Violence in the Capitol and against our representatives
The January 6, 2021 mob violence inside the Capitol is abhorrent and must be condemned. It is, unfortunately, far from the only political violence in the history of our citadel of democracy. President Trump and his followers are being labeled "terrorists." But an historical review reveals abhorrent actions that were condemned contemporaneously, only to be mitigated over time... even forgotten. For some reading this, before you were born.
July 2, 1915: A German professor, angered by assistance to Great Britain against Germany in WWI, exploded a bomb in the Senate reception room. He committed suicide in jail after his capture.
March 1, 1954: Four Puerto Rican nationalists sitting in the House Gallery shot at congressmen in session, wounding five. They were convicted and sentenced to 49 years in prison. In 1979, one died in prison and the remaining three were pardoned by President Carter. They returned to Puerto Rico and hailed as patriots by some.
March 1, 1971: A bomb was detonated in the Senate wing, near the Rotunda and below the Senate chamber, causing extensive damage, some structural. Although no one was ever charged, the Weather Underground claimed credit. These "Amerika-hating revolutionaries" engineered bombings, robberies and killings. Interestingly, married couple Bill Ayers and Benardine Dohrn, founding members of the group, became college professors in Chicago where Ayers was connected to the Chicago Annenberg Challenge organization, as was his neighbor community organizer Barack Obama.
November 7, 1983: M19CO (a communist organization) claimed responsibility for the bombing of the Capitol's north wing. The blast pushed a potentially lethal hole into the empty Republican Senate cloak room. The Senate had unexpectedly adjourned early. In May 1985, Susan Rosenberg was convicted to 58 years in prison for possession of bombs, explosives and firearms. In 1988 Rosenberg was charged with others for the Capitol bombing, but charges were dropped in 1990 because of her imprisonment on the weapons charges. On June 20, 2001 she was released from prison due to President Clinton's commutation. Susan Rosenberg later became vice chair of Thousand Currents, the fundraising arm for Black Lives Matter.
ABC7 YouTube screengrab
June 14, 2017: James Hodgkinson shot 70 rounds at an Alexandria, VA ball field where members of the Republican House caucus were practicing in preparation for a charity game with Democrats. Five persons were wounded (including Congressman. Steve Scalise). The shooter, an avowed anti-Trumper and follower of Senator Bernie Sanders, died of wounds he suffered that day.
Violent criminal acts must be dealt with severely. But painting blame with a broad partisan brush must be resisted. Casting political stones at politicians for their lawful rhetoric and actions cannot be confused with criminally charging ideological violent extremists.