Transcript

Sen. Paul describes surviving attack on GOP baseball team

Republican senator from Kentucky had just finished batting practice when the gunman opened fire

 

This is a rush transcript from "The Fox News Specialists," June 14, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

EBONI K. WILLIAMS, CO- HOST: Congressman Roger Williams speaking out, after he and an aide were injured in today's Alexandria, Virginia, shooting.

My goodness, Eric, this has been -- the start of the day, I don't know about you and Kat, but I was getting text messages starting shortly after everything happened with so many questions. And here we are several hours later with still so many unanswered questions.

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: So this day developed at 7:00, it started -- throughout the day, you heard what was going on. What I found out -- this event was a metaphor for America. Think about this for a second, a baseball diamond, what's more American than baseball? Nothing. Representatives representing Americans on the baseball diamond, a charity event, a bipartisan charity event, a softball game, this is all Americana in every respect, and then this one, a chilling email to a congressman recently within the last hour and half or so, saying one down, 216 to go, meaning GOP Republican congress people. Both scary day and sad day in America, but I'll tell you the last piece of Americana with them saying we're going to play that ball game tomorrow at 7:05.

WILLIAMS: I completely agree, Kat. Obviously, earlier we saw the joint press conference from the coaches from both the Democrat and the Republican side. But many people speculating that this kind of bipartisan moment of unity can be short-lived, what is your prediction of that?

KATHERINE TIMPF, CO- HOST: Well, of course, it can be short-lived, and something like this, you can't really have any thoughts but bipartisan thoughts. And like Paul Ryan said an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us. Because it's very shocking especially when you think about Scary what would have happened if there would not been the police there? Which if there's been any other group, they wouldn't have been there. That's what makes it the most horrifying.

BOLLING: Arm the police. Arm to police. Note that.

WILLIAMS: Let's go to Fox News correspondent Leland Vittert who's live from Alexandria, Virginia. He's very close to where the shooting happen. Leland, thanks for being with us.

LELAND VITTERT, FOX NEWS: Hey, guys, nice to be with you. And the investigation still continues. It is painstaking to recreate events like these. Go ahead and take a look. You can see the evidence collection team right by the third-base dugout, and that is where eyewitnesses say that James Hodgkinson emerged with this high power rifle. As we speak, you see these men -- they're laying out the markers of where there're bullet casings and other evidence. They want to look at the FBI and ATF trying to run down two weapons, the unmistakable rifle that so many people talked about that they saw Hodgkinson emerge with, and then also a handgun. Take a listen now to that shoot-out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(GUNFIRE)

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Do you know where he's at? You know where he's at?

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: He's behind those plates.

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: The guy has been shot, is he OK?

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Stay down. Stay down.

(GUNFIRE)

VITTERT: That was the exchange of fire between Hodgkinson there at the third base dugout, and where you see these agents walking across by the third base line. Steve Scalise was playing second base, so just there where those evidence team are. Followed a little bit further, Mr. Wallace just to the left here and that is the dog park where the video that you just saw was being taken. The shoot-out, three to five minutes long, 60 or so bullets, it was very clearly targeted. Take a listen to one witness.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Based on what you could see, was it clear that this gentleman was -- the gunman was focused on shooting on the baseball field. He wasn't sort of randomly shooting at civilians or other people in the neighborhood?

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: It was not randomly shooting at civilians from what I saw. He seemed to me to be focused on shooting at the assumed capital police officers who were behind a black SUV, exchanging fire.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VITTERT: The house majority whip airlifted off of the field in critical conditions after surgery. One member of his security detail shot but will be OK. Another hurt but currently out of the hospital. The captain, the chief of police for the capital police saying that their heroic actions certainly saved a lot of lives out here. We're learning a little bit more about the gunman. From his Facebook page, that he called president Trump a traitor. From Belleville, Illinois, just outside of St. Louis, where the local paper reports lots of letters to the editor, clearly very angry with Republican policies. And also learning from Capitol Hill that at one point he volunteered for then presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Take a listen to Senator Sanders.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, I-VT.: Sicken by this despicable act. And let me be as clear as I can be, violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society, and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VITTERT: And word from the FBI who is now leading this investigation that developments are coming very quickly. Guys, we expect a press conference from them approximately 5:30, so just about 25 minutes or so from now, with what they have learned since this began. We're now about ten hours into the investigation from those first shot.

