Attempted Mass Murder at Family Research Council HQ
August 21, 2012
Last week, a man who volunteered at a “community center for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people” or “support center for the gay community” and “strongly supported gay rights” entered the headquarters of the pro-marriage Family Research Council in Washington, D. C., and shot a security guard in the arm.
The shooter, Floyd Lee Corkins II, upon entering, “told the guard ‘words to the effect of “I don’t like your politics.”’” Glenn Beck interviewed a first-hand witness to what happened next:
GLENN: . . . you were actually there when the shooter came?
GENERAL BOYKIN: I was. It was about 10:46 on Wednesday morning. He walked in the lobby, set a backpack down in front of the guard desk and then reached in his backpack. Fortunately this guard who was actually the building manager but kind of dual roles as a guard, realized something was up and got out of his chair and approached the man and just as the man pulled a pistol, pointed it at his head, this gentle giant of a guard reached up and grabbed the gun and he shot him — the gunman shot our man Leo Johnson in the wrist but with one arm, Leo wrestled this man to the ground and took his gun away from him and what a hero this guy was. He saved a lot of people and there’s no question, Glenn, this guy’s intent based on the fact that he had about 50 rounds of ammunition and 15 Chick-fil-A bags was this was going to be a mass murder on our — a large scale.
GLENN: You actually talked to the gunman?
GENERAL BOYKIN: I listened as the gunman lay on the floor talking to police and he said, I don’t like the policies here and, you know, he — in fact, he stated that to the guard, as well. So, yeah, it was — there was no question what his motive was. He tied us to Chick-fil-A and I think the scenario is — it doesn’t take much imagination, Glenn. He was going to go through and kill as many people as he could and drop Chick-fil-A bags at every dead body to send a signal that he was reacting to the — our stance on traditional marriage, that being between a man and a woman.
In addition to his sack of Chick-fil-A sandwiches and enough bullets to kill two thirds of the Family Research Council’s employees, Corkins was carrying the address of another pro-marriage group, the Traditional Values Coalition:
Traditional Values Coalition President Andrea Lafferty said FBI agents visited her group’s Capitol Hill offices hours after the Wednesday morning shooting as part of their investigation. The next day, she said, members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force came by and confirmed that “our information was in his pocket,” including the location of the group’s offices.
“I was stunned,” Lafferty told The Associated Press, adding that she believes her group may have been targeted.
The liberal Southern Poverty Law Center has been calling the Family Research Council a “hate group” since 2010, making itself part of a larger trend of leftist delegitimization of dissent:
Ideologically, the country is divided roughly in half (actually twice as many identify as conservative as liberal, roughly 40% to 20%, but let’s not split hairs). Conservatives and liberals disagree with each other on any number of substantive questions, but ideally we all agree on certain parameters for how we deal with those disagreements—e.g., you don’t kill people for disagreeing with you. That is out of bounds.
Conveniently, however, liberals keep defining the terms of this or that issue in such a way that it becomes impossible to disagree with them without also being, by definition, out of bounds—declining to acquiesce in a novel definition of marriage becomes “homophobia”, thinking that we should still enforce some of our existing immigration laws becomes “racist”, wanting to reduce government dependency becomes “racist”, wanting Republicans to win elections becomes “racist”—come to think of it, much of conservatism becomes “racist”. We can no longer have a national conversation if one side is determined to consider the other side by definition beyond the bounds of civil conversation.
Traditionally, if it has any use at all, a term like “hate group” refers to groups that are out of bounds in such a way—e.g., the KKK murdered their opponents; so they were a “hate group”, out of bounds and not a legitimate participant in the national conversation.
Not only has the Southern Poverty Law Center made the term essentially worthless by throwing it around and applying it to a mainstream conservative organization like the Family Research Council (which does not use violence against its opponents), but the misnomer has even come full circle, as a pro-homosexuality liberal attempted to kill people at the Family Research Council for disagreeing with him.
As Red State’s Erick Erickson says, to be clear,
I noted that if a gunman had entered the Human Rights Campaign’s offices a day after being labeled a “hate group” by a conservative organization, the media would be denouncing the conservative group as inciting the shooting and spend a week on homophobia, etc.
To be clear, I do not think the Human Rights Campaign incited the shooter. I generally don’t think conservative or liberal groups incite violence — the crazy does it all on its own.
But I have absolutely no doubt that the media would engage in handwringing had the situation been reversed.
Contrast the liberal media’s coverage of this shooting with the coverage of the shooting of Congressman Giffords, which we were told was the fault of conservative rhetoric (and the shooter there wasn’t even a conservative!)—see, e.g.,
- Half dozen liberal-media outlets mentioned Sarah Palin 1,485 times in their coverage of the Giffords shooting
- “The Most Cynical Campaign”, National Review editors
See also others’ coverage of and comments on these events:
That the SPLC cannot distinguish between a traditional-family organization and the guys in the white sheets and swastika armbands says a great deal about that organization’s intellectual depth . . . .
— Charles Cooke at National Review Online (link in original):
As was noted on the Corner yesterday, the SPLC’s research director, Heidi Beirich, has directly compared the Aryan Nation to the Family Research Council, because “[anti-gay] groups perpetrate hate — just like those [racist] organizations do.”
— Wintery Knight:
— Hot Air:
The media’s habitual blaming of the political right is endemic and incurable. Media figures sincerely believe the right wing is violent, so naturally assume that violent people must be right-wing. This won’t be the last time they make that mistake.
He describes a number of examples.
Dénouement on the hero of the day, Leo Johnson:
GLENN: . . . Our best to the Family Research Council and everybody. How is everybody doing there?
GENERAL BOYKIN: They are doing well. Leo is an extraordinary hero and he’s doing quite well. I was with him when he came out of surgery; and the people at FRC are tough warriors, Glenn.