Dear Steve Scalise, Karma’s a Bitch

This article is meant to parody the typical Conservative response to mass shootings. Links to real news sources are posted below.

Early this morning, at a GOP charity baseball practice session, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was shot by a lone gunman in Alexandria, Virginia. Two members of the Capitol Police, a congressional staffer, and a lobbyist for Tyson Foods were also shot. These five injured parties were hospitalized. The gunman, identified as James Hodgkinson from Belleville, Illinois, was reportedly killed by law enforcement at the baseball field. (Source 2)

Hodgkinson was 66 years old, an entrepreneur, politically active, and leaves behind a wife and daughter. His motives are unknown at this point, although some people suspect me have have suffered a recent mental break. Currently, the only thing we can do is wait for some sort of explanation for this tragedy, and send our thoughts and prayers to the victims. (Source 1)

Rep. Steve Scalise underwent surgery this morning and remains in critical condition. In addition to being the House Majority Whip, Scalise has been an opponent of gun control measures, and also has ties to known white supremacists.

In 2016, Scalise interviewed with CNN’s Jake Tapper and aggressively opposed then President Obama’s new gun control policies, calling them “executive overreach,” and claiming the U.S. already had adequate gun control measures and protections (Source 6). Watch the full interview here:

In 2002, he spoke at a European-American Unity and Rights Organization (EURO) conference about “the most effective and up-to-date methods of civil rights and heritage related activism.” EURO was founded by former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke, and is recognized as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). (Source 3)

Steve Scalise claims he “didn’t know” EURO was a white supremacist organization, nor did he know it was founded by David Duke, and says speaking at this 2002 conference was a “mistake” which he “regrets” (Sources 3 & 4). However, EURO was a well-known racist hate group in 2002 according to a spokesperson for SPLC, and this conference was also on an “Anti-Defamation League list of extremist events for that year” (Source 3).

Scalise continued to defend himself by claiming he has spoken to many different groups with different ideologies, and “when people called and asked me to speak to groups, I went and spoke to groups” (Sources 3 & 4). He also said he did not have a scheduler on staff in 2002, nor did he have “the benefit of Google” (Source 4). It should be noted Google’s internet search engine not only existed in 2002, but was growing in popularity.

In 2014, The Washington Post interviewed David Duke on whether or not Saclise was aware of Duke’s connection to the 2002 EURO conference. Duke said he did not know for sure if Scalise knew “what the conference was,” but that Scalise was asked to speak by “two of Duke’s longtime associates.” (Source 4)

Additionally, Steve Scalise was likely aware of who David Duke was prior to his 2002 EURO conference speech, given a 1999 statement he made about Duke. When interviewed by Roll Call regarding Rep. Bob Livingston’s (R-La) resignation and the possibility of both David Duke and himself filling that newly vacated House seat, Scalise said he embraces many of the same “conservative” views as Duke, but is far more viable.” (Source 5)

Sources:

  1. Jose Pagliery, “Suspect in congressional shooting was Bernie Sanders supporter, strongly anti-Trump,” CNN, June 14, 2017, http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/14/homepage2/james-hodgkinson-profile/index.html
  2. Tal Kopan and Eric Bradner, “GOP House Whip Steve Scalise in critical condition after shooting at baseball practice,” CNN, June 14, 2017,
    http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/14/politics/alexandria-virginia-shooting/index.html
  3. Molly Reilly and Ryan Grim, “House Majority Whip Steve Scalise Spoke At White Supremacist Conference In 2002,” Huffington Post, Dec. 29, 2014, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/29/steve-scalise-euro-conference_n_6392036.html
  4. J. Scott Applewhite, “Rep. Scalise: Speech At White Supremacist Gathering ‘A Mistake I Regret’,” NPR, Dec. 30, 2014, http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2014/12/30/373955103/rep-steve-scalise-i-went-and-spoke-to-any-group-that-called
  5. Niels Lesniewski, “What Scalise and Vitter Told Roll Call About David Duke in 1999,” Roll Call, Dec. 29, 2014, http://www.rollcall.com/218/scalise-vitter-talked-to-roll-call-about-david-duke-in-1999/?dcz=
  6. “CNN: Scalise Blasts Obama’s Gun Measures,” CNN, Jan. 6, 2016, http://scalise.house.gov/press-release/cnn-scalise-blasts-obama%E2%80%99s-gun-measures
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