WASHINGTON, June 14 (Xinhua) -- Republicans and Democrats came together here Thursday night for the annual U.S. Congressional Baseball Game, a year after a gunman opened fire at Republican lawmakers during baseball practice.
The charity game at Nationals Park was kicked off with House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, 52, fielding a ground ball and throwing out the first batter of the game.
Scalise, who was shot and seriously injured during the shooting, returned to work last fall but spent the past year re-learning how to do everything from walking to playing ball.
The Louisiana Congressman was walking with the aid of one crutch priory to Thursday's game, but took to the field without it and reclaimed his starting position at second base. He used to be the GOP team's star player.
Exactly a year ago, a 66-year-old gunman opened fire at Republican lawmakers, including Scalise, at a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia, as they practiced for last year's game with Democrats.
Among several injured in the shooting, Scalise was shot in the hip, with injuries to internal organs, broken bones and severe bleeding. The shooter died after being wounded in a gunfight with Capitol Hill police.
However, the incident has not changed Scalise's pro-gun rights stance. He said the shooting deepened his appreciation for the Second Amendment because it was people with guns who saved his life and every other member out there.
In the year since the Alexandria shooting, mass shootings have taken place at a Texas church in Sutherland Springs, a Las Vegas music festival and high schools in states of Florida and Texas.
Protesters, including a large number of teenagers, have taken to the streets several times in the past year, demanding stricter gun control and safer schools.