WILLIAMS: Thank you for those updates, Leland. And a quick alert, Senator Rand Paul who was a witness, an eyewitness to today's shooting, will be joining us in just a little bit here on the show. But now let's meet today's specialists. She is the author of, The Selfie Vote, and she's co- host of the pollster podcast, but she specializes in everything in both politics and polling, Kristen Soltis Anderson is here. And he has won five awards from the national press club and the society of professional journalists, he's also the current editor-in-chief of The Hill newspaper, but specializes in interviewing the big names in politics including Congressman Steve Scalise, Bob Cusack is here. Thank you both for being with us on such a very, you know, troublesome and high-profile news day. I guess I'll start with you on this, Bob. You have interviewed the whip.

BOB CUSACK, THE HILL EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Yeah.

WILLIAMS: I went to law school in New Orleans. So a lot of my friends know him well. They are his constituent. What was going through your mind when you first heard he was injured and shot and we didn't know his condition?

CUSACK: Well, I mean, it really affects you. I mean, Steve Scalise -- he's a big sports fan, obviously, playing sports at LSU. He's also a very down to earth guy. We interviewed him on getting the votes for Obamacare, repeal and replace, and he's -- not all lawmakers are down to earth, but he is -- he's just a regular guy. It does affect you because whether it's Gabby Giffords or these attacks on Capitol Hill -- they're not on Capitol Hill when there's been a shooting, not as bad as this. I mean, it is a scary situation.

WILLIAMS: Eric, I want to start with you as well because to Bob's point, one of my good friends is Congressman Richmond, who is a Democrat, and he is a colleague in the house with Scalise, and when he came out with his support of Congressman Scalise as a Democrat, he got a lot of backlash. And I think that that is systematic of where we are in this country, around a type of result and just the lack of compassion people have for one another as people. Like you said the Americana and the humanities is being lost.

BOLLING: We're becoming more and more divisive and divided as a country, but the political rhetoric is getting ratcheted up on both sides. Let's be fair and balanced about it. On both sides it's happening. But, you know, in fact, there's a wake up, America, monologue where I address exactly that. What's going on? What's the reason? Where are we? Is this America or is it Raqqa? This is more like Sunni on Shia violence and it is Republicans versus Democrats.

But Kristen, I think it's relevant to note that this guy, he was a Bernie Sanders campaign worker, who was a devout socialist, who walked up to this baseball field and asked a representative, are these Republicans or Democrats, when he found out they're Republicans he decided to open fire on the group.

KRISTEN SOLTIS ANDERSON, AUTHOR: Well, politics has become so tribal. And look, I don't think Bernie Sanders has any responsibility for this whatsoever. In fact, of all the politicians out there, I don't view him as being someone whose rhetoric is over-the-top in a way that would encourage someone to violence. But we definitely have an America that's -- increased tribalism in our politics. So my specialization is polling, I know not everybody love it, but right before the election, Pew asked some voters who are you voting for and could you respect someone who voted for the other candidates? Among Trump voters, 40 percent said they could never respect a Clinton voter, among Clinton voters, 58 percent said they'll have a hard time respecting a Trump voter. We can't even respect each other as people.

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: The backlash my mother, lifetime Democrat, faced for her support of President Trump, to the point where I was covering the inauguration as, you know, Eric and Kat as well. She wanted a, Make America Great Again t- shirt, I refused to get it for her because I was literally afraid as to what the reception would be in her community.

TIMPF: Well, first of all, we don't see enough of people blaming the shooter for shooting people. I think that it's OK, of course, to examine the climate surrounding it, but this is this guy's fault. If a 66-year-old adult man shoots a bunch of people, maybe it's that adult man who shot the people fault that he shot the people. But I think this goes beyond Trump, if we are going to talk about the rhetoric. The way that people talk about Republicans -- it isn't just the way we talk about Trump, is that if you support small government solutions, then you are taking someone's food away to starve their kids, and your pushing the off -- their grandma off the cliff with the other hand. So that is -- really certainly does make Republicans look like evil people. I think that that's a problem. I think it's also very disingenuous because just having a different approach to solving problems is not the same as wanting people to die. But I think that it takes a special kind of evil disgusting person to go shoot a bunch of people regardless of what other people are saying.

