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1 Year Later, Lawmakers Reflect on How Ballfield Shooting Changed Them

Steve Scalise Returns to Congress
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House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, accompanied by his wife Jennifer, makes his way through the Capitol on Sept. 28 for the first time since being shot and wounded the previous June 14 during a congressional baseball practice. (Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters/Newscom)

By: Rachel del Guidice – dailysignal.com – June 13, 2018

“I can still taste the dirt in my mouth when I hit the ground, that parched dirt,” Rep. Mike Bishop, R-Mich., recalls.

“It’s just a sensation that you will never forget,” Bishop says in an interview with The Daily Signal. “And it was both eerily quiet and then, just wildly beyond my explanation, the loudness of those gunshots.”

Bishop and other Republican lawmakers who were present one year ago Thursday when a man opened fire during practice for a congressional baseball game say the shooting is etched in their memories.

They also say it affects how they see their public service.

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“Each time they made your heart skip, ’cause you knew it was coming [your] way,” Bishop says of the gunshots. “I was still in the field at the time, and I could hear the bullets whizzing over … I saw stuff flying over the back of the dugout; you could hear it pinging off the chain-link fence.”

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., and at least 21 other Republican members of the House and Senate were at baseball practice at an Alexandria ballpark when James T. Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville, Illinois, began shooting at them shortly after 7 a.m. He fired about 70 rounds, authorities said at the time.

Scalise, the No. 3 House Republican, returned to Congress on Sept. 28, walking with canes after extensive surgeries and an initial recovery from the bullet that shattered his left femur and damaged his hip and pelvis.

Four others, including two Capitol Police officers, were wounded in the attack before police brought down Hodgkinson, killing him in an exchange of gunfire.

[The article continues….]

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