August 16, 2012
Should We Blame Liberals and Gays for the Family Research Center Shooting?
On Wednesday Floyd Lee Corkins II, of Herndon, Va., walked into the offices of the Family Research Council in Washington DC and shot a security guard before being subdued. He did it with a 9-mm. Sig Sauer handgun, which, by the way, he had purchased legally. The guard who was shot survived and in fact was the one who wrestled
A relatively small story in and of itself. What makes it newsworthy is this via Fox News:
(Corkin) uttered a statement to the effect of, "I don't like your politics," before reaching into a backpack for a handgun and opening fire.
And after being subdued
Sources told Fox News that after Johnson disarmed Corkins, the gunman said: "Don't shoot me, it was not about you, it was what this place stands for."
Now where might Mr Corkin have possibly gotten the idea that Family Research Council was such a terrible organization that they should be attacked?
The Southern Poverty Law Center, that's where. If you're not familiar they are a liberal advocacy group masquerading as a civil rights organization. At least that's the take of many conservatives.
On November 10, 2012, the Southern Poverty Law Center's research director Heidi Beirich was on Talking Points Memo, and here is the relevant part of her exchange with Evan McMorris-Santoro:
As Beirich told me, there is no difference between the FRC and the KKK in the eyes of the SPLC now. Still, she said that the hate group designation doesn't mean the SPLC thinks everyone who supports the FRC "has a full understanding of what they're up to." Many who support the FRC may do so because of the group's very public ties to evangelical Christianity, and Beirich stressed that the SPLC designation has nothing to do with an "attack on the churchly world."
I asked her if a Republican choosing to address the FRC convention next year would be making the same choice as one who addressed an Aryan Nation rally.
"Yeah," she told me. "What we're saying is these [anti-gay] groups perpetrate hate -- just like those [racist] organizations do."
No one seems to know whether Corkins knew about that designation, but it is known that he worked as a volunteer for about six months at the The DC Center for the LGBT Community.
So Who Should We Blame?
Reverse the whole thing, and the left would be blaming conservative talk radio, Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, even probably the Catholic Church and Evangelicals. In short, every conservative person or organization they saw as a threat.
We know because this is exactly what has happened in the past. They tried to blame the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords shooting on Sarah Palin because of the supposed gun-related metaphors in her speeches and her PAC posted a "target" on liberal politicians they wanted to vote out.
This is nothing new, either. Sixty years ago many liberals tried to blame the assassination of President John F Kennedy on the right, only to find (to their great disappointment, I'm sure) that the deed was done by a communist wanna-be.
In August of 2010 James Jay Lee took three people hostage at the Discovery Channel building in Montgomery County, just outside of Washington DC. After a four hour standoff, a tactical squad shot and killed Lee after he pointed his pistol at a hostage. Lee specifically said that he had been inspired by former Vice President Al Gore's documentary "An Inconvenient Truth." Fortunately in this case no one else was killed, but they could easily have been.
Did we see a media campaign to urge environmentalists to "tone down the rhetoric?" Stop their hysterical claims that "the earth has a fever" and that there was "a planetary emergency?" Anyone tell Al Gore to apologize? Of course not. In fact, the reaction of the right was to NOT exploit this, but rather to say "if this had been the other way around the left would exploit it." Sure enough, they have.
The left has been hoist by their own petard in this latest shooting at the Family Research Center. They wanted to play the game whereby they would blame the right for any violence directed at a liberal politician. They should have known that it would come around to bite them. There are crazies on all sides, and those who think that they're on on the other side come to learn the truth, usually the hard way.
Part of me is amused watching liberals squirm over all this. They know that we have the perfect opportunity to slam them on this just like they tried to do to us. But from what I an tell no significant person or publication on the right is using this to blame the left for what Corkins did, but rather to admonish the left for their ridiculous attempt to blame certain acts of violence on the right.
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, did say that "he blamed the suspect for the shooting, but said he was "given a license" by groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center, which labeled the Family Research Council as a hate group."
He also said that "I think it's time for people to realize what the Southern Poverty Law Center is doing with their reckless labeling of organizations that they disagree with."
Yes the SPLC is reckless, but no the shooter was not "given a license" to do what he did
Ok, So Who is to Blame?
Of course the left is not to blame for what Corkins did, anymore than the global warming nuts are to blame for what Lee did, or almost did, at The Discovery Channel. And no one on the right is to blame for the Giffords shooting.
Yes calls to "tone it down" are fine. Sometimes they'll even be heeded, at least for awhile. But human nature is what it is, and people will say terrible things about their political opponents. Any student of history knows that the reality is that political speech is not any worse today than it was in times past. What has changed is that technology allows them to be heard by more people.
So the problem is not the speech, it's the communications technology. And I don't know how to dial that back.
Posted by Tom at August 16, 2012 8:00 PM
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The answer to the question in your title is YES!
I can't think of a right motivated shooter in recent history but that didn't stop the left from screaming such a suggestion.
You couldn't find a more clear cut case of political motivation than this one but it will all be swept quietly under the rug.
Posted by: Mike's America at August 16, 2012 9:41 PM