August 17 2012
The FRC Shooting: An Exercise in Selective Outrage
If you want to know something about selective outrage, consider this week’s shooting at the conservative Family Research Council.
The shooting took place Wednesday when Floyd Corkins allegedly shot a security guard who prevented him from entering the offices. Quite likely Leo Johnson, the guard, who suffered serious but not life-threatening wounds, stood between a shooter and further carnage.
According to an affidavit from an FBI officer, who is investigating the case, the suspect was carrying a bag of sandwiches from Chick-fil-A, the fast foods restaurant that has become an object of hatred in some quarters because its owner said publicly that he believes in traditional marriage.
According to the affidavit, as reported by ABC News, the shooter said, “I don’t like your politics.” The suspect reportedly had 50 rounds of ammunition. The affidavit continues:
“Corkins’ parents informed the FBI Special Agents that Corkins has strong opinions with respect to those he believes do not treat homosexuals in a fair manner,” says the affidavit.
Corkins, who graduated from George Mason University in Virginia with a master’s degree in education and human development in 2006, had recently been volunteering at The D.C. Center for the LGBT Community, a community center for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Washington.
I wish Mr. Corkins has restricted his endeavors to voluneering at the LGBT center. But he got a gun and this is clearly an act of political violence. Can you imagine the coverage that would have resulted if something similar had taken place at a left-leaning organization by somebody with different views? The media would be up in arms. Not so now.
Where are the calls for stricter gun control? Why aren’t we being asked to reflect on what this terrible event means about our national psyche? Has the president called for national “soul searching” in the wake of this shooting? The media is so quiet that nobody has even thought to blame Sarah Palin.
Here is gemlike commentary from Jonah Goldberg:
I’m nearing the end of a vacation, so I’ve stayed out of the Corner for the most part. But tonight after we came back from dinner, my wife said “look at this.” On her iPad was the Washington Post’s homepage. One of the headlines reads:
Police: Suspect disagreed with Family Research Council
“Disagreed”? The suspect shot someone. “Disagreed”!? Why so bombastic? Why not say that the would-be killer “had a different perspective’?
Now, I can’t really complain when authorities or newspapers (not the same thing) err on the side of caution. Nonetheless, I can’t help but be angry when the press exercises caution so selectively. I find it very hard to believe that a similar suspect entering the offices of a more politically correct organization would earn such restraint.
Media criticism is never the most important part of the story. The crime and the victims are the real story. Still, I thought it worth mentioning.
It should be noted that the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated the Family Research Council a “hate group,” but, as far as I can tell, this simply means that the FRC holds positions at variance with those of the SPLC.