MSNBC host fumbles with weapons in the wake of GOP shooting

In the midst of covering the shooting at the Republican congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia on Wednesday in which House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and three others, including two Capitol Police officers and a congressional aide, were injured, MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle received a lesson on guns from the network’s terrorism analyst Malcolm Nance.

Details about the shooting were still coming in when Nance wondered if the gunman, now identified as Trump-hater James T. Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville, Illinois, had a “scope” on the rifle he used to terrorize the GOP lawmakers while they played baseball.

“It could have been an aimed shot — using an optic, some form of scope trying to get at a very specific target,” Nance said, confusing Ruhle with his advanced terminology.

So, she asked him, “Malcolm, slow down. Walk me through, for those of us who are not familiar with weapons, what exactly does a scope mean?”

Nance replied, “It’s a sniper scope. It’s the long optic that you put on top of a weapon to gain a much closer field of view so that you can see your target better and it gives you the ability to shoot with some measure of precision. We don’t know what kind of optic that he had on this weapon, but if he did have an optic on there it would probably explain the first shot. Whoever he was aiming at with the first shot was the person that he would really want to hit.”

In Ruhle’s defense, Hill media reporter Joe Concha tweeted out that “she was just trying to clarify for the audience.”

Federal law enforcement officials have said that Hodgkinson was taken to a D.C. hospital with gunshot wounds from police fire. President Trump said in a statement from the White House that the suspect has died.

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