Conservative group blames D.C. shooting on “reckless rhetoric”
After D.C. authorities revealed details about the Family Research Council shooting, Tony Perkins, the head of the influential conservative organization, blamed the shooting on “reckless rhetoric,” but then delivered his own politically charged remark, saying critics gave the accused gunman “a license to shoot an unarmed man.”Perkins’s comments on Thursday hit inflamed statements from both sides, tapped into deep divisions over abortion and gay marriage, and drew more finger-pointing.
Floyd Lee Corkins II, 28, the accused shooter, is currently held without bond on accusations that he opened fire a day earlier inside the lobby of the council’s headquarters. Corkins, whose parents said he strongly supports gay rights, had a backpack full of food from Chick-fil-A and a box of ammunition when he said words to the effect of “I don’t like your politics” and shot a security guard, according to authorities. Perkins blamed the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization that tracks and litigates against hate groups. “Corkins was given a license to shoot an unarmed man by organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center that have been reckless in labeling organization hate groups because they disagree with them on public policy,” Perkins said.