Responding to the shooting of Republican Steve Scalise during a GOP baseball practice, Democrat Bernie Sanders said the act was “despicable” and that he was “sickened” by it. The alleged shooter, identified as James T. Hodgkinson, was a volunteer at many of Sanders’ rallies. According to the BBC, a Facebook account that appeared to be associated with Hodgkinson was found to have anti-Republican and anti-Trump posts and had posts supporting Sanders.
“I am sickened by this despicable act,” he said. Sanders condemned the act and said violence was not acceptable and change is possible through non-violence only.
Sanders said, “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.”
He added that his prayers were with Scalise, the staff and the officers who were wounded. “I also want to thank the Capitol Police for their heroic actions to prevent further harm,” he said. The shooter died in the exchange of gunfire between him and the police.
Scalise, who was shot in the hip, was transported to a Washington hospital and has been undergoing surgery. He is currently in a critical state. “Prior to entering surgery, the whip was in good spirits and spoke to his wife by phone. He is grateful for the brave actions of US Capitol Police, first responders and colleagues,” his office said in a statement.
Representative from Alabama Republican Mo Brooks, who was a witness to the shooting, however, said this incident wouldn’t change the Republican opposition to gun control even though Congress members had been under attack this time. “Not with respect to the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment right to bear arms is to ensure that we always have a republic,” he said, answering a question on gun control.