Family Research Center

Opinion

Family Research Council: The shots not heard ‘round the world

Family Research Center
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WASHINGTON, D.C., February 8, 2013, (Family Research Council) - It seems hard to believe, Jim Treacher wrote yesterday, "but once upon a time, there was a shooting the national news didn't want to talk about." That's because the shooting was at FRC. And although the gunman was a politically-motivated activist who stormed a building less than a mile from the White House, there's a reason most Americans have never heard of him. After years of insisting that conservatives were the hateful ones, the attack at FRC was an inconvenient storyline for a media bent on hiding where the real intolerance lies.

The day after Floyd Corkins walked into our headquarters and opened fire, I said that while Corkins was responsible for the shooting, he had been given a license to perpetrate this act of violence by groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) which has recklessly labeled every organization with which they disagree a "hate group." The media insisted we were overreacting. But yesterday in federal court, prosecutors explained that FRC had it right all along. In the official filing, FBI evidence verifies the fact that Corkins was inspired by SPLC to target our office. "He was a political activist," the statement read, "and considered the FRC a lobbying group. He committed the shooting for political reasons. He had identified the FRC as an anti-gay organization on the Southern Poverty Law Center website."

Federal prosecutors read the statement of offense and then described FRC and our mission. No other organization was mentioned by name, but it was noted that Corkins had other social conservative groups on his hit-list. Of the many charges leveled against him, Corkins pleaded guilty to three, including domestic terrorism. "On August 15, 2012, the defendant assaulted [Leo] Johnson and the FRC with the intent to...coerce a significant portion of the civilian population of the District of Columbia and/or the United States; namely, any and all individuals associated with or supporting FRC, like-minded organizations, or otherwise holding beliefs contrary to or advocating against gay marriage."

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Corkins confessed to Judge Richard Roberts that he hoped to intimidate gay rights opponents--which is exactly what SPLC has tried to do with its reckless labeling. And unfortunately for our own Leo Johnson, who was wounded in the attack, SPLC doesn't draw the line at name-calling. It insists on pinpointing FRC's location on the SPLC "hate map" as an open invitation to extremists like Corkins, who admitted yesterday that he intended to "kill as many as possible and smear the Chick-fil-A sandwiches in victims' faces." It would be a statement, he told the court, "against the people who work in that building." Although Corkins pleaded guilty, SPLC has yet to admit its role in creating this hostile environment. Even after an attempted mass murder of the FRC staff, the "hate map" is still prominently featured on the SPLC website today--which shocks most conservative pundits.

"When Congresswoman Giffords and several others were shot in Arizona by Jared Loughner, the Left went into overdrive blaming Sarah Palin for a map that had a list of political targets on it. After the fact, we learned that Loughner was apolitical and he clearly had not used Sarah Palin's map of political targets. That did not stop the Left from blaming the right," said RedState's Erick Erickson. "By the way, Palin took down her target map after the controversy. The Southern Poverty Law Center? Crickets..." The Daily Caller's Treacher shakes his head at the double standard. "Now we have another [shooter] and another map. Except this time, the [shooter] is pointing directly at that map and saying, 'That's why I picked those people.' But since the targets of his thwarted rampage don't hold the correct opinions, they don't count."

The bottom line is that the Southern Poverty Law Center (the same one embraced by President Obama's Justice Department), is dangerous and driven by an anti-Christian animus. Their leaders are inciting hatred, and in this case, a clear connection to violence. They need to be held accountable, and they need to stop before people are killed for supporting traditional values. Only by ending its hate labeling of Christians will SPLC send a message that it no longer wishes to be a source for those who would commit acts of violence against Americans whose only crime is thinking differently than the radical Left. But whether the SPLC continues to demonize Christians or not, I can guarantee one thing: the Family Research Council team will not be distracted from our mission--not by bullets and certainly not by bullies.

Reprinted with permission from the Family Research Council.

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