It is said one person can have the power to change the world–in this case, one man had the power to ratchet up the culture wars and magnify the split between liberal and conservative even further than it had been. Floyd Lee Corkins II, a volunteer at the DC Center for the LGBT Community, shot a security guard in the arm in front of the Family Research Council's DC headquarters Wednesday. Conservatives were instantly irate, with the president of the National Organization for Marriage (also listed as a hate group at the Southern Poverty Research Center website) being one of the first to declare that "labeling pro-marriage groups as 'hateful' must end."
The video gives a quick recap of what the Family Research Council says they stand for, and a recap of the shooting:
NPR adds that it is yet unclear what the state of mind of the shooter was.
Corkins who had been volunteering recently at a community center for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, made a negative comment about the organization's activity before the shooting, but the reference was not specific, one of the law enforcement officials said. Two law enforcement officials said Corkins was carrying sandwiches from Chick-fil-A, a fast-food chain whose president's opposition to same-sex marriage recently placed the restaurant at the center of a national cultural debate.
James McJunkin, assistant director in charge of the FBI's Washington field office, said soon after the shooting that authorities didn't yet know enough about the gunman and his state to mind to know what inspired the attack.
The guard, Leo Johnson, was conscious and breathing after the shooting and was being interviewed and treated at a hospital. Authorities credited him for thwarting a shooting they said could have been much worse.
"The security guard here is a hero, as far as I'm concerned," said D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier.
We have done a number of articles about the activities of the Family Research Council. Among other things the FRC has advocated outlawing gay behavior, prohibiting gays from serving in the military, and criminalizing homosexual behavior, and have frequently (and incorrectly) associated homosexual behavior with pedophilia. The FRC has also been in the center of controversy regarding whether or not they lobbied Congress to oppose denouncing Uganda's plan to execute homosexuals. The group started as a think tank in 1983, and merged with Focus on the Family in 1988, with former undersecretary of education under Reagan Gary Bauer as its first president. The two groups separated in 1993 to protect Focus on the Family's tax exempt status, and has been headed by former Louisana Representative Tony Perkins since 2003.