— CSPAN (@cspan) June 14, 2017
Much is already being made of James Hodgkinson, the man with a string of domestic abuse charges who shot a group of Republican lawmakers this morning and died after Capitol police shot him back, having been a supporter of Senator Bernie Sanders; he had even volunteered for the Sanders campaign in Illinois.
Senator Sanders denounced the shooting, and all violence, on the floor of the Senate this morning, and issued the following statement:
Very few people could really think that Sanders bears any sort of culpability for this morning’s bloodshed — he tends to call for revolution at the ballot box, not with a gun — but it was menschy of him to not pretend nothing happened.
But while Hodgkinson may be the rare Green voter (he was a Bernie-or-Buster who went for Stein, according to his Facebook page) to do anything more than annoy people to death, there is one attribute he shared with most other mass shooters: a history of violence against women.
According to the Daily Beast, in 2006, Hodgkinson was arrested on charges of domestic violence and discharge of a firearm after a fight in which he punched a man’s girlfriend in the face, then fired a shotgun at the man.
Hodgkinson was also “observed throwing” an unidentified female “around the bedroom,” the police report said. After the woman broke free, Hodgkinson followed and “started hitting her arms, pulling her hair, and started grabbing her off the bed.”
As the woman tried to escape, he reached into her car, turned off the key, and slashed her seatbelt with a knife. Despite the arrest, Hodgkinson apparently had no difficulty getting a gun, which is what makes America such a free country.
Hodgkinson was also a prolific writer of letters to the editor of his local paper on a variety of liberal topics, complaining about Republican tax policies, calling for a return to higher taxes on the wealthy, and railing against the super-rich. (He also appeared to be engaged in a running feud with another frequent contributor of letters to the editor, writing letters that replied to the other guy’s letters.) In a 2015 Facebook post, he also mocked Louisiana Republican Steve Scalise for giving a speech to a white supremacist group run by former KKK leader David Duke.
Of course, if that’s an indication of criminal tendencies, you’ll want to lock up virtually anyone who made fun of Scalise’s pretense of ignorance about the group he spoke to. We’re also more than a little concerned about the people who send us deranged-sounding deleted comments.
So get ready for the predictable round of claims that progressives are all a bunch of hate-filled monsters who wish death on their political opponents. We would like to remind you of our commenting rules, which are in place because Yr Wonkette is quite serious about not wishing violence on anyone. We wish Rep. Scalise a speedy recovery from his wounds, and also for him to be voted out of office — and nothing more than that.
We would mention, however, that while Senator Sanders has explicitly condemned Hodgkinson’s despicable act, as well as all politically motivated violence, there was at least one member of the Senate on the ballfield this morning who has actually endorsed shooting at members of the government, at least in a hypothetical situation where they’ve become tyrants:
We wonder if being shot at this morning felt … freedomy?
This is not to say that Rand Paul deserved to be shot at. But we would like to point out that progressives tend not to be the folks who obsess over the beauty of watering the tree of liberty with the blood of tyrants. In fact, as environmentalists, we’re quite sure trees do a lot better with clean water. And maybe we don’t need all these goddamned guns.
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