BOLLING: You used an very important word. The word you said they want people, quote, unquote, die. Let's talk about the Republican health care plan that they push a couple of months ago. These are Democrats who have said this. Bill de Blasio said it's not an overstatement that saying some children will die because of this. This is heightened rhetoric. Cory Booker goes in and said Americans will cost Americans lives. Nancy Pelosi, this is deadly, this is deadly. Bernie Sanders says thousands of Americans would die. The Democrats aren't afraid to use that word when talking about a Republican policy. And you're going to tell me that crazy people aren't going to hear this and go, oh, my god, they really are going to kill us. What do we do?

ANDERSON: But you could argue -- you know, for instance, if you're somebody that supports really strict gun control, and we've had a lot of arguments today about to what extent would these folks have been better protected if they could have their own firearms to protect themselves? In that debate you can see someone saying, look, if you don't give someone the right to protect themselves, you're putting them at risk for dying. I mean, there are ways that political rhetoric in talking about policies, can't talk about issues of life or death. That in no way excuses someone actually going out and killing someone.

TIMPF: You can be upset. You can be mad. People don't grab guns and shoot a bunch of people.

WILLIAMS: Except for people do.

(CROSSTALK)

TIMPF: Evil does that.

WILLIAMS: That's the point though, Kat. Exactly, evil people, evil individuals, so I'm agreeing with you there. But, look, I talked about this earlier on my radio show. I do think at some point we have to look at the fact that the rhetoric is starting to merge with the reality. And to kind of -- I don't know at this point, blindly think that they're always going to be distinct from one another, I think is naive at this point. I really do. That's my personal opinion on it because I've seen the correlation firsthand.

TIMPF: Would you agree that it exists on both sides?

WILLIAMS: No, a 100 percent.

TIMPF: You're right.

WILLIAMS: There're also people that felt because they so strongly disagreed with President Obama's foreign policy on various points, that everything was going to -- we were all going to die because of that.

TIMPF: Exactly.

WILLIAMS: I mean it's horrible and egregious. Up next, Senator Rand Paul was at the baseball field in today's attack unfolded, he will join us and his harrowing experience. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLLING: Senator Rand Paul was one of the Republican lawmaker at the scene of today shooting in Alexandria, Virginia, and he joins us now from Washington. Senator, you were on TV this morning on your phone and you were very compelling. Can you take us through what you experienced this morning, around 7:00 this morning?

SEN. RAND PAUL, R-KAN.: You know, I'd just been up to bat at home plate and they told us to take five cuts, and you know how it is as a baseball player, you sometimes think, you know, maybe my five cuts will be eight or ten cut. But today, I said, you know what, I'm going five cuts and because I chose to do what I was supposed to do, I was walking away as the shooter was preparing. I walked over to the dugout and Senator Jeff Blake from Arizona said, can I have a ride home or back to Capitol Hill, and I said sure. I said, but I'm going to go one extra cut at the batting cages which was yet farther away.

So I walked a little further out and I'm putting on my helmet, and we hear a loud shot. I live in Kentucky, so people hunt in my neighborhood, even in the bottomland around my neighborhood. It's not uncommon to hear a shotgun. I heard a loud shot and it sounded really close. But like anything else, you think, well, I don't know what that was, but we're just about to say, well, let's get started again. But then we heard five to ten shots quickly in a row and we knew something was wrong, and then we heard 10, 20 more shots. And probably, maybe a total of 50 or 60 shots.

At this point, everybody is ducking for cover. Everybody is scrambling. Two staffers were in left field and the shooter is along the third-base line hiding behind the dugout, sort of a concrete cinderblock dugout. Two of the staffers raced the whole warming track, the perimeter of the outfield, so they're right next to where I am. There's a big oak tree, couple of hundred year old oak tree right next to the batting cage. I'm behind that tree. There're two staffers on the other side of the 20 foot fence. About this time we see that the shooter shoots Representative Scalise, and he's down. People are yelling I'm hit all around the place.

