In the early morning, during practice for a congressional baseball game, a deranged shooter named James T. Hodgkinson opened fire with a rifle on a group of Republican congressmen and staffers at an Alexandria, Virginia baseball diamond. When the shooting ended, Congressman Steve Scalise, the House Majority Whip, Zach Barth, a congressional staffer, Matt Mika, a lobbyist, and two Capitol Hill Police officers, Krystal Griner and David Bailey, were wounded. The shooter died of his wounds. The carnage would have been far worse has the police officers, who typically guard members of the congressional leadership, had not been present, according to CNN.

Hodgkinson was a Bernie bro

When one hears about a mass shooting, one thinks about Middle East terrorism or someone who had become insane from personal issues. Hodgkinson seems to have been politically motivated, seeking out Republicans to kill. His Facebook page is filled with political statements, in support of Sen. Bernie Sanders, who ran for president last year, and in fervent opposition to President Donald Trump. He was a frequent writer of letters to the editor of the Belleview News-Democrat in which he railed against Republican tax policy.

Now the political fallout begins

Just as happened when Rep. Gabby Giffords was shot, the finger pointing and blame placing started. Was Hodgkinson somehow driven to do what he did by super heated rhetoric on the left?

Unlike with the Giffords shooting, one can point to numerous instances of inflamed attacks on President Trump and Republicans in general, ranging from Kathy Griffin’s severed head stunt to the nightly assassination of Donald Trump during a production of “Julius Caesar,” The president and his aides have been regularly attacked as traitors.

Republicans have been assailed for years as wanting to kill children, starve the poor, and despoil the elderly. It was all good political fun until; the shooting started.

Don’t blame the group for the act of one deranged man

Already politicians on the left are scrambling to distance themselves from Hodgkinson and his insane act.

Bernie Sanders has condemned that assassination attempt. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has taken to the floor of the House to offer her good wishes for the speedy recovery of her fellow member of Congress. The Democratic baseball team was seen with their heads bowed in prayer at their practice venue.

However, the left find themselves in the unhappy position of having a mass shooting that they cannot blame on anyone else. No doubt it is unfair to blame Democrats for what Hodgkinson did, just as it was unfair for Sarah Palin to be blamed for what happened to Gabby Giffords. But Sanders, Pelosi, and the rest might want to contemplate toning down the rhetoric, at least for a while.