Is This the New Far-Left?

This is an opinion piece and does not necessarily reflect the views of Defender Outdoors or its employees.
The talking heads of the mainstream media and the left-leaning politicians are often try to blame mass shootings on America’s gun “problem”, lax gun laws, and “right-wing gun nuts”. Yet, evidences show time and time again that the mass shootings in the country are committed by disturbed individuals who lean left. Thursday’s shooting in Alexandria, Virginia was no different. Is this the new far-left?

Republican Congressmen Shot at Baseball Practice

James Hodgkinson, 66, opened fire on a Republican baseball practice in Alexandria, VA

James Hodgkinson, 66, opened fire on a Republican baseball practice in Alexandria, VA


Wednesday morning, a group of Republican congressmen were practicing for the annual Congressional Baseball Game for charity. During the practice, a man asked by standers if the politicians player were Republicans or Democrats. Upon learning the players were Republicans, he began to open fire on the group. House Majority whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) was shot in the pelvis. A former staffer and current lobbyist for Tyson Foods, Matt Mika, was shot in the chest. Zachary Barth, a member of Roger Williams (R-TX) staff was also shot. Williams and another were treated for secondary injuries not caused by the gun fire. Two officers of the Capitol Police were also shot, one was airlifted following the shooting and the other was was responsible for bringing down the shooter.

Though accounts vary, dozens to hundreds of shots were fired between the Capitol Police officers and the shooter. The shooter began the assault with from behind one of the dugouts using an SKS chambered in 7.62x39mm. At some point he switched to a Smith & Wesson 9mm handgun. Scalise was the first one hit by the gun fire, and collapsed near second base. Scalise laid motionless for the duration of the attack. The shooting lasted between five and ten minutes before the police were able to drop the attacker. Most of the congressmen at the baseball practice took cover in the dugout behind first base. After the police were able to put down the shooter, fellow congressmen rushed to the aid of Scalise who was bleeding profusely in the outfield. Luckily, one of the Congressman that rushed to his aid was Rep. Brad Wenstrop (R-OH), a doctor and Iraq War veteran. Wenstrop stabilized Scalise by putting pressure on the wound until help arrived. According to an aide, Wenstrop later described the ordeal as “being in Iraq again, only without his weapon.”

Alexandria Shooter Was Politically Radicalized

The shooter was identified as 66 year old James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois. Hodgkinson died from the injuries sustained during his assault on the baseball field. He had evidently driven from Illinois to Virginia two months ago. During these two months he lived out of his vehicle, a white cargo van, frequenting the local YMCA and a neighborhood BBQ restaurant. Waitresses and bartenders described him as “creepy”. .

Back in Illinois, Hodgkinson owned a home inspection company and a history minor run-ins with the law. According to those who knew him, he was very politically active, boisterous, but not necessarily violent. His criminal record dated back for 30 years ranging from operating without a contractor’s license to a domestic batter and aggravated discharge of a firearm—both of which were dropped. Most recently, police were called to his home after a neighbor reported hearing 50 shots being fired in a lightly populated area of Belleville. The responding police checked that his Illinois Firearm Owners Identification card was valid and advised him to not fire his weapon in the populated area.

Online, Hodgkinson posted many anti-conservative, anti-Trump views to social media, even one time saying, “It’s Time to Destroy Trump & Co.” He was very politically outspoken and had written multiple letters to the local newspaper railing against Republicans, wealthy people, and tax policies. He was also known to be part of the “99% Team” that attempted to bring attention to income inequality in Belleville. During the 2016 election, Hodgkinson was an avid supporter of Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and volunteered on Sanders’ campaign efforts in Illinois and Missouri. Hodgkinson also featured a picture of Sanders as his Facebook cover photo.

Hodgkinson was well known as a liberal activist in his home town, volunteering for the Bernie Sanders campaign and ranting about tax laws in the local newspaper.

Hodgkinson was well known as a liberal activist in his home town, volunteering for the Bernie Sanders campaign and ranting about tax laws in the local newspaper.

The Left Reacts to Shooting

Though most politicians on both sides of the aisle were supportive of the Congressmen and others attacked with the Democrat congressmen practicing baseball at a different field taking a moment to pray for their colleagues, it didn’t take long for the calls for more gun control to start. Democrat congressmen practicing baseball at a different field took a moment to pray for their colleagues when they learned the news. In an interview with NPR, Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) mentioned he had received a call from Mark Kelly—husband of Gabby Giffords and gun control activist—as soon as the news broke about shooting. Giffords herself was supportive following the shooting, waiting until Thursday to publish and promote another call for gun control. Virginia’s Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe made a speech calling for more gun control following the Alexandria shooting:

I have long advocated—this is not what today is about—but there are too many guns on the streets. I have long talked about this: background checks and shutting down gun show loopholes. And that’s not for today’s discussion, but it’s not just about politicians. We worry about this every day for all of our citizens.

The Governor then took to Twitter to continue advocating more gun control laws. Mark Levine, a local journalist a politician quipped, “Bomb the terrorists in Syria, arm the terrorists in Virginia—that’s [the Republican’s] policy”. Meanwhile, notable left-wing commentators on Twitter made light of the shooting, some even calling for more violence against Republicans.