So the two guys on the other side of the fence, one of them has got to make a decision. It's a tough decision. Do I lay still and hope they think I'm dead, or they don't come close to look, or do I decide this is not a good place to be? While they're laying there, the bullets are landing all around them in the dirt of the warning track. So one of them decides he's coming over the fence. It's about a 20-foot tall fence, chain-link fence. I think he set it in record time. He was over in two seconds. I'm not sure I was going over that fast if I have to. But I'm on the outside of the fence, he joins me, we're behind the tree.

At this point, we hear that he's changing magazines, loading again, firing again, and it's sort of like a killing field. All across -- the whole wide open field, nobody can get to Scalise. Scalise's down but he's moving, and he's crawling very, you know, as much as he can in the outfield, although he's got a pretty significant gunshot injury, but he crawls about 15 yards. Still no one can get to him because there's bullets spraying across the entire field. The people in the first base dugout, it's a submerged dugout, you know what's this like, Eric, you go down about two feet to get to the dugout. They're down below the lip of it, but the bullets are going into the dirt in front of the dugout and bouncing up into the back of the dugout.

We hear at this point that the shooter seems to be moving, and it seems like he's going towards home plate which means he's coming to the right half of the field where we are, where most of the players are, and fortunately where the Capitol Hill police is located. So the staffer and I behind the tree, we've got to make a decision, we've got to run across a fairly open field but in the opposite direction of the shooter, or we could stay and see what happens. But we sort of made the choice we were unarmed and nothing we could do against somebody with a semiautomatic rifle, so we decide to run at that point. And at about that point where we start hearing the Capitol Hill police, who are just amazing heroes, begin firing back. I found out later that they were both shocked in the process. We lost our signal. We lost our signal.

BOLLING: We still have you, senator. Can you hear us? Can you hear us? OK. So we lost the senator. And Eboni, you pointed out this morning that you mentioned had it not been for the Capitol Hill police.

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: They would've just have baseball -- I mean, baseball bats, excuse me, to defend themselves. And, you know, I wish we could've asked him. This is my question, Eric. Congressman Roger Williams said that they do that 6:00 to 8:00 AM practice every year. My question is, I wonder if people know that and if they know where they're located for those practices because I'm just wondering how this crazy madman.

(CROSSTALK)

TIMPF: Think about how horrifying that is? Having no idea what's going on. That's the kind of thing if you're going to watch a movie, you see it in the movie, happens to other people, it doesn't happen to you. I don't know how I will react to that. It's absolutely terrifying.

BOLLING: Kris and Bob, both of you live in D.C., am I right?

CUSACK: Right outside of D.C.

ANDERSON: That's right.

BOLLING: So a lot of people know about this game, and a lot of people knows about the practices, right?

CUSACK: Yeah -- no, absolutely. You can find out this information. The thing that -- it's so fortunate that Scalise, and we pray that he recovers, that he was there because otherwise you have no security. And this brings up the question of lawmaker security because senators, average senators, rank-and-file, they don't have security following them.

BOLLING: Let me throw this at you, I think it was estimated that Betsy DeVos, cabinet secretary, her security cost somewhere around a million dollars per month, one person. You're talking 535 members of congress, times a million, times 12 months, that's over $6 billion. You know, listen, we have a $4 trillion budget, but $6 billion is a lot of money.

ANDERSON: What's really tragic is that in any of these situations, whether it's protecting lawmakers, when it's protecting us from terrorist to airports, things like that. The fact of the matter is, living in a free society there's always danger.

BOLLING: Guys, allow me to break in for a second. We have Senator Rand Paul back. Senator, we have just about a minute or so. Can you just summarize -- or your final thoughts?

PAUL: At this point, you know, the Capitol Hill police returning fire, and you talk about the real heroes of this? Both of them were wounded in returning fire, but had they not been there, I think it would have been a massacre. We had 15-20 other people hunkered down around the field with no defense. So we were really lucky Capitol Hill police was there and I want to say thank you to them.

