Yesterday I awoke feeling absolutely patriotic about June 14th, Flag Day and the Army birthday. I was preparing for what I figured was just another day, watching Mornings with Maria on Fox News. Far away in Alexandria, Virginia at a baseball field former Republican Congressional colleagues of mine were practicing for the annual charity Republican vs Democrat baseball game.Now as you know, I’m a retired Army Soldier who’s been in combat zones and faced enemy fire. I was dressing in peace in my home in Dallas. And then the news report came: one of my former colleagues, Rep. Steve Scalise had been shot. Steve Scalise is one of those sincere spirits, a man whose heart is set on serving his constituents, his country. Steve Scalise, my other former colleagues, their staffers were not trained Soldiers, yet there they were under fire.
There were two Capitol Hill Police officers, part of Rep. Scalise’s security detail, as he is the House Majority Whip. These brave individuals stepped into the sounds of fire, returned fire, and delivered well-aimed and accurate fire resulting in the death of the assailant, James T. Hodgkinson. Their actions reinforce a simple maxim, “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”
Rep. Scalise, these two police officers, and a staffer were injured in the firefight that saw an exchange of some 50 to 80 rounds, some say it all lasted between 3 to 4 minutes, a lifetime in a firefight. Just consider, if Rep. Scalise had not been there for the baseball practice, there would have been no security. As Senator Rand Paul said, it would have been a massacre.
Sadly, Virginia Governor Terry MacAuliffe took the opportunity at the first news conference to say the unmentionable and unforgivable: “there are too many guns on the streets.” Thank God there were guns in the hands of those two officers. This is not about the means of the assault; it could have been a knife, a baseball bat or a rock.What we must come to grips with is why would Mr. Hodgkinson decide that it was his duty to take the lives of those with whom he disagreed politically? Nothing else matters, save the analysis of the motive here, and we must not obfuscate, dismiss or deny this…just as we appear to do with Islamic jihadism and terrorist attacks. San Bernardino and Orlando were not about the necessity of more gun control; that’s the cowards’ politicized ideological agenda excuse. This wasn’t some disgruntled employee who was seeking to resolve some dispute with an employer, as the Obama administration termed the Islamic jihadist attack on Nidal Hasan at Ft. Hood, “workplace violence.”
I remember another former colleague, Rep. Gabby Giffords, being shot by Jared Laughner in Arizona, along with her staffers. We all heard the calls for more civility in political discourse, as lectured by one Barack Obama who once chimed about getting in folks’ faces, punishing your enemies, and not taking a knife to a gunfight.
So where are we now? I don’t think it civil discourse to have a video of a “comedian” holding the severed head of the president of the United States. I don’t believe it’s civil discourse to have a taxpayer-funded play in New York’s Central Park that depicts the assassination of the president of the United States as Julius Caesar…and to have a political commentator at CNN refer to this as a “masterpiece.” It’s not civil discourse to have masked and hooded thugs dressed in black threatening violence, destroying property, and burning cars as part of a “resistance” movement as endorsed and funded by the progressive socialist left. As a matter of fact, failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton stated that she was part of the resistance. The politics of character assassination is abhorrent enough, but now it seems we have deliberate, planned assassinations to accompany the theatrical depictions of such.Earlier I had written about how this far left liberal progressive violence would go too far, and that all seemed well until someone would get hurt. That day has come, and if this cycle, this atmosphere, this rhetoric does not change, no one can be blamed for taking the appropriate measures to defend themselves.
As a Member of Congress, yes, when in the congressional district I chose the time and place to be personally armed. I also had a former NYPD officer and detective as my battle buddy. I now believe that due to these circumstances, Members of Congress should be authorized to hire personal security. They should coordinate with local law enforcement when they have events in their congressional district. This isn’t just about the security of the Member of Congress, but also those attending events. This was another practice our congressional office put into place.But what has to change is the demonizing of those who disagree with the progressive socialist ideological agenda. This means that Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals should not be a guiding principle used to incite acts of confrontation, intimidation, coercion and violence. The undermining of the November 2016 election has to end. So what if you lost? So did Constitutional Conservatives in 2008 and 2016. The hypocrisy cannot be ignored.
Steve Scalise and no one on the practice baseball field yesterday deserved this. And yes, I do agree that the charity baseball game should go on, and there should be a packed stadium this evening.
However, the real test comes six months from now, or a year later — even in 2020. Where do we go from here? There cannot be any more of this deplorable behavior, and use of expletives in open political forum when referring to the president of the United States. If you dislike policies, then present a better one. This wanton environment of anger and violence will only escalate a tense situation. When peaceful American citizens are pushed too far, they must protect themselves…after all the first unalienable individual right is “life.” On our college campuses we can no longer allow conservatives students to be threatened and attacked, often supported by campus administrators and teachers.
However, historically, let’s be honest. Progressive socialism, communism, statism, fascism, and Islamism has always resorted to coercion, intimidation and violence to advance its cause, its agenda, because it all has no compelling case of success of individual freedom and liberty. This never ends up well — check out Venezuela. We need powerful statements from the progressive socialist left, their political leaders, media mouthpieces and funders.
I just have to ask, how many Hollywood elites will be taking to the airwaves making commercials and public service announcements after this? How many musicians will be coming out and speaking up against this action and the direction this country is heading?
How soon will it be that we see more hooded and masked little antifa anarchists dressed in black attacking and destroying?
[Learn more about Allen West’s vision for this nation in his book Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Faith, Family and Freedom]