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Rodney Davis still haunted by shooting

Wednesday, Jun 13, 2018

* The New York Times ran a good piece the other day about the shooting spree during a practice of the Republican congressional baseball team last year. An excerpt

For Representative Rodney Davis of Illinois, who was batting when the shooting started, the sounds live with him in ways he sometimes cannot understand. There is an image frozen in his mind: of a woman walking her dogs, caught in the middle of the gunfire, her eyes fixed on him in an expression he interprets as a plea for help.

At some point after the shooting, he woke up in the middle of the night, sweating profusely.

“I thought to myself, is that the way sleep’s going to be all the time?” Mr. Davis said.

Alternate worst-case scenarios still run through his head.

“What if the shooter stood on the first-base side? What if he hadn’t hit the fence with the first shot? Those are thoughts that go through my mind all the time,” he said, adding: “I don’t think they’ll ever leave me. I don’t think they’ll ever leave any of us.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - ILPundit - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 9:57 am:

    I don’t doubt what Davis says. But it continues to mystify me that he can live through an experience like that, where a clearly deranged individual tried to kill him and his colleagues, and yet still oppose any effort to prevent the mentally ill from getting their hands on guns.

  2. - The Captain - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 10:03 am:

    It’s terrible, but unfortunately there’s no way to prevent this.

  3. - Chris Widger - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 10:05 am:

    == But it continues to mystify me that he can live through an experience like that, where a clearly deranged individual tried to kill him and his colleagues, and yet still oppose any effort to prevent the mentally ill from getting their hands on guns.==

    I don’t agree with Davis’s stance (I would prefer a regime of insurance for guns much like car insurance, although that is likely unconstitutional). However, doesn’t this experience and his stance after it lend him more credence and not less?

  4. - So_Ill - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 10:09 am:

    Imagine how 150,000 kids who have experienced shootings AT SCHOOL feel? And yet, Rodney still remains silent and afraid to do anything to reduce gun violence.

  5. - PJ - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 10:10 am:

    Are we supposed to be sympathetic? He’s quiet as a church mouse, if not outright opposed, when folks bring up actual solutions to the problem of these nutjobs being allowed easy access to firearms.

    Kids slaughtered in schools, silence from Rodney. So no, sorry. No sympathy for you.

  6. - J Bash 'em - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 10:14 am:

    Agree with the ILP, TC, and SI above. You have to give Davis credit for being willing to put his life on the line to preserve the “well-regulated militia”.

  7. - JohnnyPyleDriver - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 10:22 am:

    He knows the pain and torment and still does nothing to help the hundreds of thousands of gun victims, including children, across the country.

  8. - tomhail - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 10:25 am:

    Wow. He must have been in shock the rest of the day, spending the next few hours on wall-to-wall TV interviews. Puh-leez.

  9. - A guy - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 10:27 am:

    I think he just shared his thoughts and perspective on the day when asked…

  10. - PJ - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 10:32 am:

    ==I think he just shared his thoughts and perspective==

    “Tough day, but worth it knowing that the gentleman was properly able to exercise his 2nd amendment rights. I sleep well knowing guns are easily available in America.”

    There’s a statement that would have better fit with his actual voting record.

  11. - Groundhog Day - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 10:33 am:

    There are pretty effective treatments for PTSD. He has classic symptoms.

    But I second what many have already said. Too bad he can’t do anything to prevent the next one.

  12. - One of Three Puppets - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 10:34 am:

    I am pretty sure that Davis has supported measures to ensure the mentally ill are unable to get a gun and to help them receive support for their mental illness. If you have a bill that wasn’t a gotcha vote, please list it here so that we aren’t simply repeating partisan platitudes such as “imagine how 150,000 kids” feel….. Do we honestly believe that he doesn’t have a heart? Come on.

    Those that don’t support him will never come to his side. Rail on his positions on guns all you want. Anyone that understands his district should realize that his views on guns and the 2nd amendment align with it. Vote your district is what the opposition often says to sway people. Well, he does and you don’t like it. We all want to be free from violence of any kind. It is tough to accept it but we take a risk just walking outside of our home every single day.

