Virginia shooting sends shiver through Ohio Statehouse, where lawmakers played baseball just days ago

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Cincinnati area congressman Brad Wenstrup is one of three members of the Ohio Congressional delegation who play on the Republican baseball team. He was at the baseball field outside Washington DC Wednesday morning when the gunfire started.

Wenstrup, a doctor and former combat surgeon tweeted, “You never expect a baseball field in America to feel like being back in a combat zone in Iraq but it did this morning.”

Once the shooting stopped, Wenstrup provided medical care to his colleague, Rep. Steve Scalise.

Ohio Governor John Kasich tweeted, “Strong work Dr. Wenstrup. We’re proud of you.”

“We were upbeat and getting ready for a game and then something like this happens and you can’t believe it,” Wenstrup said. “Fortunately there was a security detail there, Capitol Police, or we all would have been vulnerable out there and without fire.”

The incident sent a shiver through the Ohio Statehouse.

“We had a ball game out here the other day,” said Ohio Senator Cliff Hite. “I guess this could have out there as well and it’s so wrong.”

It’s an annual event on the statehouse lawn. Lawmakers from both political parties team up to play against an Ohio vintage baseball team.

Hite says he’s never been concerned for his safety at such events and says that the public needs to see that lawmakers do get along with each other.

“We get into fights, we get into arguments and we get into debates but we also get together and go out to dinner together,” Hite said. “We play ball together and we should be able to do that without fear of something weird happening like that.”

Former state representative Mike Stinziano, now a city councilman, says interacting openly with the public is a politician’s lifeblood.

“I think more so than ever, when there’s an incident like this people need to know that we are accessible, to know that we are there to work with them on issues and not let senseless acts kind of dictate our activities as well,” he said.

 

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