Floyd Corkins would be a household name by now if he attacked a liberal group. But since he was going after the Family Research Council (and Chick-Fil-a at the same time) last summer his name quickly disappeared from the headlines. This story won’t even merit a mention on the evening news, in all likelihood.
A man accused of shooting a security guard inside the downtown Washington headquarters of a conservative Christian lobbying group pleaded guilty Wednesday in connection with the shooting.
Corkins pleaded guilty to one federal count of crossing state lines with guns and ammunition. He also pleaded guilty to one count of intent to kill while armed and one count of committing an act of terrorism with the intent to kill.
Those last two counts are District charges.
He is scheduled to be sentenced on April 29.
Corkins was charged in August with opening fire inside the lobby of the Family Research Council building. A security guard was wounded but managed to wrestle away the gun. No one else was hurt.
Prosecutors say Corkins, who had been volunteering at a center for gay, lesbian and transgender people, was carrying ammunition and Chick-fil-A sandwiches in his bag. Chick-fil-A was making headlines at the time because of its president’s stated opposition to gay marriage.
Corkins intended to smear the sandwiches in the faces of his victims to make a statement about gay rights opponents, he acknowledged during a hearing Wednesday.
“Were it not for the heroic guard who tackled Floyd Corkins, he could have succeeded in perpetrating a mass killing spree in the nation’s capital,” said U.S. Attorney Ron Machen. “This case highlights the dangers of access to high-capacity magazines that allow killers to inflict carnage on a mass scale in the blink of an eye. Today’s guilty plea makes clear that using violence to terrorize political opponents will not be tolerated.”
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said that the Southern Poverty Law Center should take responsibility for the shooting and take down their hate map.
“The day after Floyd Corkins came into the FRC headquarter and opened fire wounding one of our team members, I stated that while Corkins was responsible for the shooting, he had been given a license to perpetrate this act of violence by groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center which has systematically and recklessly labeled every organization with which they disagree as a ‘hate group,’” he said.
“Once again, I call on the SPLC to put an immediate stop to its practice of labeling organizations that oppose their promotion of homosexuality,” said Perkins, adding, “Whether the SPLC continues to demonize those who hold to biblical morality or not, the Family Research Council will remain unequivocally committed to our mission of advancing faith, family and freedom.”
His comments had no impact at the law center. Their “hate map” still includes FRC.