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InsiderOnline Blog: August 2013

An Inconvenient Shooting

Nearly one year ago, on August 15, 2012, Floyd Lee Corkins entered the lobby of the Family Research Council and shot building manager Leo Johnson once, shattering his left forearm. Johnson then pinned Corkins against a wall and punched him repeatedly until he dropped his gun. Johnson prevented a mass murder that day, but somehow, as Mark Hemingway observes, the media couldn’t figure out how to fit that event into its prefabricated narrative about politics and violence:

The Family Research Council shooting is one of the few inarguable examples of politically motivated violence in recent years, yet looking back a year later, the incident has garnered comparatively little attention. Corkins openly admits he selected the Family Research Council because the Christian organization is one of the leading opponents of gay marriage in the country. He had Chick-fil-A sandwiches in his backpack because the CEO of the fast-food chain was under fire for publicly supporting a biblical definition of marriage. Corkins said he planned to “smother Chick-fil-A sandwiches in [the] faces” of his victims as a political statement. And in case that didn’t make his motivations transparent, right before Corkins shot Leo Johnson, he told him, “I don’t like your politics.” […]

“A detail sure to reignite the culture wars that erupted around the shooting is the fact that Corkins told FBI agents that he identified the Family Research Council as anti-gay on the Web site of the Southern Poverty Law Center,” wrote the Washington Post during Corkins’s trial in February. It’s a little unseemly for a newspaper, when finally forced to confront actual politically motivated violence, to worry about the shooting’s impact on the metaphorical “culture war.”

And, by the way: “[T]he SPLC doesn’t just name the Family Research Council on its website—it posts the council’s address on a ‘hate map.’ That map is still on SPLC’s website […] .” [Weekly Standard, August 19]

Posted on 08/09/13 12:41 PM by Alex Adrianson

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