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builder of the spirit and not a wrecking ball!"
Mr. Allen's nationally syndicated column,
"Thinkin' Out Loud," is
Murderous Discourse was published - 6/15/17
There’s an annual event held in Washington, ever
since 1909, called the Congressional Baseball
Game. Proceeds from the event are donated to
charity and the players are members of Congress.
There’s a team of Republicans and their
opponents are Democrats.
For years, members of those teams have practiced in
Alexandria, Virginia at a residential ball
diamond next to the YMCA. The public has
always been welcome to watch Congressmen and
Senators practice for the charitable event.
On Wednesday, June 14, 2017 twenty-six members of
Congress were practicing their fielding skills
and taking batting practice that morning around
7 AM. 66-year-old James Hodgkinson of
Illinois was watching that morning. Little
did anyone know he had murderous discourse
pulsing through his veins that day. As
Representative Jeff Duncan of South Carolina was
exiting the field Hodgkinson stopped him to ask:
“Who are those people on the field?” Rep.
Duncan replied: “It’s the Congressional baseball
team.” Hodgkinson then asked if they were
Republicans or Democrats. The
Representative then said: “It’s the
Sometime after that Hodgkinson took cover behind the
third-base dugout, just outside the fence, and
began to open fire at those on the field.
He fired an estimated 50 to 100 rounds, wounding
One of those wounded, while playing second base, was
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana.
Only members of the House and Senate leadership
have Capitol Police protection. That morning,
Representative Scalise had a detail of
protection who engaged Hodgkinson and began
returning fire to protect those under assault.
A man walking his dog nearby heard the gunfire and
heard the Capitol Police officers tell the man
to drop his weapon, but he also heard those
taking cover in the dugout scream “Just shoot
Both officers were reportedly wounded by Hodgkinson as
he maneuvered around to the backstop to get a
better line of fire at those hiding in the
dugout. One of the Representative’s son, a
10-year-old, was the ball boy that day and
Congressmen and Senators hid him under the bench
to protect him from the hail of bullets.
When Hodgkinson stepped out from behind the backstop to
get a bead on those in the dugout the Capitol
Police took him out; the gunmen later died of
Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who was taking practice
swings, said: “We were like sitting ducks.”
“It was like a killing field.” “If the
Capital Police would not have been there it
would’ve been a massacre!”
It was later learned that James Hodgkinson had been a
home inspector and he had a few run-ins with the
law for battery, resisting arrest, and drunk
driving. He was also a political activist.
Although political discourse isn’t anything new, it
seems to be escalating in ferocity anymore.
When does the discourse of thought step over the line?
It does when characters like James Hodgkinson
dwell on hateful thoughts in their heads and
view fellow Americans as the enemy.
A female comedian recently thought it might be humorous
to make a video of her parading around with the
likeness of a bloodsoaked Donald Trump head in
hand. The comedian admitted later she
stepped over the line, but there’s nothing
humorous about discourse like that. Call
it free speech or not, there’s no place in
society for such despicable things.
A college professor in Georgia recently said:
“All Republicans need to be lined up and shot.”
It’s unclear if the University did anything to
reprimand that supposed educator. Another
college professor in California told students
Donald Trump should be hung. Again, it’s
unclear if any disciplinary action by that
professor’s employer was taken.
When professors speak their minds like that, comedians
act out their thoughts on stage, or political
activists act on what they harbor in their minds
it’s hate they entertain. If they claim to
be joking around I don’t believe they are.
Hate shouldn’t be tolerated in the colleges of America,
on the airwaves, in the workplace, or in the
marketplace. Hatred is what got JFK and
his brother Bobby assassinated. When Martin
Luther King Jr. saw injustice he tried to do
something about it and hatred swelled in the
heart of his assassin. Hitler wanted to rule the
world and he convinced many the Jewish people
were an inferior race and millions of poor souls
were extinguished because of the hate Adolph
Call hate for what it is. Don’t tolerate or promote
such things. Tune out those who dwell on those
Greg Allen’s column,
Thinkin’ Out Loud,
has been published bi-monthly since 2009.
He’s an author, nationally syndicated columnist
and the founder of Builder of the Spirit in Jamestown,
Indiana, a non-profit organization aiding the poor.
He can be reached at
or follow him on Twitter @GregAllencolumn.
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