The Republicans, conversely, had a different take. Chris Collins (R-NY) had this to say:

I can only hope that the Democrats do tone down the rhetoric. The rhetoric has been outrageous – the finger-pointing, just the tone and the angst and the anger directed at Donald Trump, his supporters. Really, then, you know, some people react to things like that. They get angry as well. And then you fuel the fires…. Its gone to far. Let’s hope we can disagree on a more polite conversational basis.

Collins also stated that he’ll be carrying his handgun on him at all times. Sen. Rand Paul, who was also involved in the attack, supported the Capitol Police that saved them. Paul mentioned that they only had bats to protect themselves and it would have been a “massacre” had the police not been there. “Everybody probably would have died except for the fact that the Capitol Hill police were there and the only reason they were there was because we had a member of (House) leadership on our team,” Paul said. The Capitol Police were only at the practice because Steve Scalise is House leadership and has a protection detail. Everyone else at the practice does not have a security detail.

Other politicians and commentators spent the afternoon trading blame for the attack. Liberals saying the lax gun laws were responsible (both firearms used in the attack were legally purchased in a state with very strict gun control laws), while conservatives pointed out the hateful rhetoric, Kathy Griffin’s images suggesting the beheading of the President, and the Trump-inspired Shakespeare in the Park performance of Julius Caesar have contributed to increasing violence against conservatives.

Is the the new far-left? If they lose politically, will they only resort to violence in riots, marches, and now mass shootings? What’s next? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.

The thoughts and prayers of all of us here at Defender Outdoors go out to the victims of the shooting, especially Capitol Police officers David Bailey and Crystal Griner. Both were injured in the line of duty protecting the Congressman, their aides, and the children present. Thanks to the bravery of the law enforcement officers, the gunmen was neutralized before anyone died.

29 Comments On This Article

  1. The “new far-left”?? No, not hardly. It is a precursor to a communist/socialist revolution. Look at Russia and Lenin in 1916/1917. The parallels are extremely apparent. This is nothing more than an attempt to destroy the U. S. Constitution and Bill of Rights…and the left is winning as it has infiltrated the U. S. educational system at all levels.

    • That question has been answered on more than one occasion since we AMERICANS elected Donald Trump President. They have advocated violence and practiced such at every opportunity. They pack town hall meetings and attack republican supporters. The news media and Democrat party have this blood on their hands and are trying to sway attention away from their complicity in it by calling for gun control. Same old song. Now the Elitist Politicians want to have the right to carry, isn’t it strange that when we are attacked we told we don’t need guns to protect our selves, but when the shoe is on the other foot they want that right, just more proof that we need to drain the swamp. Our Constitution and Bill of Rights give ALL law abiding U.S. citizens the right to own and carry firearms without any government permission.

      • Actually, we have the right without the Constitution. The Constitution and Bill of Rights (which are law) prohibit the government from interfering with our rights. They don’t give us our rights. Trouble is, the government isn’t obeying those laws.

      • No, the Constitution gives all citizens the right to own and carry. There is nothing in the 2nd Amendment about “law abiding”.

  2. You’re so full of crap. Most mass shootings are done by people who lean left? Most mass shootings are done by conservatives, because they’re the ones that have guns, generally. This one shooting happens that’s done by a liberal, and suddenly it’s “see, yet another liberal shooting the joint up”.

    Domestic terrorism is almost entirely a white, conservative problem. Stop making things up.

  3. Well if the left ever gets their way, God forbid! I guess I’ll have to seek a leadership position in the House so I’ll have some level of safety?

  4. Notice how Democrats rally around gun control when the opposition was attacked by one of their own. Rats eats their own when the one being eaten has been hurt or killed.
    Enforce the gun laws that exist, not make more useless ones.
    Notice the person who took action was a war vet, everyone else was cowering in the dugout (bunker)

  5. If you’re saying he was a lunatic and that most mass shootings are by lunatics–which I agree with–why are you then suggesting the actions of a lunatic preface a political movement? I don’t see any Black Panther type movement or Bernie Bots with AKs. Of course, I condemn this guy’s actions but jumping on the political bandwagon like this is just as bad as libs blaming Palin rhetoric for the Gabby shooting. Let’s lower the partisanship please.

  6. What the leftists are doing in this country is the same thing the Marxists were doing in 1917 Russia: foment anarchy, push one group against another, blame the rich. Yes, I think this will only get worse and possibly dissolve into anarchy if left untouched.

  7. I have no interest in or use for either left or right wing politics. Life was better way back when politics were on our radar for the months leading up to election day and then forgotten. There have been criminal shootings by the loons from both ends of the spectrum. Every time it happens it adds a but more fuel to those who want to do away with gun ownership. That’s my interest in this and other shootings like it. It threatens our second amendment rights.

