Polarization in Washington, and around the country, has been building for years, but it doesn't take a political scientist to know that it has gotten significantly more heated and divided.
Many are wondering if this shooting in Virginia will serve to calm, or further inflame, the situation.
Tufts Professor Jeff Berry says the country's polarization may have growing consequences — as evidenced by Wednesday's shootings that may have been politically motivated.
"We now, more than ever, I think, live in two divided camps — left vs. right," Berry said. "It's more than we differ from them, we have strong differences from them. It's more that that other side is evil, and for some people, that evil is hard for them to get beyond."
Lou Murray, a Trump supporter, says the partisan fireworks come from the president's enemies.
"I think the blame firmly falls with the left," he argued. "The political climate has been poisoned by the Democratic opposition, and a fully armed opposition media that is unwilling to accept Donald Trump as president."
But Democratic analyst Alex Goldstein says the notion that one party is to blame for the rancor is unfair and incorrect.
"All of us, regardless of where you are on the political spectrum, if you are involved in politics, you need to reckon with the fact that there are extremists within our midst and all of us are responsible, and have a role in making sure that those folks are stamped out and have no place," said Goldstein.
Massachusetts Republicans are calling for a state police presence at their national state committee meetings.