WASHINGTON — After a rifle-wielding gunman opened fire Wednesday at a Republican congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, injuring five people including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana, Salem Congressman Seth Moulton took to Twitter to respond.
Moulton, a Democrat, said he was "Thinking of @SteveScalise and my other colleagues practicing for the big game tomorrow night. We must act to put an end to this violence."
Matt Corridoni, Moulton's press secretary, said the congressman was not at the practice and does not play in the Congressional Baseball Game. But he normally attends the bipartisan game, which is scheduled for Thursday night.
"Proud to report that the Congressional Baseball Game is on!" Moulton tweeted later. "We will stand together, Democrats and Republicans, against hatred and violence."
Moulton's schedule Wednesday included participating in a New Democratic Coalition Future of Work Task Force forum. He was not available for comment.
Corridoni would also not say whether Moulton's office had received increased death threats, as some other congressmen had reported Wednesday. He directed those questions to the Capitol Police.
Former Congressman John Tierney of Salem said he hoped everyone would rally around the Capitol Police and those injured in the shooting.
"This is not a time for partisanship," said Tierney, who is now executive director for the Council for a Livable World and the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.
Tierney, a Democrat who served in Congress from 1997 to 2015, recalled the 2011 shooting of former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. The Arizona Democrat was shot in the head while meeting with constituents outside a supermarket. She survived, but resigned from her seat the following year to focus on her recovery.
"No one made it a partisan thing when Gabby Giffords got shot," said Tierney, who said she received empathy from Democrats and Republicans alike. Tierney said people can have disagreements, but they should not rise to the level of violence.
"They should be just that, verbal arguments," he said.
Tierney said the Congressional Baseball Game, which he never played in but used to attend, was one of the few remaining events where both Democrats and Republicans were able to get together at a social level and build relationships. There used to be others, he said.
"The frequency at which those are held all multiply to the good," he said.