On Wednesday, Senator Bernie Sanders issued a statement on the floor of the Senate condemning the actions of the man who opened fire on a GOP Congressional Baseball practice Wednesday morning.
Sanders felt compelled to make this statement because of reports that the shooter had previously volunteered for his presidential campaign and had openly supported him on his social media accounts.
In the immediate aftermath of the attack, the Senator issued a tweet noting that his prayers were going to those affected by the attack. It was only later, when it was revealed that the shooter had once volunteered for his presidential campaign, that Sanders felt compelled to speak out.
“I am sickened by this despicable attack.”
The Senator confirmed that Hodgkinson was indeed a volunteer with his campaign, and said that the event sickened him.
“I have just been informed that the alleged shooter at the Republican baseball practice is someone who apparently volunteered on my presidential campaign. 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 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 Senator then explained that he in no way condones violence and that his thoughts and prayers go to those affected in the attack.
My hopes and prayers are that Representative Scalise, congressional staff and the Capitol Police Officers who were wounded make a quick and full recovery. I also want to thank the Capitol Police for their heroic actions to prevent further harm.”
James T. Hodgkinson was reportedly a leftist who supported Senator Sanders and even volunteered for him during the 2016 election. He was also a violent man who had been arrested previously for beating his wife. The charges were later dismissed, clearing the way for him to obtain a firearm legally. Hodgkinson also beat a girlfriend and his daughter.
Unlike some other political supporters, there is no evidence of a correlation between support for Senator Sanders and violent acts. Hodgkinson’s participation in the Sanders campaign is a dark mark on the campaign, but not a symptom of a greater disease in the progressive movement.