BOLLING: All right, senator. We're going to say thank you very much for joining us. I know you've been a very, very sought after guest today. Thank you for coming on our show. Appreciate that.

PAUL: Thank you.

BOLLING: All right, senator, thank you. Coming up, when we return, it's time to wake up, America, about the escalating climate of violence we've been talking about through this block. Be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLLING: Let's chat, America. It's time we did. Earlier on the show, just a minute ago, you heard Rand Paul's bone-chilling account of the events this morning. Where are we when a society -- in a society when a guy like Steve Scalise, with a wife and two kids, is gunned down on second freaking base? Congressman Mo Brooks described the terror he felt while lying down in a dugout being shot at with, quote, just a baseball bat for defense. Don't lose the poetic irony on the fact that this happened on a baseball field, the most American of American past time. Is this America or this Raqqa or Yemen?

So today, this was clearly politically motivated as the shooter was a Bernie Sanders 2016 campaign volunteer. And here's the socialist hiding a poster with his politics written all over it. So this was a targeted attack on Republicans, no doubt. You know, American politics has been called a blood sport where both sides are using strong words or refute the other side policies. It's been that way for 240 years, that's America. But there's been a sea change recently. In the words liberal politicians and celebrities are willing to use. Democrat politicians have been playing fast and loose with the way they disagree with the right on the GOP health care propose law just alone. Cory Booker, a Democrat from New Jersey said this will, quote, mean death, pain, and suffering. Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic governor of Virginia said people are going to die. Yep, Virginia. Let's call it the home field for today's shooting. Listen to Democrat and former attorney general Loretta Lynch, go too far.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LORETTA LYNCH, FRM. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I know its health concern for people who see our rights being assailed, being trampled on, and even being rolled back. It is been people, individuals, who have banded together, ordinary people who simply saw what needed to be done. They marched, they bled, yes, some of them had died.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLLING: Spilled blood, died, really, ma'am?

Snoop Dogg's gun, Kathy Griffin's head, Shakespeare's bloody rampage, it goes on and on. How many innocent people have to die before we realize that words do matter?

Crazy people act on the crazy things they hear from politicians and celebrities. Think before you utter those blind, hateful words next time, liberals. Because there are crazy people out there, taking your metaphors literally. Before you liberals blow a gasket saying I'm being partisan, I will tell you, I will guarantee you this -- I would be writing the same monologue and delivering the same monologue if it were a Democrat softball practice targeted and terrorized. That I promise you.

Now Kat, I think you yelled at me in the A-block, saying this goes both ways. But it does go both ways. If there were Democrats being targeted, "Is this Republican or Democrat?" "Democrat." And then they get shot shot, I would be having an equal amount of outrage.

TIMPF: It does go both ways, and there's no question that people have reached a level of disgustedness in their rhetoric when they talk about the other side politically.

But my question for you is what do we do about it? We can tell everybody to be nice. I am not OK with banning any type of speech, because just like you can't look at this and say we have to -- Second Amendment is no good, we can look at this and say the First Amendment is no good, either. So what -- how do we solve this, I'd ask you?

BOLLING: I think you implore politicians not to use these metaphors like dying, killing, death, blood, spilled blood and whatnot.

TIMPF: I've been saying that for a while.

BOLLING: Because, like I said, these are just metaphors in normal people's minds, but in crazy people's minds, they take them literally.

WILLIAMS: Yes, Eric, I agree. I hate this. I started this morning with a tweet that was met with a lot of mixed reviews that begged of people, in this moment of prayer and, you know, praying for the family, the two children and the wife of Rep. Scalise, that we not politicize this moment. And by that I meant because at that time we didn't know the politics of the shooter.

I meant not go into our pro-Second Amendment and pro-gun control arguments that we kneejerk, we do every time something tragic like this happens.

But here's the point, Eric. You're right: words do matter. I completely agree with you. So that's why, when there are metaphors depicting President Trump, ISIS-style on a -- I have a problem with that. Just like I have a problem with people saying that President Obama should have eaten a gun. Because the images that they conjure up are so problematic. Because some people, if they're already on a slippery slope to crazy, they go that extra step.

