Fortunately, it looks like everyone who was injured in that shooting this morning at a GOP baseball practice is going to pull through. Unfortunately, the shooting will almost certainly further divide the country, because the United States of America has never met a tragedy it couldn’t politicize.
The shooter has been identified as James T. Hodgkinson. He’s a 66-year-old white guy from Illinois. He has died from his injuries.
According to his Facebook profile, he was apparently an anti-Hillary, virulently anti-Trump Bernie Bro with a criminal record.
While that’s probably not enough information to fully ascribe a motive, determine the man’s mental state, or explain how he managed to get a gun, it hasn’t prevented social media from quickly jumping to conclusions.
The left, of course, correctly calls this a gun violence problem, which is how every act of gun violence could be described. The right, however, has quickly created its own narrative, and it has taken off on social media (and likely Fox News), and our President will probably also embrace the theory: The shooter, they believe, was radicalized by the media. That the Democrats — the gun-control party — has created a culture of violence based on the Kathy Griffin photoshoot or the Julius Caesar play, and that the disdain that 60 percent of this country holds for Donald Trump led this man to go on a shooting rampage. “The hate on the left is out of control,” is the typical party line.
The social media reaction has been ugly, it will probably go on for most of the day, and I’m not even going to provide any of the example tweets.
Let me tell you, the comments from conservatives and alt-right on the alleged shooters FB page are hideous.— Jennifer Hayden (@Scout_Finch) June 14, 2017
If you've seen what appears to be his Facebook page, you know this is all sadly about to get much worse.— Mike Ryan (@mikeryan) June 14, 2017
My advice: Don’t engage. Could be a great time for a social media break. There’s no argument you can offer that will deter the other side from believing that Democrats aren’t responsible for the shooting.
Finally, President* Trump did give a teleprompter statement from the White House today. He managed not to politicize it. I suspect he’s waiting to do that on his Twitter feed later today.