That’s another ‘dog bites man’ headline. But had the circumstances been the opposite, a shooter armed and angry opening fire in the DC headquarters of a social policy advocacy group would have been all over the news cycles with endless analysis of its grave ramifications.
Remember how quickly some media rushed to pin the Tucson shooting to some sort of right wing political extremism? More recently, recall how a major network newsman rushed to pin the Colorado theater shooter with the Tea Party? In this case, the target was conservatives, and the shooter was motivated by the politically charged issue of gay marriage. And media were virtually silent.
Here’s what happened, as reported by a very few handful (if even) of sources.
CBS, for one.
A man suspected of shooting and wounding a security guard in the lobby of a Christian lobbying group had been volunteering at a community center for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.
A law enforcement official has identified the suspect arrested in Wednesday’s shooting as Floyd Corkins II of Herndon, Va. Investigators were interviewing his neighbors.
Another official says the shooter made a negative reference about the work of the Family Research Council before opening fire. The officials spoke anonymously because they were not authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation.
David Mariner is executive director of The DC Center for the LGBT Community. He says Corkins had been volunteering at the center for about the past 6 months. Mariner describes Corkins as “kind, gentle and unassuming.”
While police have not yet stated what motivated Corkins, a coalition of 25 gay rights groups released a statement through GLAAD condemning the shooting.
“The motivation and circumstances behind today’s tragedy are still unknown, but regardless of what emerges as the reason for this shooting, we utterly reject and condemn such violence. We wish for a swift and complete recovery for the victim of this terrible incident,” the statement read.
Fox News reports:
An FBI affidavit in the investigation of a shooting Wednesday at the downtown Washington, D.C., offices of the Family Research Council says the accused gunman uttered a statement to the effect of, “I don’t like your politics,” before reaching into a backpack for a handgun and opening fire.
Floyd Lee Corkins II, of Herndon, Va., 28, is charged with assault with intent to kill, in addition to federal firearms charges.
Corkins was wearing a white prison jumpsuit and showed no visible emotions or reactions at federal court Thursday….
Leo Johnson, an unarmed building operations manager, is being lauded by D.C. police as a hero for stopping and disarming Corkins before he could get into the building.
Surveillance video shows Johnson interacting with Corkins before he allegedly opened fire, striking Johnson in the arm. The security guard managed to wrestle Corkins to the ground and disarm him before he could get inside the group’s offices.
“The security guard here is a hero, as far as I¹m concerned,” D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said. “He did his job. The person never made it past the front.”
Sources told Fox News that after Johnson disarmed Corkins, the gunman said: “Don’t shoot me, it was not about you, it was what this place stands for.”
Talk about hate crime….
Which we should. With civility, finally.
Here’s a good roundup.
I too hope this near-miss will inspire some folks to pull-back on their rhetoric, but I think it unlikely. A lot of people in this Year of Our Lord 2012 have sprung gas leaks, and they’re just floating in suspense, waiting for someone to just strike the proper match so it all goes ka-boom.
And the seeming reluctance of the press to cover this story as it was breaking, and the many hours of presidential silence in its wake, do nothing to dissuade folks that ka-boom would be so very bad, after all, as long as it was against the right sorts of people.
Yes, we need to talk about this. With the respect for truth and honesty and human dignity we proclaim.