SOLTIS ANDERSON: Here's something that really unsettles me a lot about the situation. So a lot has been reported about the man. And it started with op-eds about tax cuts and things. How do you get someone who cares a lot about actual policy issues, which is a good thing...?

BOLLING: Allow me to break-in again. I apologize. This is the Alexandria Police.

(NEWS BREAK)

BOLLING: All right. We were just listening to a press conference offered by the FBI, the Alexandria Police Department and the Capitol Hill Police Department.

Noteworthy is the reason why there was Capitol Hill police there at all was because Steve Scalise is what's called the whip. It's a part of the leadership group in both the Senate and -- in Congress and in the Senate, meaning the speaker of the House, majority leader, the minority leader, the whip and so forth. That's the reason they get 24-hour Secret Service and Capitol Hill police, one or the other. So the reason why this wasn't a Rand Paul massacre, as he points out, was because they were there.

Eboni, I want to ask you something. One of the things, I think, that was most important, we -- a tidbit of information we got out of there is they're looking for, potentially, a larger group here. Is he a lone wolf, or is he part of a larger group? And what's the motive?

WILLIAMS: And yes, certainly, Eric. Is this orchestrated? Were there people helping him? Obviously, they're having to kind of track down by hand whether -- the legal status of these weapons. He wouldn't comment too much. It's an active investigation. We know at least it's one rifle, one pistol. Did he buy them himself? Whether a strawman purchased. Those things are going to be looked at very closely.

BOLLING: Kat, when -- producers, when we have that full screen up here, talking about a larger group. One of the things that, throughout the day, if you're on social media, we saw that he was -- he had a couple of Facebook pages. He had some social media pages. But one of them was liking this page right here.

Now, early in the day, it's called "TERMINATE" -- capital letters -- "TERMINATE the Republican Party." Some -- there was some pushback, some people saying, "Hey, things like that shouldn't be allowed on social media."

TIMPF: I think that's taking it a little too far. "Terminate the Republican Party" could obviously mean disband the Republican Party. I think when you start to go down that route, that's where you start to get in trouble. There's plenty of people who, I'm sure, in that group that aren't going to hurt anyone, that aren't going to think of it that way.

Again, could this -- could being that strict and that Draconian, in a sense, on social media prevent crime? Yes, it would, but we'd be also getting rid of all of our freedom. That's the thing about this country, is that we do take a little bit more risk in exchange for freedom.

BOLLING: So you don't think that would fall under some sort of hate speech? That, you know -- they pull a lot of...

TIMPF: If there were images...

BOLLING: ... a lot of social media accounts down for things, maybe not even that provocative.

TIMPF: I suppose, but "terminate the Republican Party" could mean anything. It doesn't necessarily mean -- if it was "murder the Republican Party," look at that. But not that it's -- not that it's nice rhetoric, but if you're going to start talking about, you know, getting criminally involved in it, I don't know about all that.

BOLLING: All right. Kristen, what do you think of how the investigation is unfolding so far?

SOLTIS ANDERSON: Well, I think -- I'm very interested to find out how this man went from being someone who writes op-eds about tax brackets. That's what I was saying earlier. His poster, the picture that's been going around, it talks about taxing the rich. "We need 20 tax brackets." But it's not advocating violence. It's someone who's very passionate about politics, and that's something that we want to encourage.

So what was it that led him down this path, from being someone who was passionate about politics? Nothing I agree with him on, I'm sure. To be someone who takes it just such an extreme. What does the path look like and how can you stop that from happening?

WILLIAMS: And that's my point, Kristen, is I think that path, maybe many of us like to think of that as some long stretch. I think it's getting shorter and shorter and shorter with each and every passing election; and I'm very troubled today when I see this type of thing.

BOLLING: Bob, you know what gets shorter and shorter period seems to be. Any time there's a mass shooting, the left starts pointing the gun-control argument, starts bringing that to the forefront.

CUSACK: Right.

BOLLING: How long before we hear that?

CUSACK: We've already heard some of it already today.