  13. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 10:36 am:

    Imagine being so beholden to the gun lobby to to through like that and not have a desire to do anything about it. Davis’s conscience only cost the NRA $4,300. Guess the price was right.

  14. - Saluki - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 10:40 am:

    The instant attacks on Rodney Davis on this thread are discouraging. Life isn’t all partisan politics.

  15. - Wow - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 10:42 am:

    Anon. Don’t be naive. $4,300 is nothing in a congressional race. If you believe $4,300 influences a vote in congress, you should stick to your day job.

    Think of all of the other groups that shovel that same amount to candidates. Oh, you won’t recognize that because you are convinced that your cause is the only one just and anyone that disagrees with you is not your equal. Spare us the moral superiority argument.

  16. - INI - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 10:43 am:

    It is pretty sad when people, like Rep. Davis, who go through tragic, violent experiences don’t then subsequently buy into the Democratic narrative on the 2nd amendment. If only he followed the lead of the Marjory Stoneman students. I hate seeing Democrats being unable to take advantage of such events. It’s overall pretty audacious of him to continue to stand up for his (as well as the evident majority of citizens he represents) viewpoints on the Constitution and gun rights.

  17. - Birdseed - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 10:43 am:

    === - Saluki - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 10:40 am:

    The instant attacks on Rodney Davis on this thread are discouraging. Life isn’t all partisan politics. ===

    You must be new here.

  18. - PJ - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 10:45 am:

    ==Life isn’t all partisan politics==

    Make sure to let Rodney know. Maybe he’d be willing to support reform that actually does something about the mass shootings in America.

    He’s a Congressman, not some random dude on the street. He has the power to actually do something about the issue that traumatized him and countless others, and he chooses not to. He’s not deserving of sympathy.

  19. - LBJ - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 10:46 am:

    What? People are haunted to their graves by gun violence?

    It’s a shame there’s NO ONE in a position of some sort of power who could do SOMETHING about this.

  20. - Ex State Emp - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 10:49 am:

    Amen INI.

    Audacious is right. Audacious to represent his district and to maybe have his own tragic life experience reaffirm his viewpoint of the 2nd amendment.

  21. - Nick Name - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 10:50 am:

    That’s nice but will Davis translate that experience into pushing for meaningful gun restrictions? Well seeing as how he was bought so cheaply by the NRA, I guess not.

    Davis was a no-show to a gun control public forum last spring in Champaign. But his challenger, Betsy Dirksen Londrigan, was there. Take note.

  22. - Exclamation Point Deleted - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 10:55 am:

    Nick Name - were many (or any) of the people at that “forum” even going to vote for Congressman Davis at any point? My guess is not. So what good would it do for him to have been there?

    Moms Demand Action are in a similar boat. I appreciate their passion and work but a clear majority of their members are never going to vote for Republicans even if they support MDA legislation/priorities.

  23. - Amalia - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 11:00 am:

    I’m sorry for your terror. there is a way to work through this. personal work. but also work in the world. your work in the world matters, Mr. Davis. You have a platform that only hundreds of people in DC have. Use it for good. Use it to make changes.

  24. - Think it Through - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 11:00 am:


    He may have a different view on how to deal with this issue. He might be working on his ideas right now for all we know. You want far reaching action like grabbing guns etc…That’s fine if you believe that. I respect your opinion, but to say that someone doesn’t deserve sympathy because he does’t act as you wish when he has consistently represented the view of a majority of his voters is reprehensible. He has been reelected twice by over 10 percentage points in a district that was gerrymandered.

  25. - Don Gerard - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 11:03 am:

    == Davis was a no-show to a gun control public forum last spring in Champaign. But his challenger, Betsy Dirksen Londrigan, was there. Take note. ==

    Mayor Feinen, who showed up wearing her bright orange “CU Mayors Demand Action” and read a 50-cent proclamation in support of Moms Demand Action on June 1, didn’t show up for the Town Hall, either…her excuse was she had a five-minute cameo at a cancer awareness show which started 30-minutes after the town hall…and was located literally two blocks away from the Champaign Public Library.

