A reality based independent journal of observation & analysis, serving the Flathead Valley & Montana since 2006. © James Conner.

14 June 2017 — 2023 mdt

A shooting in Washington, D.C.

Rep. Steve Scalise lies in critical condition in MedStar Washington Hospital Center this evening following surgery for a gunshot wound suffered while he was practicing baseball in Alexandria, VA. The shooter, James Hodgekinson, 66, of Belleville, IL, was shot and killed by Scalise’s armed guards. A police officer and congressional aide also were shot.

Hodgekinson’s motive is not known. He apparently acted alone. And he apparently expected to die, for he made no attempt to conceal himself or escape. My tentative hypothesis: a suicide by cop and an attempted murder.

Hodgekinson’s politics probably played no significant role in his behavior. He supported Bernie Sanders and loathed Donald Trump, but that puts him in a class of tens of millions. Sander’s loss to Clinton, and Clinton’s loss to Trump, didn’t send Hodgekinson over the edge, but something in his personal life did. In time, investigators probably will identify what deranged him.

Given what’s known thus far, there’s no reason to conclude that this was an attack on Democracy. It’s a tragedy, but it’s best not to read too much into it, or to derive much meaning from it. In the end, it’s just another nut run amok whose life ended in bloodshed; his blood and the blood of others.