Senator Bernie Sanders took to the Senate floor this afternoon to strongly condemn the actions of James Hodgkinson who opened fire this morning on a group of Republican lawmakers in Alexandria, Virginia, seriously injuring Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana. Sanders is speaking out because the gunman was a strong follower of the Vermont Senator and even volunteered to work for his presidential campaign in 2016.
Report from The Daily Beast:
Senator Bernie Sanders issued a statement from the Senate floor on Wednesday afternoon condemning the actions of James T. Hodgkinson, the man suspected of shooting at congressmen and their staffers during a baseball practice on Wednesday morning. Having learned that Hodgkinson reportedly volunteered for Sanders’ campaign at one point, the senator said he was repulsed by his actions. “I have just been informed that the alleged shooter at the Republican baseball practice is someone who apparently volunteered on my presidential campaign,” Sanders said. “I am sickened by this despicable act. Let me be as clear as I can. Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms. Real change can only come about through nonviolent action, and anything else runs against our most deeply held American values. My hopes and prayers are that Representative Scalise, congressional staff and the Capitol Police Officers who were wounded make a quick and full recovery. I also want to thank the Capitol Police for their heroic actions to prevent further harm.”
Here’s the video of Sanders speaking today:
As some have noted, Sanders was quick to defend conservative columnist Ann Coulter when she faced threats of violence in an attempt to speak at a California university. There is never an excuse for actions or threats of physical violence like that which we witnessed today. There are individuals, like Hodgkinson, who can take the rhetoric too seriously and spawn the evil that was unleashed this morning.
Political opponents are human, and they have lives and families and dreams, we all share the common experiences in life. For someone to be motivated enough and disregard the humanity involved tells me that Hodgkinson was in a dark and evil place.