Washington officials have expressed the feeling that all of the people on The Hill should take this event as a catalyst to restore sanity to rhetoric and debate in congress, and in the White House. Everyone on the shows agree, and some express the sentiment that, based on past similar events of violence, when similar feelings were expressed by many people, that they have no confidence that any long-term good will come from the agreement that change is needed. One of our friends said she'll give it a week before it's back to business as usual.

My hope is that people like yourself, Thom, will keep this issue on your list of priorities for the next year at least, and shine a light on any departures from what people on the hill have said they think should happen, if they go back to business as usual, each and every time it happens, giving names, and situations.

I plan to make the same suggestion to other media people, such as Rachel & Lawrence. If you all work in concert to keep this issue front and center, just maybe there will be some changes. If not, I have to agree with my friend, that it may last a week...at best!

I always enjoy your articles...keep up the good work.

William (Bill)

deepspace's picture
deepspace 1 week 2 days ago

Outback: ...Good one! Then again, we are all monkey people flinging crap from our cages, are we not? Well, technically, I'm a horse -- details, details.

Ah, to think, or not to think, that is the question...

Realistically, that is not a binary choice, an either/or proposition, is it? Besides, who can answer it for you or anyone else? Actually, I "propose" nothing and "claim" nothing-- literally. I only try to describe things as they are or seem to be, however inadequately. After all, it is you who must experience your life in real time in all of its wonderful complexities and glory. I have my hands full with my own. All we can do is share with one another when the opportunity arises.

Anyway, the actual experience of life is not really a choice at all. Simple, choiceless awareness of the miracle of life is not a matter of some magical, mystifying, pseudo-religious "epiphany" nonsense, suddenly descending from on high to enlighten our minds and awaken our spirits, upon reading some tortured religious text, or engaging in some forced, arduous meditative process, some disciplined, studied "solution," some step-by-step, focused program to suppress or direct the chain of thought and feeling, or shouting hallelujah in church every Sunday, or kneeling and bowing and contemplating one's naval ...or perhaps the bald spot on the head of the fellow parishioner standing in front of us.

This is all just meaningless claptrap that false religions and so-called priests, imams, rabbis, and gurus have handed us, their trusting flock of faithful followers, down through the ages -- the repetitive conditioning to "believe," the singsong patterns of prayers and chants, the blind worship of cartoonish cloud beings in flowing robes immortalized in stained glass windows, the feel-good promise of eternal salvation in paradise ...because life on Earth totally sucks! "Oh yeah, and don't forget to throw money in the damn collection basket before you leave! Hey, holy people gotta eat too, ya know!"

No, true understanding would seem to come from the common, moment-by-moment experience of our normal lives, as we wake up, dress, eat, and trudge off into the real world, one full of mistakes and failures and occasional inspirations and successes. Obviously, one must have thought discipline to navigate the sometimes very difficult and always very complicated course of daily life; it would be silly to "think" otherwise. But once the pragmatic chores, the necessary and elective routines, and the business of survival have all been satisfied, or at least held at bay for the time being -- work, food, clothing, shelter, recreation, entertainment, education, hobbies, music, art, various other intellectual pursuits, travel, family, friends, and all the rest of it -- then what?

Where do our minds wander? Rather, from whence does thought come, and can we ever be fully aware of those quiet moments between thoughts, and the unspoiled, firsthand feeling of pure life itself, as well as the thoughts themselves that may arise after the fact? More profoundly, are our individual feelings and thoughts separate things that we "own," different from a wider consciousness, or just a tiny part of something nameless and indefinable, where even the magnificence of a grand and majestic spiral galaxy with a hundred billion stars shrinks into nothingness? Not to get too abstract or existential, but "something" cannot contain nothing; yet, "nothing" contains everything. Alas, words and symbols and thoughts are only reflections that can never truly describe the indescribable.

