During Thursday’s broadcast of “CBS Evening News,” anchor Scott Pelley questioned whether Wednesday’s shooting of Republican members of Congress was self-inflicted “to some degree.”
Pelley, whose last day as anchor of the news program was Friday, contended during his closing monologue that now is the time to ask whether the shooting was “foreseeable, predictable and, to some degree, self-inflicted.”
“Too many leaders and political commentators who set an example for us to follow have led us into an abyss of violent rhetoric which, it should be no surprise, has led to violence,” Pelley said. “Yesterday was not the first time.
“In December last year, a man with an assault rifle stormed into a Washington-area pizzeria to free child sex slaves whom Hillary Clinton was holding there — or at least that’s what political blog sites had said. He fired into a locked door to discover no children in chains,” Pelley said. “Sen. Bernie Sanders has called the president the ‘most dangerous in history.’ The shooter yesterday was a Sanders volunteer.”
“You might think that no sane person would act on political hate speech, and you’d be right. Trouble is, there are a lot of Americans who struggle with mental illness,” Pelley noted.
Pelley’s remarks came a day after a gunman opened fire at a congressional practice for a charity baseball game in Alexandria, Virginia, wounding House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, a congressional staffer, a Tyson Foods lobbyist and two Capitol Police officers.
The gunman, James Hodgkinson, was a Bernie Sanders supporter and frequently posted anti-Republican and anti-Trump messages on social media. According to the Washington Times, “There have been no reports indicating that Mr. Hodgkinson, who died after a shootout with police, suffered from mental illness prior to the attack.”
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