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Reaction to shooting at Congressional baseball practice

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Wednesday, June 14, 2017, the entire nation was shocked when a lone gunman opened fire on US Congress members practicing for a charity baseball game. Five people including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana) were shot. The shooter was killed by police. A number of leaders expressed their shock and outrage at the senseless attack on American Democracy.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said in a statement, “An attack on members of Congress, their staff, and Capitol Police is an attack on the fabric of our nation. This cowardly, senseless shooting should drive us to our knees in prayer for those injured and justice for the offender. As Alabamians, we should be united in our quest to protect our freedoms at all costs.”

US Representative Terri Sewell (D-Selma) said on social media, “There are a lot of strong emotions today. We are all horrified at the attack this morning. Here is what I will say: An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us. Republican or Democrat, we might disagree about policy, but we are all one family. I care deeply about all my colleagues, and hope that you will join me in praying for those injured in today’s shooting.”

US Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) said on social media, “A horrific incident this morning. I ask that you join me in saying a prayer for Congressman Steve Scalise from Louisiana, other Members of Congress, members of the Capitol Police, and Congressional staff who may have been injured. Reports indicate that the heroic actions of Capitol Police officers saved lives, and they deserve our praise today and everyday.”

Former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice, Roy Moore said in his own statement, “This morning, our thoughts and prayers are with Congressman Steve Scalise and the others wounded by a senseless act of violence in Virginia. I urge us all to pray for their recovery and for emotional and spiritual strength for their families during this difficult time. 

”We also want to thank the members of law enforcement who put their lives at risk to stop the shooter. Their courage and quick response ended what could have been an even greater tragedy.”

State Representative Allen Farley (R-McCalla) said on social media, “Please join me in Prayer for those who were shot this morning at a neighborhood baseball field in Virginia. God Bless America!!”

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Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) said on the House floor:

“My colleagues: There are strong emotions throughout this House today. We are all horrified by this dreadful attack on our friends and colleagues, and those who serve and protect this Capitol. We are all praying for those who were attacked and their families:

-Steve Scalise
-Zachary Barth
-Matt Mika
-Special Agent David Bailey
-Special Agent Crystal Griner.”

Speaker Ryan continued, “We are all giving our thoughts to those currently being treated for their injuries AT THIS MOMENT. And we are united. We are united in our shock and anguish. An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.

“I know we want to give our thanks to the first responders and the Alexandria Police Department, who were on the scene in minutes. And I know this House wants to state unequivocally that we are, as ever, awed by the tremendous bravery of the Capitol Police.”

Ryan said, “I spoke with Special Agent Bailey and Special Agent Griner this morning…I expressed our profound gratitude to them. It is clear to me, based on eyewitness accounts, that without these heroes, Agents Bailey and Griner, many lives would have been lost.

I know we all want to learn as much as we can about what happened. We just received a briefing from the Sergeant at Arms. I have complete confidence in the investigation that is being conducted by the Capitol Police working with local law enforcement. I know we want to extend our gratitude for the outpouring of support we have received from throughout the Capitol and from throughout the country.”

Ryan continued, “Now, knowing Steve Scalise as we all do, he is likely really frustrated that he will not be able to play in the baseball game. I also know that Steve wants all of us to commend the bravery of those who came to the aid of the wounded. In the coming days, we will hear their stories, and we will have the chance to hold up their heroism.
My colleagues, there are many memories from this day we will want to forget, and many images we will not want to see again. But there is one image in particular that this House should keep. And that is a photo I saw of our Democratic colleagues gathered in prayer this morning after hearing the news.
You know, every day, we come here to test and challenge each other. We feel so deeply about the things we fight for and believe in. At times, our emotions can get the best of us. We are all imperfect. But we do not shed our humanity when we enter this chamber.”

Ryan said, “For all the noise and fury, we are a family. These were our brothers and sisters in the line of fire. These were our brothers and sisters who ran into danger and saved countless lives.

“So before this House returns to its business, I want us to slow down and reflect, to think about how we are being tested right now. Because we are. I ask each of you to join me in resolving to come together…to lift each other up…and to show the country—show the world—that we are one House. The people’s House—united in our humanity.
It is that humanity which will win the day. It always will.”

President Trump said, Authorities are continuing to investigate the crime, and the assailant has now died from his injuries. The FBI is leading the investigation and will continue to provide updates as new information becomes available. Congressman Steve Scalise, a member of House leadership, was shot and badly wounded, and is now in stable condition at the hospital, along with two very courageous Capitol Police officers. At least two others were also wounded. Many lives would have been lost if not for the heroic actions of the two Capitol Police officers who took down the gunman despite sustaining gunshot wounds during a very, very brutal assault. Melania and I are grateful for their heroism and praying for the swift recovery of all victims. Congressman Scalise is a friend, and a very good friend. 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.”

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President Trump continued, “I spoke with Steve’s wife, Jennifer, and I pledged to her our full and absolute support — anything she needs. We are with her and with the entire Scalise family. I have also spoken with Chief Matthew Verderosa — he’s doing a fantastic job — of the Capitol Police to express our sympathies for his wounded officers and to express my admiration for their courage. Our brave Capitol Police perform a challenging job with incredible skill, and their sacrifice makes democracy possible. We also commend the brave first responders from Alexandria Police, Fire and Rescue who rushed to the scene. Everyone on that field is a public servant — our courageous police, our congressional aides who work so tirelessly behind the scenes with enormous devotion, and our dedicated members of Congress who represent our people.”

President Trump concluded, “We may have our differences, but we do well, in times like these, to remember that everyone who serves in our nation’s capital is here because, above all, they love our country. We can all agree that we are blessed to be Americans, that our children deserve to grow up in a nation of safety and peace, and that we are strongest when we are unified and when we work together for the common good. Please take a moment today to cherish those you love, and always remember those who serve and keep us safe. God bless them all, God bless you, and God Bless America.”


Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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