It's like slowing down a fan, so that each blade can be thoroughly examined as it passes by, and "felt" (for lack of a better word) for what it is, not what we wish it to be. Or, are we so shallow that our brains are always running at full speed, constantly chattering away endlessly on the surface, lost in a jumble of fragmented thoughts from the time we wake up in the morning until we go to sleep at night, without ever allowing any time and space to dwell, passively yet energetically, on the deeper meaning, to watch actively the whole amazing process as a single movement without a center, without a fearful little ego always trying to judge and sort and pick and choose and classify? If that is what we do, then that is what we must be aware of and understand, because that is our reality. If we can't understand ourselves, how can we ever expect to change, or the world to change?

Another way to look at the enigma of moment-to-moment, unfolding consciousness is to realize that our brains are like antennae with both the ability to receive and to project. Have we made our lives so hectic that we never have the opportunity just to sit (or stand or walk) quietly, innocently like a child, and to take it all in effortlessly, to replenish our well of energy -- to receive rather than to project -- this timeless and abiding mystery, which can always be discovered anew and yet can never be "solved?" How cool is that!?

In one sound bite: Greed, fear, violence, anger, jealousy, worry, regret, loneliness, depression -- all the small stuff of ego-centric selfishness -- are really very petty conflicts artificially created by the unwieldy edifice of fractured thought constructs, a terrible waste of precious energy that would be better spent understanding it for what it is, letting it all go, and immersing ourselves fully in the glorious wonder of this astounding phenomenon we call "life" on this "pale blue dot" lost in the this vast universe ...if only for a "moment," which is an eternity in every sense of the word.

Outback 1 week 2 days ago

Deepspace, you write beautifully. And to think, you're only a horse! ;-)

What you describe is a level of higher consciousness that few among us can fathom, much less achieve in a lifetime. I believe Christ was one, though I'm not "Christian". Ghandi, The Buddah, and Confucius may have been among that number.

You touched on my personal belief just now when you asked '....are our individual feelings and thoughts separate things that we "own," different from a wider consciousness, or just a tiny part of something nameless and indefinable....'?

My answer to your question would be "both". I believe we "come around again", each time with a tiny bit more perspective than in the previous incarnation. We are spiritual beings that actually live on some other dimensional plane, and we are evolving. To that end, it's necessary that we each experience the horrors of life along with the joys. To live as sultans and again as paupers.

So we must engage to progress. To tune out is tantamount to falling asleep in our first grade classroom.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 1 week 2 days ago

Each "life cycle" is a priceless opportunity to progress, where life and death is one, unending, awe-inspiring process of innocence and purity -- dying to each moment, being reborn in the next. "Tuning out and falling asleep" is the only true death -- the death of consciousness. Well said, Outback!

Basketeddie's picture
Basketeddie 1 week 2 days ago

No, the first thing we learned was that the shooter was a middle aged WHITE male. The today show mentioned the shooter's race 5 times within 1 hour of the shooting. I guess they were chomping at the bit on the assumption that it was an act of a "white supremasist" instead of the usual "Mohammed" or "Naquan". The blame is, of course, on the deranged shooter, undoubtedly instigated by the constant barrage of caustic left wing rhetoric which dehumanises the present administration. The hatred toward President Trump has become an obsession for liberals who cannot and will not accept the fact that lost the election, and will resort to "any means necessary" to end his presidency.

Basketeddie's picture
Basketeddie 1 week 2 days ago

No, the first thing we learned was that the shooter was a middle aged WHITE male. The today show mentioned the shooter's race 5 times within 1 hour of the shooting. I guess they were chomping at the bit on the assumption that it was an act of a "white supremasist" instead of the usual "Mohammed" or "Naquan". The blame is, of course, on the deranged shooter, undoubtedly instigated by the constant barrage of caustic left wing rhetoric which dehumanises the present administration. The hatred toward President Trump has become an obsession for liberals who cannot and will not accept the fact that lost the election, and will resort to "any means necessary" to end his presidency.

droberson's picture
droberson 1 week 2 days ago

yes the second amendment should be repealed. We live in a "civilized" society. The second amendment was put in place because at that time the terrain was much more unsettled, people hunted for food and, there was no standing army. Today none of those things are true. Every few months it seems, there's a massive shooting why, it's because of the open access we have in this country to guns. It's easier to buy a gun these days than it is for a vet to visit a VA hospital and every time one of these tragedies occur Wayne Lappier and his cronies are the first ones to run in front of a camera and scream "THERE'S NO NEED FOR MORE GUN CONTROL". If that's the repeated answer for everytime one of these senseless acts of violence then obviously it's wrong.

