Yesterday morning, the news broke on Twitter that there was a major shooting in Alexandria, Virginia. The shooting was at the Congressional baseball teams’ practice. The Republican team was trying to get their game together to defend their title (?) from last year, because 2016 was the first time the Republican team had won in eight years. Shots rang out, and Majority Whip Steve Scalise was shot in the hip. Four other people were wounded. Since Scalise – as a high-ranked member of Congress – has a security detail of Capitol Police, there was already law enforcement on site and the shooter was taken down after he unloaded something like 50 rounds.
The shooter was identified several hours later as James T. Hodgkinson, a 66-year-old white man, a Bernie Sanders supporter with a long history of alcohol abuse, violence and domestic abuse. Hodgkinson was wounded in the shootout with police, and he later died from his wounds. His social media is still being pored over, and he had a history of writing disturbing things about Trump and other Republicans. Despite his long rap sheet, he owned his guns legally. Bernie Sanders made a statement about the shooting – go here to see.
I understand from reading the comments in yesterday’s links post that some people think we didn’t cover the Alexandria shooting because the victims were Republicans. We understand how that might occur to people but want to assure you that’s not the case at all. If you’re familiar with our site, you know that we don’t cover those kinds of breaking-news stories as that’s not our focus, we’re a celebrity site and we cover politics that aren’t tragic and devastating. We didn’t cover the Gabby Giffords shooting, we never devoted a stand-alone post to the Pulse shooting (the one year anniversary of which just happened this week), we never wrote about the Sandy Hook massacre or the Boston terrorist attack or many other huge, breaking news tragedies that have happened over the years. The recent exception we made was the coverage of the Manchester and London terrorist attacks because there was a strong celebrity angle with Ariana Grande’s involvement (and even then, I was gutted and crying as I wrote those posts). But, for the most part, on these stories, we stay the hell away. Here are some of our reasons:
One, the first take is always the worst. You don’t want or need to read my hot-take on a crisis when the crisis is still unfolding.
Two, this site is not in the business of breaking-news real-news coverage. Please go to CNN or an actual news site. We cover celebrities, fashion, pop culture, media, gossip and (hopefully) thoughtful political commentary, if the politics involved aren’t completely tragic and devastating. I don’t want to add my hot-take because I don’t want to crowd out actual, important information about an unfolding event or, even worse, perpetuate misinformation about an event. If you need an escape from an unfolding tragedy, please come here and read about bangs trauma and how much I hate peplums and the color orange. If you want to figure out what’s happening during a shooting, go to CNN.
Three, I’m increasingly wary of performative social justice, in myself and others. This goes along with the first take being the worst take. In the first hours of a tragedy, I’m not going to perform my wokeness on social justice or gun control or the privilege of angry white dudes. It’s not the time, place or space for that. Give it 24 hours. Give it 48 hours. Then let’s have an honest discussion when all of the facts are in.
I am sickened by this despicable act. Let me be as clear as I can be. Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society. pic.twitter.com/ib2reH3ghQ
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) June 14, 2017
Photos courtesy of Getty.