Terrorism charges for Family Research Council shooting suspect
WASHINGTON, D.C., October 25, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – A federal grand jury has added terrorism to the charges facing the gay rights activists accused of shooting a security guard at the headquarters of the Family Research Council.
The United States Attorney’s Office announced several new charges, including the terrorism charge, yesterday. The terrorism charge, which carries a penalty of up to 30 years in prison, is the first ever under a 2002 District of Columbia anti-terrorism statute.
Other charges added by the grand jury include attempted murder while armed, aggravated assault while armed, and weapons charges.
Corkins has already pleaded not guilty to charges of interstate transportation of a firearm, assault with intent to kill while armed, and possession of a firearm during a crime of violence.
Corkins, who had been a volunteer at a local homosexual activist organization, allegedly invaded the lobby of FRC on August 15 armed with a 9mm pistol, approximately 50 rounds of ammunition, and 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches purchased the day before. At the time, Chick-fil-A was in the news due to CEO Dan Cathy’s statements in support of traditional marriage.
Leo Johnson, FRC ‘s building manager, confronted the gunman. Corkins reportedly said “I don’t like your politics,” before opening fire. Despite being shot, Johnson was able to subdue the shooter, and according to investigators, his actions saved many lives.
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After the shooting, the FBI revealed that it had found the address of another conservative organization, Traditional Values Coalition, in Corkins’ pocket, fueling speculation that Corkins was also targeting TVC.
Family Research President Tony Perkins said yesterday the terrorism charge “makes clear that acts of violence designed to intimidate and silence those who support natural marriage and traditional morality violate the law and undermine the security and stability of our form of government.”
In the wake of the shooting pro-family advocates had pointed to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s decision to classify FRC as a “hate group” because of its opposition to gay “marriage,” as a potential contributing factor.
Perkins called on the Law Center “to stop its reckless practice of labeling organizations that oppose their promotion of homosexuality.”
“The SPLC’s ‘hate’ labeling of Christian organizations is fostering a dangerous and deadly environment of hostility and it needs to stop,” he said.
“The Family Research Council and our supporters understand the essential nature of our First Freedoms of religion and speech in the survival of our constitutional republic and remain unequivocally committed to our mission of advancing faith, family and freedom,” Perkins concluded.
Corkins is due in court for a hearing tomorrow.
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