  8. This man was NOT crazy…He knew exactly what he was doing and did exactly what he had planned. He was totally influenced by the Liberal leaning news media. He did what CNN, MSNBC, Kathy Griffin, Madonna, and Steven Colbert told him he should do. The Liberal news made constant jokes about the Republicans and Donald Trump, but This guy didn’t take it as joking and did exactly what he was told. Shame, Shame On the Liberal Media and their FAKE NEWS stories.

  9. The Alexandria GOP baseball shooting is clearly another hoax! Just watch the cell phone videos posted on youtube and ask simple logical critical questions and it makes no sense. Why didn’t the congressman and Senators call 911? Why did they not run? but stay within 50 feet of the shooter for the duration of 9 minutes of shooting? Why were no Secret Service or any other protection there? Why did the shooter not kill anyone? Why did the shooter never leave home plate and not finish off the Congressman, who was shot in the hip, lying on the pitcher’s mound? I would estimate 60 to 90 rounds were shot in these 9 minutes which would be 2 to 3 magazines. The GOP at this event are in on the hoax and after disarmament of the People!
    Sadly Rand Paul is one of them and not the man of liberty patriots think he is.

  10. Leftists = terrorists. Most of them sympathize with the Islamists even though any self-respecting Islamist would bend them over a barrel for some fun then burn them alive. But they are too naive and blind to realize that.

    This has been building up since Obama got elected and now that their girl lost, they are angry and will be coming out of the woodwork like the cockroaches they are. I subscribe to the philosophy of, ‘Don’t start nuthin, won’t be nuthin.’ I don’t have bumper stickers on my car and I keep a low profile . . . the ‘Grey man.’ But my wife and I are both legal carriers and well trained, and if any of these slimy terrorists come near us they will find out quickly that they are not the ultimate power on the Earth today.

  11. YOU ALL ARE A BUNCH OF IDIOTS I AM A VET. I HAVE MY SHARE OF GUNS .I THINK YOU ARE SCARED OF YOUR OWN SHADOWS.I THINK YOU SHOULD LOOK IN MIRROR.TRUMP AN IDIOT THERE ARE NO LEFT OR RIGHT.DON’T LIKE POLITICS AT ALL .NONE

  12. Dualistic thinking regarding complex issues resorts to an easy identification of sides and blame but fails to solve any problems. If you just eliminate everyone indiscriminately labeled as the problem, then magically everything solved. That has been tried since the dawn of time and how has it worked out? Simplistic thinking has a name and its identifying an enemy by way of the availability cascade (doesn’t matter if the threat is highest but its whats presented as such) using cognitive ease. Its frustrating to ask dualistic black/white, good/bad, right/wrong folks about the complexities to societal issues and watch as their eyes roll back in their heads because thinking actually gives people headaches (which is why we operate in autopilot much of the day), and have them demonstrate that they’ve never done more than scratch the surface concerning issues and show that their understanding of those complexities are extremely limited. Like football? There was a game in the 50’s between Dartmouth and Princeton that was extremely ugly. Each side thought the other had played dirty. Here’s the case study that shows that people suffer from group perception. http://www.age-of-the-sage.org/psychology/social/hastorf_cantril_saw_game.html

  13. It seems pretty obvious that too far left or too far right is dangerous. Whether in Charleston churches or Alexandria baseball fields. Anyone deranged enough to think murdering people is an acceptable is a threat and neither the left nor the right has a monopoly on fringe fanatics.

    The base opportunism of anti-gun politicians and ideologues is disgusting though. Illinois is a tough contender for the most stringent, anti-gun state in the U.S. If that isn’t far enough, they should at least have the decency to just finally say they want to confiscate and ban all guns.

  14. Elitist thru out history have disarmed it citizens. Raymont Miller above said it exactly right. Our fore Fathers under stood this better then we ever will, until it is to late and some other new tyrant comes along. It will never happen here, Iam sure every other place this happen said the same thing.

  15. (Rhetorically speaking)
    How many of you would have been ready to take up arms if “she” had prevailed last November? Shoe on the other foot? Trump’s election has only slowed the inevitability for conflict, but as history shows, the left will eventually have control again of the House, Senate and the Presidency. How will you react then, say 10 or 12 years down the road, when the 2A among others are even more vehemently opposed and threatened by the left? Who will take up arms at that point? Talk is cheap; what will you do?

    Hold the Republicans responsible for not supporting Trump, and for not opposing Democrats! Republicans won the last elections, majority, right? Tell your Reps and Senators to start acting like they’re in charge, else they force us to violent means.

    • not in DC it is almost impossible for someone to get CCW in DC the law is so crazy if someone had a spent cartridge as well as a live round without a gun you can be arrested .and the have no reciprocal agreements.
      and the idiot sign first off JFK reduced taxes first and the economy grew until LBJ and his war and great society spending screwed the country. and while the tax rates under Reagan dropped a whole bunch of deductions which previously reduced rates disappeared and the lower income people benefited greatly, and remember the constitution banned income tax until Wilson in 1913 gave tax. the fed reserve and a whole host of problems felt today

  16. the intro reads, “and lived out of his van for two months plotting a way to take down Republicans”.
    Didn’t plot very well. Made a lot of mistakes.

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