Family Research Council Shooter Pleads Guilty–Is He The Only One?

Floyd Corkins' politically motivated terror against the Family Research Council invites the question of whether others bear culpability.

You may recall the horrific shooting that took place last August at the Washington D.C. headquarters of the Family Research Council. The conservative political organization was the target of Floyd Lee Corkins, who came in and shot the guard (who survived) before being arrested. This past week, Corkins pleaded guilty to three different charges, including an act of terrorism.

It had already been reported that Corkins said “I don’t like your politics”, or words to that effect, at the time of the crime. An interview with the FBI reveals he in fact said much worse—Corkins told the feds he intended to “kill as many as possible and smear the Chick-Fil-A sandwiches in victims’ faces, and kill the guard.”

No one can say Corkins lacked a clear sense of philosophical purpose, and the FBI confirmed that the investigation showed he identified his targets by searching the website of the radical left-wing group, the Southern Poverty Law Center, which identified the Family Research Council as a so-called “hate group.” FRC president Tony Perkins minced no words last August in saying that while Corkins was the one who was guilty, the Southern Poverty Law Center bore some responsibility for its free and easy branding of political opponents as hate groups.

I’ll admit to mixed feelings about whether the SPLC bears some level of culpability. It’s easy to say yes, because this is an organization that has thrived on fomenting hatred against social traditionalists. We can extend this to media outlets like The Daily Kos, where the editor recklessly called a proposed constitutional amendment to define marriage between a man and a woman as a “the hate amendment” and was almost gleeful in his attempt to tie Sarah Palin to the shooting of former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

Is it then so unthinkable that a like-minded foot soldier would decide to get and gun and take it those guilty of such abominable hate?

This line of thought becomes more appealing when you consider that these secular left-wing outlets have made a living (quite literally) by taking violence against abortionists and applying it across the board to the pro-life movement. It didn’t matter how often pro-life leaders denounced the violence, the opportunity to make political hay was always seen by the secular left as the highest value worth striving for. They hurt a lot of people and damaged any real dialogue that might have taken place between the opposing sides.

We’re told in the Gospel that we’ll be judged by the same standard we apply to others, and by that standard it’s eminently fair to take the Family Research Council tragedy of August 15 and hang it squarely around the neck of the Southern Poverty Law Center, The Daily Kos and all who contributed to an atmosphere defining anything short of complete surrender to the left-wing social agenda as “hate.

It’s fair to hang that around their neck, but is it wise? Or is it a standard best left to God Himself?

If one can clean out the justifiable anger that exists at the tactics of the hard Left, is it really serving any good purpose to take the irresponsible use of free speech and link it to attempted murder? Aren’t the individuals who actually pick up the gun still the ones who are guilty—no excuses? Aren’t we on an extremely slippery slope if we make the linkage between rhetoric and murder too casually?

Ultimately, the victim of Floyd Corkin’s violence and the victim’s family deserve better than to be pawns in a political war, just as the parents and kids at Sandy Hook deserved better. The people at the Family Research Council today deserve better.

And ultimately, all of us deserve more than to get into a wrestling scrum with people like the leadership of the SPLC and The Daily Kos. After all, when you wrestle with a pig, the only result is you get as dirty as the pig.

Dan Flaherty is the author of Fulcrum, an Irish Catholic novel set in postwar Boston with a traditional Democratic mayoral campaign at its heart, and he is the editor-in-chief of



  • tranxtian

    Up until a few years ago, I used to give money to groups like the Family Research Council and the National Organization for Marriage. I did that because I really didn’t know what those groups stood for. The face they present to their donors and what they say and do behind the scenes are very different. You may not know about it, but gay people do. They know that the FRC once said on television that they thought gay people should be exported. They know that anti-gay pastors funded by the FRC advocated that gay people should be locked behind an electrified fence until they die. They know that NOM threw a rally where the main speaker said that gay people were worthy of death. Gay people know that NOM wrote a manifesto where they said they wanted to fan hostility against gay people.

    These are all facts. This is what gay people know. You can try to explain all these things away or make excuses for why these things were said by these organizatiins. Some of it might even be true. But the sad fact is that gay people see these organizations working again them and inciting public animosity. Chic-fil-a supports these organization that say these things and then gay people see America lined up around the block supporting that company. What do you think that does to a person?

