It irritates me that some of the mainstream news media are referring to the shooter at the Congressional Baseball practice game – James T. Hodgkinson – as a homeless person. That journalistic slant is not exactly true. Most people don’t choose to be homeless – to live out of cars. He had a house back in Illinois. Hodgkinson’s wife told ABC News that he had been living in Alexandria, Virginia, for the past two months. Illinois secretary of state corporate records show that he had voluntarily dissolved his home inspection business, JTH Services Inc., in December. Some people retire, sell nearly everything, by an RV to live out of and travel around the country. He chose to live out of his car and use a YMCA in order to carry out his mission to kill Republicans. That he was “homeless” has nothing to do with the cause of the shooting, unless Trump and the Republicans caused him to lose his home to become homeless.
What surprised me about that is that there are still any YMCA locations anywhere still partly modeled from the original concept of the Young Men’s Christian Association to help young traveling Christian men, so they would not have to stay at bad hotels and motels. “Two hots and a cot” was the old saying – at one time only $3 for dinner, a bed for the night, and breakfast in the morning. Can’t pay? Do volunteer work there. Most shelters of The Salvation Army operate that way, as do Union Rescue Missions – but without rent or meals charged for. Attend church services, have dinner, shower, get a bed for the night, and then breakfast on the way out. Some traveling salesmen didn’t actually have homes, so were homeless by profession and not for any other reason – like the working homeless today but not normal homeless today. As the YMCA shifted from helping Christian men to allowing other homeless men to stay, the rich members there to exercise didn’t like it – so most YMCA locations dumped the charity aspect. With loss of affordable housing now the number one cause of homelessness accounting for 51% of homeless people including families with children, and more living out of cars, there is a renewed need for the original version of the YMCA plus all charity services, for the YMCA to return to its roots.
The shooting brought up that side issue. That the shooter was homeless – living out of his car and making use of a YMCA mainly to shower and change clothes as well as using Wi-Fi there, I don’t like the way the news media labeled him homeless as if it could mean all homeless people are potential criminals with extremest political views and willing to gun down anyone who they oppose.
The mainstream news media and some extremists on both sides – political left and political right – want to misplace the blame. Only the shooter is responsible for his actions. No one else. The blame game only further divides the people of the political left and political right. Wishful thinking this shooting will cause them to act in a civil way and to set aside any differences. It would take a miracle to bring them together. Knee jerk reaction is for the left to make it gun issue to ban guns, and the right to say if those targeted all had guns for self defense then they might not have been attacked.
Editorial Article by Jim Lantern in Norman Oklahoma USA
8:30pm CT Thursday – 15 June 2017