Following the shooting this morning at a practice session for the Republican Congressional baseball team that left five people with gunshot wounds – including House Minority Whip Steve – worries that more leftist-inspired violence could rock the capital have left Congressional offices on high alert.
While Congressional offices receive no shortage of hate mail – some of which is disturbing or even threatening, a message received in the wake of today’s shooting by the office of New York Republican Congresswoman Claudia Tenney understandably raised some red flags:
“One down, 216 to go…” the email’s subject line read.
In the body, the sender – who apparently espouses leftist political views, said that Republican lives “are forfeit” because of the policies they advocate.
“Did you NOT expect this? When you take away ordinary peoples very lives in order to pay off the wealthiest among us, your own lives are forfeit. Certainly, your souls and morality were lost long before. Good riddance."
Hannah Andrews, a spokeswoman for Tenney’s office, told the Hill that the message was “particularly disheartening” because it arrived in the wake of today’s shooting, which was carried out by 66-year-old, never-Trumper and Bernie Sanders supporter James Hodgkinson of Belleville, Ill., who was killed when Capitol Police officers Crystal Griner and David Bailey returned fire. The attack unfolded at a baseball field in Alexandria, Va.
"Although our office receives threats like these regularly, today’s message was particularly disheartening following this morning’s tragic events."
The Hill didn’t specify whether the FBI, Secret Service or Capitol Police are looking into who sent the email.
Andrews also lamented the deteriorating state of American political discourse, where people on either side of the political spectrum now view those on the opposite end with genuine contempt and hatred.
"The level of discourse in politics today is truly unfortunate. Our nation was founded on the principle of free speech, and it’s vitally important that we have a robust debate on the issues. However, protections under the first amendment do not extend to violence," Andrews added. Hodgkinson apparently owned a home inspection business though his license had expired in November 2016 and was not renewed.
In a response to the shooting, Sanders said he was “sickened” when he learned that the shooter was a former volunteer on his campaign.
Violence from far-left activist is increasingly becoming a problem in America – something that local police departments and the FBI have noted. Violent clashes have erupted in Portland, Ore. After the far-left Antifa group confronted peaceful conservative protesters, whom they blamed for a stabbing attack on a Portland commuter train that left two dead and a third injured.
As we reported earlier this morning, Hodgkinson allegedly asked Rep. Jeff Duncan whether it was Republicans or Democrats on the practice field before opening fire. We've covered all of the key developments throughout the morning here.