I teach in Belleville, Illinois, a suburb of St. Louis. Belleville is the home of James Hodgkinson, the man who opened fire on congressmen and staffers at a G. O. P. baseball practice Wednesday morning.
As I write, Rep. Steve Scalise is in critical condition. Several others are recovering.
My university students Wednesday night were, to say the least, upset. Many expressed a certain gratitude that this is not seen as something peculiarly Midwestern or particularly partisan. Knuckle-dragging gun nut socialist hoosier, that sort of thing, that would only add more sadness to the almost unbearably painful. It’s sad enough that this is what it is, a sick man, our neighbor, caught up in a culture of violence. As near as anyone can tell, Hodgkinson just got a gun, went to Washington, and shot folks. Easy as that.
One of the people he shot wants to make it even easier to get guns.
Rep. Steve Scalise is a strong supporter of an interpretation of the 2nd Amendment that promotes nearly unregulated gun ownership. On 5 January 2011, he introduced a measure to improve the purchase of firearms, House Resolution 58, the “Firearms Interstate Commerce Reform Act”, a bill that “Amends specified law, prohibiting the killing of wild birds and wild animals in the District of Columbia, to declare that nothing in it, or any other provision of law, shall … discourage or eliminate the private ownership or use of firearms.” In February, he cosponsored H. R. 822, which would ensure national reciprocity for concealed carry permits. It should come as no surprise that he earned an A+ from the National Rifle Association...
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