Dianereynolds's picture
Dianereynolds 1 week 2 days ago

Off topic but you asked,

2950-10K • 12 hours 49 min ago
Diane: Rather than constantly complain about the postings of individuals who care deeply about social and economic justice, try participating by sharing your thoughts on the issues being discussed.
For example, what's your opinion of the American Health Care Act?

There is nothing to comment on until it is refined and voted on by both the house and senate. I do know the obamacare is imploding by design. Don't give me the Rubio meme, it is false and you know it.

How do you feel about the massive tax cuts being proposed for billionaires?

Unlike leftie/socialists I carry no resentment for the wealthy. As for tax cuts for everyone, I support that.

Do you really think continued extreme concentration of wealth will have a happy ending?

For the wealthy it will.

What do you think about Putin selecting your political party as his weapon of choice to weaken our democracy?

The Russians, the Russians. Do you think the US has not had it's finger in the election process of any country? Show me Hillary and hundreds of democrat party seats were lost because of the Russians and we will talk, until then, think Benghazi If you have your panties in a wad over election fraud, adopt the same rules they have in Mexico with paper ballot backup.

The voting requirements in Mexico are as follows:
Mexican citizenship (by birth or naturalization)
18 years of age at the moment of casting one's vote.
a valid voting credential (issued free of charge bu INE, Instituto Nacional Electoral)
to be free from incarceration or imprisonment.

On topic. One of the most virulent, vile, outspoken haters of Obama is rocker Ted Nugent. He has been a very offensive right wing spokesperson for the anti-Obama crowd and a huge Trump supporter.

He may have had a bit of an epiphany after the VA shooting of republicans. Hopefully he will follow through with his promise and encourage others to do the same.


Will the leftie/socialists follow suit?

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2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 1 week 1 day ago

Diane: You indicated support for additional tax cuts for billionaires. Based on this I conclude you believe they pay too much tax. You also indicated that extreme concentration of wealth would lead to happiness for this tiny group, but no comment about how it would impact the rest of us. You also seem OK with for profit health insurance being the answer to our healthcare crisis. I mention this because you didn't express any sentiment regarding single payer. I'm not going to waste anymore of my time on this, but your answers are exactly what I expected.

What is your true ambition for posting on this blog?

funkutron's picture
funkutron 1 week 1 day ago

Yes, they're calling for "unity", and espousing sentiment that we're all "Americans first", blah, blah, blah.....But let's not forget that the Republican agenda is evil, and not very broad based, because it only benefits the wealthy contributors to the Republican party. I hope that these b-stards don't think that all this talk of coming together is going to give them a free hand to dismantle Obamacare, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

ChristopehrCurrie's picture
ChristopehrCurrie 1 week 1 day ago

Is this “Trump Care Quotes” website legitimate?

Trump Care Quotes [trump-care-quotes@robertmauroconsultant.com]

C. Currie

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ropiaaziz 1 week 1 day ago

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Pozoblanco's picture
Pozoblanco 1 week 1 day ago

These crazy wack job right wingers cannot be reasoned with. Trump and the republicans could gang rape a school of nuns and the first words out of their mouth in defense of them would be Hillary.

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The Senate Republican healthcare bill is secret no more.

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Don't let Mitch McConnell fool you.

Contrary to what you might have heard - Senate Republicans DID NOT unveil a healthcare bill yesterday.

They unveiled a tax cut for the rich DISGUISED as a healthcare bill.

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