Just saw this at Dispatches from the Culture Wars and wanted to comment on it immediately.
A gunman attacked the offices of the Family Research Council in Washington, DC this morning. A security guard was shot but he managed to stop the attacker from hurting anyone else. The gunman may have been angry at the FRC’s political positions:
The guard, who was not identified, was shot in the arm and was conscious after the shooting and was in stable condition. The gunman, who also was not identified, was being questioned by the FBI, sources said. Sources said he is in his twenties.
The suspect “made statements regarding their policies, and then opened fire with a gun striking a security guard,” a source told Fox News. WJLA-TV7 reported the suspect was also shot.
Sources told Fox New that after guard took away his gun, the suspect said, “Don’t shoot me, it was not about you, it was what this place stands for.”
Authorities were treating the attack as a case of domestic terrorism, although James McJunkin, the head of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, said authorities do not yet know the gunman’s motive.
I’m pretty sure I don’t need to tell anyone who reads this blog how I feel about the Family Research Council. I think they are a horrible, disgusting organization. I could probably cut my research time on issues to nothing by just choosing the opposite side of any issue the FRC takes a stand on. I give from my meager paycheck to organizations that work against the FRC, I actively work against the FRC on issues, and I blog negatively about the FRC. To put it bluntly, we are not on each others Christmas card lists.
But no matter how strongly I feel about the FRC, I would never advocate violence against them. This attack on their offices and the wounding of their guard is tragic. I am thankful that no one was killed. If the attack was indeed committed because of the stances the FRC takes on social and political issues, then it disgusts me even more. Violence is not the answer. I don’t care what side of the political spectrum you are on. I’ve castigated pro-life groups in the past for their incitement of violence against clinics and doctors, and I’ve raged against their reluctance to distance themselves from terrorists who have bombed clinics and murdered doctors. I will do the same for those on the other end of the spectrum. Just because you support a cause I believe in does not mean I will give you a pass on the use of violence. Terrorism is terrorism. You can’t get much more black and white than that.
Wayne Besen of Truth Wins Out put out this statement :
“This is an awful tragedy and our thoughts and hearts go out to the victim, his family, and his colleagues at the Family Research Council,” said Truth Wins Out’s Executive Director Wayne Besen. “In America we settle political differences through robust debate in the public square, not with violence. If the shooting is found to be politically motivated, it is a detestable act of cruelty and cowardice and the perpetrator should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. We stand squarely with the Family Research Council today and offer them our full support and prayers.”
I can’t offer the FRC my prayers, but I do offer them my support and fully agree with Wayne Besen’s statement. I urge leaders from both sides of the political spectrum, as well as leaders of the religious and the secular, to use this opportunity to denounce terroristic violence by anyone. We are a civilized people, are we not? It is time to put the weapons away, all of us, and work out our differences through debate. Let’s make this the last story like this we ever have to see.
Violence is not the answer.