A political attack?

It’s far, far too early to say whether today’s shooting of a Republican congressman was political terrorism.

But NPR reporter host Steve Inskeep asked the right question a few minutes ago when he asked Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., whether it was well known that Republicans would be practicing on the softball field where Rep. Steve Scalise and several others were shot this morning.

“Uh, yeah,” Flake said after obviously thinking about the incredible gravity of the meaning of his answer.

If this was a politically motivated attack, the irony would be that it occurred in one of the few places left where a polarized Congress — representing a terribly divided nation — played together.

The shooting occurred one day before the annual Congressional Baseball Game, the event, which started in 1909, that always gives us hope that perhaps warring factions can put political differences aside for a greater good.

In the past, these sorts of things might make the country step back and perhaps even draw closer.

Those days are over.