Many liberals are hoping that the shooting in Virginia that nearly cost the life of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) and wounded three others, will help their attack on the Second Amendment right to bear arms. However, when asked if the shooting changed his mind, Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) gave a great response of the reason he still supports the Second Amendment and the rest of the Bill of Rights.
The congressional baseball game shooter was clearly motivated by political hatred of Republicans. This hatred was clearly fed and magnified by listening to hysterical partisan rhetoric and participating in online discussions that reinforced his political biases, painted caricatures of the evil of his future targets, and reinforced his emotions of anger and resentment.
But is there any solution? We can oppose this kind of rhetoric and deplore it and argue for more civility in politics. But what else can we do? Should we decide that, because speech that is harshly critical of some politicians might motivate a man to kill, therefore we should control or limit political speech? Most of us, thankfully, would say “No.” We recognize that criticizing politicians too harshly is a far lesser evil than not being able to criticize our political leaders at all.
But the same thing applies to other freedoms, including the right to own a gun. In the aftermath of shooting, one of the witnesses, Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks, was asked whether the incident changed his views on gun control, and he gave reporters a remarkably clear-headed and eloquent off-the-cuff response. See Brooks response here:
Note that Brooks referred to America as a republic and not a semocracy. There is a huge difference that few realize. A republic is where the people elect officials to do their bidding. A democracy is where the people elect officials to dictate over them. As for the tragic shooting in DC, yes two DC police eventually stopped the shooter, but had someone at the ballpark been carrying a concealed weapon, the shooter may have been stopped soon and saved some from being wounded.