On 2nd anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, violence at a Virginia elementary school and Congress

Happenstance? Coincidental? Or just business as usual in an angry, violent place called America?
Police respond to a shooting at Richneck Elementary School, Friday, Jan. 6, 2023 in Newport News, Va. A shooting at a Virginia elementary school sent a teacher to the hospital and ended with “an individual” in custody Friday, police and school officials in the city of Newport News said.\
(Billy Schuerman/The Virginian-Pilot via AP)

At an elementary school in Newport News, VA, Friday afternoon, a six-year-old student shot and gravely wounded a teacher. “This is not an accidental shooting,” said Police Chief Steve Drew.

The shooting came on the second anniversary of the Capitol riot that killed and seriously injured many at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Late Friday night, at that same Capitol, Rep. Mike Rogers, lunged at another member of Congress during the raucous debate that took 15 rounds of voting, amid catcalls, insults, and threats.

It is not difficult to see the line of violence that connects the shooting by an elementary student at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News and the U.S. Capitol a two-hour drive up the Interstates.

“Let’s keep it civil,” someone yelled after the confrontation between ®ogers and Matt Gaetz, the Republican who voted against McCarthy in most balloting and would only vote “present” during the closing hours when the California Congressman closed in on the Speakership.

Gaetz is part of the Freedom Caucus, a group of die-hard supporters of disgraced, defeated former president Donald Trump, who bragged to supporters that he could gun down a woman on New York’s Fifth Avenue and would still win elections.

In Newport News, Chief Drew said the teacher, in her 30s, is in critical condition with “a life-threatening injury” from the gun in the hands of a six-year-old.

Drew said the investigation of the shooting is continuing but said the teacher and student were arguing when he pulled a gun and fired.

“We’ll get the investigation done, there are questions we’ll want to ask and find out about. I want to know where that firearm came from, what was the situation,” Drew told CNN.

“I’m in shock, and I’m disheartened,” Newport School Superintendent George Parker said in a Friday news conference. “We need to educate our children and we need to keep them safe.”

Perhaps that same education should be used for members of Congress, particularly Republicans. I have first-hand knowledge of that political party. I was a political operative for national Republicans in the early 1980s, serving as Chief of Staff for one and Special Assistant to the Ranking Member of the Science and Technology for another.

Besides the “education” advocated by superintendent Parker, mandatory anger management might be in order for members of Congress.

Rep. Richard Hudson, R-N.C., left, pulls Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., back as they talk with Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., and others during the 14th round of voting for the speaker as the House meets for the fourth day to try and elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress in Washington, Friday, Jan. 6, 2023. At right is Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C.
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

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© 2021 Blue Ridge Muse