A man who volunteered for Sen. Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign shot four people Wednesday morning, including Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), who remains in critical condition.
The shooter, whom officials have identified as James T. Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville, Illinois, was a huge fan of Sanders and frequently took to Facebook to criticize Donald Trump. He even joined a Facebook group called “Terminate the Republican Party.”
Sanders decried Hodgkinson’s violent actions, saying he was “sickened” by the shooting.
“Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms,” he said. “Real change can only come about through nonviolent action, and anything else runs against our most deeply held American values.”
In 2011, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) was shot by a crazed man whose mental health had been deteriorating in the months leading up to the violent attack. Many liberals blamed Sarah Palin for the attack because the former Alaska governor had released a map showing several congressional districts in crosshairs, despite the fact that the shooter’s reasons were not coherent nor connected to Palin’s map.
Sanders piled onto the Palin-blaming in a fundraising e-mail he sent out just after the 2011 attack.
“Congresswoman Giffords publicly expressed concerns when Sarah Palin, on her website, placed her district in the cross-hairs of a rifle – and identified her by name below the image – as an encouragement to Palin supporters to eliminate her from Congress,” Sanders’s email read. “Have right-wing reactionaries, through threats and acts of violence, intimidated people with different points of view from expressing their political positions?”
So according to Sanders, when a crazy person goes out and shoots Republicans, it’s no one’s fault but the shooter’s. But when a crazy person shoots Democrats, we’ve got to demand explanations from “right-wing reactionaries.”