Wednesday, June 14, 2017

GOP ATTACK_ OPINION_ Shooter targets GOP congressmen: Time to tone it down



Shooter targets GOP congressmen: Time to tone it down

By Post Editorial Board

June 14, 2017 | 4:33pm

Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tennessee, speaks to reporters after a baseball practice shooting. AFP/Getty Images

The best news out of Wednesday’s targeted attack on Republican members of Congress and their aides is that it didn’t turn into an all-out bloodbath, thanks to the heroism of Capitol Police officers.

But that hardly diminishes the horror of what happened.

A lone gunman began firing at an early-morning practice for an annual charity baseball game, sparking a terror-filled frenzy in which five were wounded, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.

The gunman, who was slain, had a history of anti-Trump social media postings and volunteered last year for Sen. Bernie Sanders. And witnesses say he only began shooting after being assured those on the field were Republicans.

In this context, it’s worth noting Sanders’ response to the 2011 shooting that critically wounded Democratic Rep. Gabby Giffords. Though that perp had no obvious political motive, the senator that very day shot off a fund-raising letter tying the horror to “the increasingly violent rhetoric coming from the right-wing.”

And most of the Democratic Party chimed in to fault the words of the right. So what do they say now?

Recent weeks have seen a comedienne posing with the president’s severed head, as well as something close enough from Shakespeare in the Park.

All as Democrats unite in “the Resistance” as if the country had seen a coup, and wax apocalyptic about health-care bills that don’t even roll the clock back to 2008.

We don’t expect everyone to just sit down and politely work out their differences. The divisions are too stark, the emotions too heated and the issues too vexing. Life is not the Oprah Winfrey show.

But if you make enough noise about an illegitimate government and a president who has to die, some will take it as more than just idle talk.

It’s long past time for everyone to take it down a notch — and those who’ve been most over the top have the most work to do.

As we said after the Giffords shooting: If common sense and civil discourse don’t prevail, the only alternative is insanity.



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