People who walk into random businesses or public places and open fire on innocents usually aren’t disposed to rational discourse or long-term planning, but Floyd Lee Corkins’ shooting of a security guard at the headquarters of the Family Research Council (allegedly accompanied by his declaration of “I don’t like your politics”) will surely do nothing but backfire. This wasn’t just needlessly violent and intolerably destructive – it will also prove to have been actively counterproductive.
The FRC and all other anti-gay right-wing groups that share its goals won’t hesitate to exploit this incident to portray themselves as the real victims in their ongoing fight against liberal values. NOM is already at it, demanding that bigoted, hateful groups no longer be called “bigoted” or “hateful” or “hate groups” because apparently that will cause people to shoot them (raising the question of why exactly it took so long for that to happen even once). I fully expect that they’ll continue bringing this up for the foreseeable future whenever they find it convenient to make supporters of gay rights look like maniacs who want to kill them – which is to say, always.
And every single time they milk this for more sympathy, we’ll be obliged to recite ad nauseam that yes, we unambiguously deplore all violence, no, this is never an acceptable approach to civil debate in the public sphere, yes, this was a terrible tragedy and our hearts go out to the victim, no, this man does not represent what we stand for… and so on. Meanwhile, they’ll continue working to criminalize our relationships, ban our marriages, tear apart our families, exclude us from full participation in our society, depict us as child abusers, and fight tooth and nail against our progress at every step. And now, they’ll be forcing us to apologize along the way.
You wounded more than just one person yesterday, Floyd.