This column by ACRU Senior Legal Analyst Ken Klukowski was published on October 25, 2012 on Breitbart.com.
Floyd Corkins, the volunteer at a gay-rights organization who attempted to commit mass murder at the Christian conservative Family Research Council (FRC) because of FRC’s stance on social and religious issues, has been indicted on charges of domestic terrorism. It is the first such indictment ever handed down by a grand jury in the nation’s capital.
On Aug. 15, Corkins entered FRC’s building in Washington, D.C. with a hidden handgun, fifty rounds of ammunition, and fifteen Chick-fil-A sandwiches. When confronted by building manager Leo Johnson, Corkins revealed his gun and started shooting, hitting Johnson. Though seriously wounded, Johnson managed to wrest the gun away from Corkins and held him at gunpoint until police arrived, thwarting an attempted mass shooting. Before police arrived, Corkins pleaded for mercy, explaining that he launched the attack because of FRC’s beliefs.
As the Federal Bureau of Investigation has continued to gather evidence regarding the attack, a grand jury in Washington, D.C., handed down a superseding indictment adding new felony charges to the case. The indictment now reads in part that Corkins: “while armed with a firearm… attempted murder… with the intent to intimidate and coerce a significant portion of the civilian population of the District of Columbia and the United States.”
Tony Perkins, president of FRC, reacted by saying that the terrorism indictment:
…makes clear that acts of violence designed to intimidate and silence those who support natural marriage and traditional morality violate the law and undermine the security and stability of our form of government.
We again call upon organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center to stop its reckless practice of labeling [as “hate groups”] organizations that oppose their promotion of homosexuality. The SPLC’s “hate” labeling of Christian organizations is fostering a dangerous and deadly environment of hostility, and it needs to stop.
The Family Research Council and our supporters understand the essential nature of our First Freedoms of religion and speech in the survival of our constitutional republic. We remain unequivocally committed to our mission of advancing faith, family and freedom.
It is remarkable that this marks the first time a domestic terrorism indictment has been delivered in the nation’s capital under D.C.’s anti-terrorism law. This statute recognizes that terrorism is when acts of violence are directed against individuals or small groups with the purpose of evoking terror in millions of people, making them feel intimidated into silence or coerced to support social or public policy against their preferences.
America will see yet again on Nov. 6 that social and political change is achieved through the ballot box when people vote for a direction for our nation and our states. We settle our differences through expressing ourselves to our fellow citizens, then seeing on Election Day who won the debate. When the shooter in this case is convicted of domestic terrorism, it will be a poignant reminder that such violence is not–and must never–be tolerated in support of any issue or agenda in our free country.