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Opinion: Don’t blame leftists for shooting, blame them for what’s next

A police officer stands by an automobile with a damaged driver's window at the scene of a multiple shooting in Alexandria, Va., Wednesday, June 14, 2017, where House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of La. was shot. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Someone tried to kill several members of Congress on Wednesday.

Several Republican members of Congress. Let that sink in. 

I emphasized the fact that it was Republicans, not because their lives are more precious or more important than any other victim of violence in this country, but because the suspected shooter may have targeted them because of the side of the aisle they sit on.

We know Hodgkinson was a Bernie Sanders supporter who posted anti-President Donald Trump rhetoric online, but we don’t know for sure what was going on in Hodgkinson’s mind. We may never, as he died from his wounds.

But U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) said he was asked by Hodgkinson before the shooting started if the people who were practicing for a charity baseball game were Democrats or Republicans.

Dunkin told him it was Republicans. That ended up being a big mistake. 

Because if Hodgkinson had been listening to much of the leftist rhetoric going on in our country these days, Republicans are evil people bent on making sure poor children stay poor and sick kids can’t get insurance. 

Does that mean that I hold people who have criticized Republicans responsible for this shooting? No. I’d put myself in the Republican-critic category (when they deserve it). 

I also don’t directly blame the people who have said some of the most awful things about Republicans. Heck, I don’t even blame the people who are attacking Trump’s kid with a viciousness that, at one time, would not have even been said about adults. 

But after U.S. Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.) told me four different threats received by his office were passed on to Capitol Police on Tuesday alone, I will blame the people who have painted conservatives and Republicans as awful, evil people for what will happen next:

Republicans and Democrats will move farther and farther away from giving access to the people who they were elected to serve. They will spend more time behind the walls, metal detectors and full complement of Capitol Police that Washington, D.C. allows them. 

The fact that an extreme leftist tried to murder several of them, coupled with the extreme level of hate thrown around these days, makes me not blame them. Not even a little bit. 

And for once, angry socialists and Democrats who scream during town halls, post disgusting comments on social media and paint the opposition as evil can’t pin this one on Republicans. 

They have nobody to blame but themselves. 

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