    Coincidentally, she donates $250 to Rodney each election cycle (the “loyalty pledge” that helps make up the 4% of private donors).

    “All politics are local” works both ways.

    Take note, indeed.

  26. - Wow - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 11:06 am:

    If a majority of his district supported gun restrictions and believed that certain actions needed to be taken, a good congress critter would listen to that majority. Oh, there isn’t that majority in this district……. Keep yelling at the wall folks. Politics is about addition and groups that want more restrictions in this district are not on the winning side.

  27. - Dance Band on the Titanic - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 12:11 pm:

    - One of Three Puppets -
    “I am pretty sure that Davis has supported measures to ensure the mentally ill are unable to get a gun…”

    Rep. Davis voted for HR 40, which prevents the Social Security Administration from sharing information about those qualifying for mental illness disabilities with the National Criminal Background Check System.

  28. - Duopoly (To be blocked?) - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 12:55 pm:

    =The instant attacks on Rodney Davis on this thread are discouraging. Life isn’t all partisan politics.=

    Living in Rodney Davis’s district is discouraging. Life isn’t all corporate servitude. - There ya go Saluki, fixed it for ya.

  29. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 3:04 pm:

    Hopefully the good Congressman is using his gold-plated healthcare plan to get professional psychological or psychiatric treatment to help him through this trauma–the same care he’s hard at work to deny thousands of victims of gun violence in this nation.

  30. - Nick Name - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 3:04 pm:

    ===Nick Name - were many (or any) of the people at that “forum” even going to vote for Congressman Davis at any point? My guess is not. So what good would it do for him to have been there?===

    Seriously? They’re his constituents. They don’t stop being his constituents just because they vote for the other party. If he doesn’t get that then he’s not fit to represent them in Congress. That you put scare quotes around forum shows maybe you don’t understand that.

  31. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 3:44 pm:

    Davis was the target of a madman who wanted to murder national GOP leadership and stalked them until he thought he could do so. Fortunately the Capitol Police was unexpectedly there to keep that from happening.

    Davis supports our right to defend ourselves. It’s constitutional. What he went through confirms that natural and constitutional right.

    If you feel differently, vote for Longrian who thinks guns should be taken from you forcing us to defend ourselve with a phone and a murderer’s incompetence. Kooky, Right? Dream world silliness.

  32. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 3:46 pm:

    Davis is a victim, but not falling for vainglorious media victimhood? That’s shocking.

    Oh wait, he’s not a Democrat - right…

  33. - TooManyJens - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 3:57 pm:

    Davis doesn’t need “vainglorious media victimhood” (what a mean, nasty way to refer to traumatized people organizing for change) to get on TV. Being willing to defend the GOP’s most unpopular and destructive policies has gotten him plenty of air time lately, and since facts don’t matter anymore he still gets to pretend to be a moderate!

    All that said, while I’m going to work hard to get myself a better representative this fall, I don’t wish the experience he had on him or anyone else.

  34. - Neveranonymous - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 4:09 pm:

    Maybe he would get just a little relief from his nightmares, if he took some action concerning our gun problem.

  35. - NorthsideNoMore - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 4:09 pm:

    Not sure who has ever supported metally ill people getting weapons but pretty sure Congressman Davis hasn’t. His intelligence to not let an incident that impacted him personally taint his overarching beliefs is laudable. The 2nd amend opponents are over the top as usual.

  36. - Streamwood Retiree - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 4:34 pm:

    NorthsideNomOre, DanceBandontheTitanic has supplied a specific bill and a link. Beats your “pretty sure”. Fanatics forget there are limits on every right, a la Justice Holmes and “Shouting FIRE! in a crowded theater.” Stopping the certifiably mental ill from “keeping and bearing arms” is very similar.

  37. - M - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 8:28 pm:

    He got a little taste of what soldiers experience.

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