Let's be clear: Yesterday's shooting of a security guard at the Family Research Council's offices in Washington, D.C., evidently motivated by the shooter's anger over the FRC's ongoing campaign against the LGBT community, was an atrocity that harmed the cause the shooter espoused. After all, the chief reason groups are called out as "hate groups" is that the rhetoric they purvey is so toxic that often it justifies and inspires acts of violence against vulnerable minorities. To respond to that with an equally insane act of violence is a betrayal.
Moreover, if the motives as reported so far are accurate, it was clearly an act of domestic terrorism, one of an increasingly small species of such acts: left-wing domestic terrorism. It may be helpful here to remember that since 2008, there have been more than fifty incidents of domestic terrorism committed by right wing-extremists and directed at "liberal" targets.
The horrified finger pointing that has erupted among right-wingers, however, is nothing if not obscene, particularly when it involves hatemongers like Michelle Malkin and Bryan Fischer. Malkin's hypocrisy in particular would be hilarious were it not so noxious: Only a few weeks ago, she was reiterating her longtime claim that the Holocaust Museum shooter wasn't a right-wing extremist, along with a dozen other incidents involving similar extremists.
Indeed, right-wingers (particularly those at Fox News and the Malkin contingent) have long been eager to whitewash away the political orientation of right-wing terrorists and deny any culpability for their acts, even when -- as in the case of the Malkin fan who terrorized abortion clinics with fake anthrax attacks, or the rampaging shooter who claimed inspiration from Fox News figures -- those connections are painfully obvious.
Yesterday, Malkin's "Twitchy" site was eagerly blaming the Southern Poverty Law Center for the FRC shooting.
The shooting of a security guard Wednesday at the Family Research Council (FRC) has spurred a torrent of heated accusations from both sides of the gay rights debate about claims that the conservative organization is a “hate group.”
The National Organization for Marriage (NOM), one of the nation’s leading opponents of same-sex marriage, told The Hill the shooting was a direct result of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s decision in 2010 to place the FRC on its list of hate groups for its rhetoric on gays.
Brian Brown, the president of NOM, pointed to a recent blog post by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), one of the largest gay-rights groups in the country. The post, “Paul Ryan Speaking at Hate Group’s Annual Conference,” called attention to the vice presidential candidate’s scheduled appearance at the FRC’s national summit next month.
“Today’s attack is the clearest sign we’ve seen that labeling pro-marriage groups as ‘hateful’ must end,” Brown said in a statement issued following the shooting.
“For too long national gay rights groups have intentionally marginalized and ostracized pro-marriage groups and individuals by labeling them as ‘hateful’ and ‘bigoted.’”
Neither the FBI nor the D.C. police have released any information about what motivated the shooter, who they placed in custody shortly after 11 a.m. near the FRC’s headquarters after he wounded a security guard in the arm.