By Gary Bauer
We have learned a lot more in the past 24 hours about yesterday's shooting at the Family Research Council. The gunman has been identified as Floyd Corkins, II of Herndon, Virginia. For the past six months, Corkins has been a volunteer at the DC Center for the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender Community, also located in Washington, D.C.
According to media reports, Corkins had "a box of ammunition and 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches in his backpack." For what purpose? Who knows. The FBI is still sorting that out. His obvious intention was to get into the building and shoot people. Thankfully, he was stopped by the heroic actions of Leo Johnson, a security guard at FRC.
The shooting at FRC was the fourth story on the CBS Evening News last night. All you learned was that shooter was reportedly upset with FRC's policies. The report was so vague you could have easily concluded that Corkins was a disgruntled employee. CBS completely avoided the main issues.
Do you recall when abortionist George Tiller was shot on a Sunday morning in May 2009? Within hours the Obama Administration had ordered U.S. marshals to be posted at abortion facilities all over America. Yesterday, the White House issued a perfunctory statement in President Obama's name, but no one was talking about posting federal agents at conservative organizations across the country.
As I always do when an event like this takes place, I went to various left-wing blogs to see the reaction of the self-described tolerant crowd. There were a significant number of people saying, "I disagree with FRC, but the violence has to stop." That was encouraging.
Unfortunately, a lot of people were also suggesting that the shooting was justified. Unbelievably, some were angry that the shooter failed to kill anyone! Others encouraged more violence.
After speaking with FRC President Tony Perkins yesterday, I did a lot of interviews defending FRC and the values we cherish. I hope the left will examine itself in the wake of this incident, which easily could have become a major horror story.
The continued demonization of people of faith, of anyone who believes marriage is between a man and a woman, of anyone who believes unborn children deserve protection, will inevitably lead to worse events than what happened yesterday.
Those of us who have been working in this arena can tell you that we receive frequent death threats, threats against our families and vile messages. At one point during my time at the Family Research Council, the threats were so frequent that security guards were parked in my driveway at our home 24 hours a day.
One final thought. While yesterday's shooting was a tragic event, it seems clear to me that it was deliberate act of terror meant to intimidate men and women of faith. It would also be tragic if there were even one person who believes in traditional values who allowed himself to be cowed by this violence. If that happens, the extremists have won.
In democratic societies, we don't settle policy disputes with bullets, but with ballots. I hope everyone reading this message will rededicate themselves to being active and responsible citizens. And, yes, that means voting this November! Make sure all your like-minded friends and family members are registered to vote. If they aren't sure if they are registered, they can use this helpful link.