I do think the politics. I've been in politics, covering politics for 20 years. It's never been worse. The political temperature is too hot. You think about this. The 2000 presidential election, contested. Was there any violence? No. But if the 2016 election had been contested, would there have been violence? I think so. I just think.

And I agree with Kat. You don't curb the First Amendment. But the politicians have to watch their rhetoric. They have to curb their own speech in order to not set off people.

BOLLING: Motive seems to be the most important issue here. What is it? Kris, is he simply a socialist that's lost his mind and said, "I'm going to take this into my own hands"? Or is there something bigger here?

SOLTIS ANDERSON: Well, this is the thing, that it now may be harder to know with certainty. We can know all of the things that he's liked on Facebook, all of the things that he's posted on social media. He may have left something behind. We don't know.

But take for instance the issue when the man shot Gabby Giffords, Jared Loughner. He did not die. We were able to find out afterwards that he's just genuinely a crazy person. He wasn't radicalized by the right-wing, as many folks on the left said when that happened. It turned out he was just a crazy guy. But he was still alive and so we could find that out.

TIMPF: Well, we had his friends also. His friends were saying that people at school were literally terrified of him. That he had a gun.

SOLTIS ANDERSON: In this case, because the shooter has died, that will make it a little harder to find out exactly what the thought process was.

BOLLING: We do -- we do have -- we have a lot of -- we have his rap sheet. It's fairly extensive. He's got domestic violence. He's got some other...

WILLIAMS: I wouldn't call it extensive.

BOLLING: Not extensive?

WILLIAMS: Not from what I've seen, unfortunately, Eric, in my days, criminal prosecution. But yes, he's got some things there.

And so again, this goes back to the legal question around did he own the gun legally or illegally? And certainly, that will make a difference.

Again, I'm just wondering, because oftentimes the other issue we have with gun control, Eric, when we start talking about this in the political sphere, is mental health. Everybody -- it's bipartisan support around around the furtherance of mental health evaluations when it comes to who should have a gun in this country.

And what I'm asking, and this is a legitimate question. Traditional mental health, schizophrenia, bipolar, we know of that stuff. But what about our politics and this Trump derangement and all of this, this hyper-partisan, crazy. I think it's becoming a real thing. That's my -- my fear.

BOLLING: Kat, what do you think? Do -- is this -- is this going to a pro- gun control argument? Or will this end up being an antigun control argument, saying, if there were more people who were armed in that park at that time, maybe this wouldn't have happened. Or certainly if -- look, God forbid Scalise isn't there today and there's no Capitol Hill police. It's 10 minutes maybe before the Alexandria Police Department gets there. How many people are dead?

TIMPF: I think it's going to be the same people who make each argument, making it again. I think that it is not -- it's a human thing to see a tragedy and want to change policy, to want to restrict policy which exactly -- is exactly why we have the Bill of Rights and exactly why it is so hard to amend the Constitution, why the process is so long and complicated. Because, you know, it's for a reason. It's so that we don't act based on emotion.

And I thought that was a great point that you brought up. That if he had not been there, this would have been a totally, totally different story.

WILLIAMS: But Bob, that's different. That's a well-intentioned, thought- out thing you just articulated, Kat. That's different than people that look at a tragedy like today or Congresswoman Giffords and then conveniently put it into a political narrative that suits their conveniences.

CUSACK: Yes, and you see that all the time in politics. And that's where, you're talking about Gabby Giffords, I mean, that happened six years ago. And then you -- her triumphant return to the Capitol, very nice. There wasn't a dry eye in the place. But did it change politics? Not at all.

So is this going to change politics? I'm pessimistic. I hope so. But -- but you know, you -- Eric, you were mentioning the rhetoric of the war on or political war rooms. You know...

BOLLING: Die, blood in the streets. These are metaphors, and we all do it. The media is not...

CUSACK: Absolutely, absolutely.

BOLLING: ... innocent either. We do the same thing, but the problem is when crazy people listen to it and look up to celebrities or politicians or media personalities, they take it literally; and then they take things into their own -- their own hands. Which I would say is a better argument for the Second Amendment than any of this.

