Rep. Ryan Costello, shortstop on the Republican congressional baseball team, was two minutes late this morning, and so he missed his ride to a practice that turned into a shoot-out as a gunman wounded five people before he was shot and later died.
The congressman from Pennsylvania, his eyes welling with tears, said what he cared about most was the well-being of the people who were hurt. And then, answering a reporter’s question about what healing message Americans might take from this, he said simply:
“We’re all good people” in Congress – Democrats and Republicans trying to help the country in their own way. In today’s political climate, though, elected officials aren’t given the benefit of the doubt, he said. “It’s almost as if we’re not living, human beings. It’s like we’re bad creatures.”
That plea for a recognition of everyone’s humanity was a sentiment that echoed throughout the Capitol building and down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House on Wednesday. It was voiced by members of both parties as a way to talk constructively with each other rather than spiral down into violence. Although the motives of gunman James T. Hodgkinson III, from Belleville, Ill., are unknown, he was a virulent anti-Trumper.
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