    It’s as if the school yard bully that ran around beating up all th weak kids on the playground and is now somehow surprised that everyone hates him. How many times do you think you can bully a kid before they start to fight back?

    This is why I don’t donate to these organizations anymore. Wake up and see what’s happening.

  • Chris

    Interesting how the commenters here so far take a path of denial, trying to deflect from the story by appealing to the myth of persecution of homosexuals, even to the point of being ridiculous, e.g. that there are millions of homeless, homosexual teens. And there is even an attempt to justify this incident: i.e. that we should not be surprised that this type of act “comes home to us.”

    The tolerance crowd is often the most hateful, bigoted, exclusionary group of folks there are, especially when they preach tolerance and the like, yet are the first ones to attack you, call you names, and try to silence you when you disagree with them or don’t support their agenda. It was also not just the SPLC that had labeled them a hate group either. The fact that these groups would not even apologize or reconsider their tactic of labeling people and groups as hateful following such an incident speaks for itself. And it is a disturbing trend that anyone who does not take the politically correct position is now labeled as “hateful,” so that even your thoughts and speech are held in check to reflect what they want. Talk about bullying and intimidation!

    And let us notice that there no are incidents of supposedly “hateful, anti-gay” people going in to shoot up some homosexual activists group’s headquarters. Homosexual activists have made a habit of harassing individuals, groups, and businesses that don’t tow the line. Chick Fil A is a perfect example: simply because the president of the company publicly voiced his thoughts, people have been trying to close their stores or prevent new ones from opening, using the coercive power of the state. So, you state that you recognize marriage is between a man and woman? Sorry, then you can’t operate your private business, we’ll have to shut you down somehow. And let us again notice that the allegedly “anti-gay” Chick fil A did not say or make a practice of refusing homosexual customers, not hiring such persons, or otherwise trying to exclude them. It is the homosexual activists doing the excluding.

    • abadilla


    • Frantastic1

      More murders were motivated by anti-gay bias in 2011 than in any year since the FBI has been keeping record. In 2011, 30 fatally violent hate crimes were committed against lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender victims.

      So far this year the following anti-gay hate crimes have been committed:

      Three men wearing masks carved anti-gay epithets into a Nebraska woman and left her for dead.

      A 24 year year old gay man was beaten to death in Virginia.

      A gay Illinois state university student beaten on campus while attackers made anti-gay comments.

      22 year old gay man stabbed in New York while the attacker was yelling anti-gay statements.

      Attackers in Kentucky wrote homophobic slurs on a man’s car and firebombed it sending the gay person to the hospital.

      Michigan man admitted to hate crime for beating a person after finding out that he was gay.

      I think your comment is either made from willful ignorance about the violence that gay people still face in our society. Most of this is motivated by articles such as this one and the rhetoric from anti gay groups like FRC.

      • abadilla

        I have no doubt you are reporting the truth, but is it because of what the Catholic Church teaches that these horrors take place? Context is everything. In a nation of almost 350 million people you will always have haters, people who hate Blacks, Hispanics, Whites, Asian people, gay people, Catholics, you name it, but that doesn’t mean the teachings of our Church or the teachings of other churches are responsible for those horrors.

        Tranxtian says, “stop protecting the bully,” but WHO is protecting the bully, and isn’t your constant bickering in this forum a form of bullying?

        • Greg Smith

          Dear Abadilla ~ No. The Church doesn’t teach hate towards gay people. However we we are untrue to our teachings when we become so fixated on the marriage issue that the fall out encourages hate groups such as the FRC and the AFA no
          t to mention unstable indivduals. At the very least, the Bishops ought to loudly and roundly condem any and every sign on unjust discrimination against them rather than just mentioning it as a “check-a-box” at the second paragraph from last in every statement and press release. Pax tecum, Greg

          • abadilla

            Well, I’m encouraged by the thought that you don’t think the Church teaches hate toward gay people, but that is precisely what we have been accused of on this very forum.
            Greg, in practically every pastoral document defending marriage, there is always a passage stating that discrimination and hate for gay people is NOT Christian. I don’t know what else you want the bishops to do.
            No, the Church is not fixated on the issue. We have lots and lots of issues to deal with, but the challenge is there now getting loud and clear by many in the homosexual community and we need to give a clear and unequivocal answer and that answer is not always popular.