TIMPF: That's the other thing, too, is there's no argument for the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment is the argument itself. People don't take it seriously, and they should. It's the Second Amendment. It's not anti- gun control pro-gun control. You know, at least talk about it in terms of changing the Second Amendment, which obviously, not going to happen.

BOLLING: Eboni, if you can get gunned down on second base in a softball practice that you're about to play a softball charity game, you can get gunned down anywhere in America.

WILLIAMS: But you can. You actually can, and that's the thing. You know Curtis Sliwa, my co-host over on the radio show, he's been shot five times.

BOLLING: You have a co-host?

WILLIAMS: Yes. Don't be jealous.

BOLLING: You have another co-host?

WILLIAMS: Don't get jealous, Bolling.

But you know, he's different (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Five times he's been shot, this man, right here on the streets of New York City.

So a lot of people feel like today is a little bit of a wake-up call for Washington, D.C., to feel how -- and not in a, you know, "this is what they deserve" way, but maybe this is the type of firsthand experience some people need to realize how dangerous this world really is.

BOLLING: Kristen, Mrs. Adrienne Bolling yesterday said, "I have a document I want you to fill out and fax back to the police department." It's a gun permit. She wants a gun permit. She sees all this going on. I think Americans are -- Americans are saying, "I have a right to bear arms," as Kat points out. "I'm going to do it."

SOLTIS ANDERSON: Well, I go all over the country. I do focus groups and talk to people about what they're thinking and feeling. And folks across the political spectrum right now feel unsettled; they feel unsafe. They feel like things just aren't quite going their way, and they're angry at Washington. But they're also angry at the anger in Washington. That they feel like they'd like the temperature to be turned down a little bit.

I think across America, even though we've had a change of administrations, with a lot of this change, people are feeling very unsettled. They're not feeling particularly safe right now. And I think when people are nervous and scared, that's when more scary things happen.

WILLIAMS: And Bolling, just real quick, it's not just Adrienne. I am someone who is, like, thinking, and we live in New York City. But of course, I'm not going to even fake and front. Of course, I'm thinking about I don't want to be a lame duck sitting there.

BOLLING: You're 100 percent right and you're 100 percent accurate. And you know what? It is one of the most difficult cities in the country to get a gun permit.

WILLIAMS: Yes, it is.

BOLLING: I mean, it's easier to get one, you know, now in D.C. than it is here.

WILLIAMS: Sure. The difference is, is I will get trained, and I'll know how to operate it well and correctly.

BOLLING: Bob, I posed this to Kristen in the A-block. Is it worth what could be several billion dollars to make sure that all these congresspeople are protected?

CUSACK: I don't think so. And a lot of members say they don't want that protection. So -- but I do think one of the things about the humanity of today was Senator Flake called Scalise's wife and said what was going on. Can you imagine getting that phone call? I mean, it just -- it's so frightening.

But no, I think a lot of members say, "No, I am a member of Congress. I know the risks." But we have all been at events, and you do feel scared sometimes.

BOLLING: And by the grace of God, Kat, Flake was calling Scalise's wife saying, "He's OK."

TIMPF: Yes, absolutely.

BOLLING: It could have been very different.

TIMPF: It gives me chills to think about it. It really does. But again, I haven't heard -- correct me if I'm wrong -- but I haven't heard any congressman or congressperson saying that they want that, that they want to have everybody have their own...

BOLLING: Give it a day or so. Give it a few days.

WILLIAMS: I just want to say again thank you, thank you, thank you, of course, I know I speak on behalf of all of us here, to the Capitol City Police.

BOLLING: Absolutely.

WILLIAMS: Crystal -- Special Agent Crystal Griner and David Bailey. Because like you say, Eric, but for Scalise himself being there, this would have gone a whole other way.

BOLLING: Absolutely. All right, we're going to leave it right there. We're going to say thank you to our "Fox News Specialists" today: Kristen Soltis Anderson and Bob Cusack.

And we want to thank all of you for watching. Make sure to follow us on social media, SpecialistsFNC on both Twitter and Facebook. Remember, 5 p.m. will never be the same. "Special Report" is going to be all over this. Bret's coming up right now.

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