by WorldTribune Staff, June 14, 2017
As a New York theater production of the graphic assassination of the president gets standing ovations, a gunman who allegedly wanted to “kill as many Republicans as possible” opened fire on a field in which GOP members of Congress were practicing for a charity baseball game.
Rep. Steve Scalise, a congressional staffer and members of the congressional police force were shot on June 14 in Alexandria, Virginia as the Republicans were at a practice for the annual baseball game against Democrats.
Scalise, the third ranking member of House Republican leadership, was reported in stable condition after the attack by a man identified as James Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois.
The increasingly toxic quality of partisan and cultural discourse in American has given rise to concerns about the breakdown of civil order based in part on the writings of English philosopher John Locke concerning the recognition of unalienable rights including the Social Compact.
Writing about a new, controversial New York Shakespeare production, Boston radio host and WorldTribune.com columnist Jeff Kuhner noted: “The question must be asked: Do many liberals secretly wish that President Trump be assassinated? Sadly, the answer is: yes.”
Hodgkinson was killed after firing up to 100 rounds from an assault rifle. He was shot by two U.S. Capitol Police officers who were accompanying Scalise to Eugene Simpson Stadium Park for the scheduled baseball practice ahead of the June 15 charity game.
The officers were both wounded as they used their pistols to shoot at Hodgkinson.
“Congressman Scalise is a friend, and a very good friend,” President Donald Trump said in a national statement from the White House. “He’s a patriot. And he’s a fighter. He will recover from this assault – and Steve, I want you to know that you have the prayers not only of the entire city behind you, but of an entire nation, and frankly the entire world. America is praying for you and America is praying for all of the victims of this terrible shooting.”
Related: AOL profile of Scalise shooter raises the question: Was he a hero?, June 15, 2017
Zachary Barth, a congressional staffer for Texas Rep. Roger Williams, was shot in the leg but is expected to recover. The two Capitol Police officers who were injured are also expected to make a full recovery.
Matt Mika, a lobbyist for Tyson Foods who sometimes practices with the team, was also identified as one of the victims, and Sen. Jeff Flake said Mika was the most seriously injured.
Shortly after the shooting, Rep. Mark Walker, North Carolina Republican, told NBC News that it appeared the “gunman was there to kill as many Republican members as possible.”
Rep. Ron DeSantis, Florida Republican, recounted an “odd” encounter he had as he was leaving the field just minutes before the shooting: “There was a guy that walked up to us that was asking whether it was Republicans or Democrats out there, and it was just a little odd,” DeSantis told Fox News.
Sen. Bernie Sanders said he was “sickened” by the shooting. Reports said the Hodgkinson was reportedly “more on the progressive side of things” and had campaigned for Sanders in Iowa.
“Let me be as clear as I can be,” Sanders said. “Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms. Real change can only come about through nonviolent action, and anything else runs against our most deeply held American values.”
The Smoking Gun reported that, according to Hodgkinson’s Facebook page, he is a member of numerous left-leaning online groups, including The Road To Hell Is Paved With Republicans; Rachel Maddow For President 2020; Sanders For President 2020; Terminate The Republican Party; and Donald Trump is not my President.
On March 22, Hodgkinson posted to a Change.org petition that “Trump is a Traitor. Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy. It’s Time to Destroy Trump & Co.”
Columnist Jeff Kuhner wrote that: “In New York City, liberals in the theater have added a perverse twist to their long-running series, ‘Shakespeare in the Park.’ In an adaptation of Julius Caesar, the role of Caesar is played by an actor who strongly resembles Trump – the distinctive blonde hairstyle, the long red tie and power business suit. Caesar’s wife, Calpurnia, is played by someone who is supposed to be Melania Trump, which includes a thick Slavic accent. In the pivotal scene of Caesar’s murder, the Trump character is repeatedly stabbed to death by minorities (most of whom are black) and women.”
Kuhner continued: “The implicit message is clear: Trump, like Caesar, is a tyrant who poses a mortal threat to our republic and must be killed. In other words, a major theater company is producing a play in Central Park that depicts the president being gruesomely murdered on stage. At best, the ‘assassination play’ is in very poor taste. This is why Delta Airlines and Bank of America have withdrawn their sponsorships.
“Yet, liberals are not only defending it. They are celebrating it. The New York Times insists it will continue to sponsor the play, arguing it is about the right to ‘freedom of speech.’ CNN host Fareed Zakaria – an admitted serial plagiarist – calls it a ‘masterpiece’ for the ‘Trump era.’ His employer, Time-Warner, is also a sponsor.”
The irony, Kuhner added, “is that the New York Times and CNN sang a very different tune during the Obama years. They led the media charge demanding that a rodeo clown be fired simply for wearing an Obama mask. For liberal elites, to mock Obama was grounds for social ostracism; to call for the murder of Trump is a sign of heroic ‘resistance.’
The Founding Fathers “drew heavily” upon English philosopher John Locke in establishing America’s First Principles, most notably the recognition of unalienable rights, the Social Compact, and limited government, according to AmericasSurvivalGuide.com.
In his First and Second Treatise of Civil Government (1689), Locke explained that in a state of nature men and women were free to pursue and defend there own interests, which resulted in a brutal state of war. To escape this warfare, individuals established government to secure the peace. Locke noted that there could be “no freedom” without a Social Compact of laws, because “liberty is to be free from restraint and violence from others; which cannot be where there is no law.”