      • Chris

        You still avoid addressing the subject matter of the article and try to deflect from it by claiming that other people do this to homosexuals, and so “we’re even.” And you try to minimize or justify this incident: the fact that this man was motivated to do what he did because FRC is labeled as a hate and “anti-gay” group. So you prove my point: it is okay for you to demonize others because they hold another point of view and to even infer that they had it coming to them; all the while claiming to be “tolerant” and not allowing other people to hold different views.

        Even so, the statistics don’t mean much anyway and you actually misrepresent them. There were only 4 such “hate crime” murders in 2011, and there is no identification of them as having all occurred against homosexuals. This also seems to mean that your claim of 30 fatally violent crimes is false. We also know that activists like to claim that any incidents against homosexuals are the result of bias and hate, even though it may only be coincidental: e.g. a robbery of someone who just happens to be homosexual can be counted as a “hate crime.” In addition there is no distinction when the incident is committed by another homosexual.

        Activists also have a track record of manufacturing incidents, either making them up or even committing them against themselves, even violent ones, to get some mileage out of them and keep the myth of “gay bashing” going. (Here are just two of many examples: ; For the incidents you cite for this year, for example, it would be interesting to see the actual proof for them, i.e., that the authorities documented they resulted from homosexual hatred. One can also note that there are just about as many incidents of anti-religious “hate crimes,” in the FBI report, but I would not want to use that info. to justify any broad sweeping claims.

        • Frantastic1

          Now you are just outright lying. There were 30 murders against gay and lesbian people in 2011. You can’t create your own reality. It makes you look like a lunatic.

          • Chris

            Sorry, but here is a link to two parts, among others, of the FBI report, in which it states that there were 4 “hate crime” murders when all “hate crimes” are broken down as “crimes against persons”:; You apparently didn’t count on people looking up the info. themselves and it’s revealing that you did not provide a link yourself.

            And the same goes for the other alleged incidents you cite, as it’s interesting that you don’t comment on the examples that are proven to be fraudulent and/or anything but conclusive as a “hate crime.”

          • Frantastic1

            Don’t know what you are talking about. Your first link is dead. The second link shows 30 murders in 2011 against gay people. Do you think people aren’t going to follow the link?

            What’s your point? Gay people are fired for being gay, gay teens are thrown out of their homes by their parents, gay scouts are thrown out of that organization, until recently gay soldiers were fired. Gay kids are tormented by their college roommates until they jump of of bridges. Gay people are killed for being gay. Whether that number is 4 or 30, gay people are persecuted in this country, by people that claim they are Christians.

            They aren’t.

        • tranxtian

          Yes. Othe people do do this to homosexuals. If you oppress a group of people long enough, they are eventually going to revolt. This is human nature. Pope John Paul warned gay people that they should “expect” violence if they fought for their equal rights. He forgot to tell anti-gays that they should “expect” violence if they continue to oppress and demean gay people.

          Please read my post below. There is nothing Christian about these anti-gay groups. They are hate groups. They have sad hateful things. They have acted in hateful ways. They should be labeled as such, because its the truth. They have lost their way.

  • abadilla

    “It didn’t matter how often pro-life leaders denounced the violence, the opportunity to make political hay was always seen by the secular left as the highest value worth striving for. They hurt a lot of people and damaged any real dialogue that might have taken place between the opposing sides.”
    And that is really tragic; yet some here would like to accuse you of just taking the side of the “right” when you made every effort not to appear one sided on your post.

  • Greg Smith

    Dan ~ Look at a few of Brian Fisher’s clips and then tell me the “hate” is all coming from the pro-gay side. American Catholics make a grave mistake when we become apologists for the fundamentalist extreme right. – Pax, Greg

    • Frantastic1

      Thank you Greg.

  • Jerry Marko


  • Frantastic1

    You know what I think is horrific? The millions of homeless gay teenagers that are living on the streets because their parents kicked them out of their houses. Another thing I think is horrific? The millions of gay teenagers that have committed suicide because their parents tried to pray away the gay instead of trying to love and understand them. I also think the things that the family research council has said on T.V. are fairly horrific – specifically the time that they said that gay people should be exported from our country.

    Another thing that I think is horrific is the people that intentionally create animosity, hatred and hostility, then act surprised when it comes home to them.

    I think we need to learn how to be loving and caring to people that are gay. I don’t think blaming them for the discrimination that they face is a good way to do it. Sorry, for the rant. This is my pet peave. I hate people that use our religion as an excuse for hate. We need to start there.



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