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Still Shocking, Always Wrong (Editorial)

2 min read

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Maybe it’s a good sign that we can still be shocked by a mass shooting in America.

What made Wednesday’s shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, Tyson Foods lobbyist Matt Mika and three others in Alexandria, Virginia, even more disturbing was that the shooter appeared to single out his victims because of their political affiliation.

The gunman took his anger toward President Donald Trump and Republicans and turned it against people practicing for the 108-year-old Congressional Baseball Game, which the Washington Post called “one of the last vestiges of congressional friendship and bonding.”

Trump and members of Congress from both parties chose to respond to the violence with words of unity and calm. “We are all united by our love of our great and beautiful country,” Trump declared.

“On days like today there are no there are no Democrats or Republicans, only Americans united in our thoughts for the wounded,” said Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

House Speaker Paul Ryan’s words were particularly appropriate: “An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.”

Although the conciliatory words will have faded long before you read this, we’re glad that at least political leaders still know that they need to be said, that a show of solidarity — however brief — is required.

If this is hypocrisy, then we’re reminded that “hypocrisy is a tribute vice pays to virtue” and that we still understand that a show of solidarity is good and right. It indicates that some people still agree on what is good and right, even when they can’t — or won’t — do what is good and right.

Perhaps our best hope is that we can continue to be shocked at mass shootings, politically motivated or not. The day when we view them as business as usual will be a tragic one indeed.

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