What should have been a pleasant break from the norm — a Wednesday morning practice for Thursday's annual Congressional Baseball Game — took a horrifying turn when a gunman opened fire on the Republican team as it practiced.
Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) told authorities that as he left the field, a man approached him and asked whether the group playing was Republican or Democrat. Moments later, the first shots rang out. However, there is no confirmation that the person who stopped DeSantis was the shooter or was connected to the shooting in any way.
Witnesses recalled hearing 40-50 rounds being fired. Several, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), were wounded in the shooting.
Within moments of the news breaking, however, critics were ready to blame everything from Virginia gun laws to President Donald Trump for the shooting.
The senior editor of The Atlantic blamed the “loose gun laws” in the state of Virginia:
But National Review editor Charles W. Cooke quickly called him out:
Former CIA agent and veteran Army Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer joined in:
Then the White House released an official statement on the shooting:
And people started blaming the president:
One even suggested that Congress was partly to blame for taking a day off to play baseball:
But then Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) made a point that put things in perspective a bit:
Because Scalise is part of GOP leadership in Congress, Capitol Police were on hand at Wednesday morning's practice — and were quickly able to neutralize the shooter and take him into custody.