House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was shot earlier today along with a congressional staffer and members of the congressional police force when a disgruntled liberal opened fire on Republicans as they practiced on a (gun-free) YMCA baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia for tomorrow’s annual Congressional Baseball Game charity event.
This afternoon, representatives on the field at the time of the shooting spoke out on the incident.
“We used my belt to help put a tourniquet around his leg,” Representative Mo Brooks told CNN. “There’s a guy with a gun blasting away. Fortunately, it was one of the good guys, one of our security detail who was shooting back.”
Ohio Representative Brad Wenstrup, a physician and an Iraq War veteran, was also on the field when the shooting occurred, stated, “I felt like I was back in Iraq but without my weapon … everyone just got down.”
“The people in the dugout had no route of escape. Their only chance of survival was to get below the surface of the ground. And they were only 20 yards from the shooter,” Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul told CNN. “You are completely helpless — having no self-defense and no way to get to somebody. The field was basically a killing field.”
“There’s such a hatefulness in what we see in American politics and policy discussions right now … this has got to stop,” said Representative Rodney Davis.
“It emboldens me,” Ohio Representative Bill Johnson told Fox News. “It tells me that we’re doing what we’re doing for a reason. We don’t cower in the corner from these kinds of incidences. We can’t let the bad guys win.”
But when asked if the shooting served to change his view on the “gun situation” in America, Representative Mo Brooks didn’t miss a beat, swiftly serving the reporter an epic dose of reality:
“Not with respect to the Second Amendment,” Brooks said. “The Second Amendment right to bear arms is to help ensure that we always have a republic. And as with any constitutional provision in the Bill of Rights, there are adverse aspects to each of those rights that we enjoy as people, and what we just saw here is one of the bad side effects of someone not exercising those rights properly.”
In an emotional speech, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) said the annual charity fundraiser will be held as scheduled Thursday night at Nationals Park.