This morning's shooter has been identified as James Hodgkinson of Illinois, a Bernie Sanders supporter and anti-Trump zealot.
He evidently asked a bystander if it were Democrats or Republicans playing on that baseball field, and then, when he was told they were Republicans, opened fire in an effort to kill as many of them as possible.
Bernie Sanders' office has released a statement saying that he is "sickened" by this morning's shooting. (What else can he say when one of his supporters gets so overenthusiastic?)
Paul Ryan said that "An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us," the kind of high-minded but neutral statement which, when analyzed, means exactly nothing.
Trump himself called for unity, as a President should.
And most of the Democrats have been relatively quiet so far. When they do speak up, it will undoubtedly be to distance themselves from the shooter, whom the media will undoubtedly describe as a lone, troubled individual. And the emphasis from the Left will be on gun control: why are those horrible Republicans so beholden to the NRA?
And then, after a few days, the coverage will fade.
Of course, if Hodgkinson had been a Republican gunning for Democrats, what we'd hear from the media would be entirely different. This shooting would stay in the news for a couple of weeks, not a couple of days. And all the talk would be all about how Trump had engendered a climate of hatred and intolerance, and how he had encouraged his violent followers to wreak as much havoc as possible.
After a few days of that type of coverage, most people would be left with the vague impression that Hodgkinson had gotten his marching orders directly from the White House, and Trump himself had handed him the SKS rifle, along with several boxes of ammo.
To me, Hodgkinson has the look of a killer, from his smug look to his thin lips. And, he has a certain undefinable air about him that says, headstrong. But, one picture can be deceiving, and really, there are a lot of harmless people who look like that. (And to be perfectly honest, if I had known nothing else about him and you told me he was a 66-year-old blue collar home inspector from the Midwest, I would probably have just assumed he was a Trump supporter.)
As it turned out, he wasn't much of a killer. Even armed with a rifle, he killed no one, and only wounded five, despite having reportedly shot over 50 rounds. And he was taken down from a distance of around 100 feet by two Alexandria police officers armed only with pistols.
Anyway, it'll be interesting to see how the media spins this.