Man Walks in with Chick-fil-A Swag and a Gun…UPDATE

It almost sounds like a joke, right? “Stop me if you’ve heard this one, before: A man carrying some Chick-fil-A swag, a coupla rounds of ammo and a gun goes into the Family Research Center and…”:

A suspect is in FBI custody after a security guard was shot in the lobby of the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian organization based in downtown D.C.

Authorities are calling the guard a hero for wrestling the gun away from the shooter and preventing him from hurting anyone else.

“The security officer here is a hero, as far as I’m concerned,” Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier said. “He did his job. The person never made it past farther than the front door.”

The shooter entered the building at 801 G Street NW at around 10:45 a.m. Wednesday. He approached the front desk and said he was an intern. The guard questioned him, including asking what was in his backpack, which is when the shooter pulled a Sig Sauer 9 mm handgun from the backpack and fired at least one round, striking the guard in the arm.

Despite his injury, the guard gained control of the weapon and held it on the suspect. The security guard and others wrestled the shooter to the ground.

Authorities found two loaded magazines with 15 rounds each in the suspect’s backpack, as well as Chik-fil-A promotional materials…Four boxes of additional ammunition was found in [his] car, sources told News4.

Well, that wasn’t much of a joke, after all…

Mad props to the injured security guard who probably saved many lives.

Seven or-so hours after the incident, we’re told that the president “will” have a statement at some point, on this politically/socially motivated attempt at mayhem, which is being treated as an act of “Domestic Terrorism”, which I guess is something, given the rather muted media response to the story. (As Gabriel Malor points out, the press is rarely so circumspect)

You’d expect the president would have prefaced his campaign-stop remarks today with a brief condemnation of politically-motivated violence, no matter the cause, wouldn’t you? Were I president, I’d have said something. I might not have seized the opportunity for a full-bore lecture on the danger of letting rhetoric get too hot, but I’d have said something, if only, “we don’t have a lot of information, so I can’t say much, but it’s important right now to say that no matter how worked up we get about these important issues, the answer never comes through violence.” It would be the presidential thing to do. But that’s just me. I have this notion that silence implies consent.

Surely if people were killed, this story would receive faster and more direct media attention and presidential condemnation. But if that’s what it takes, then God help us.

Amid reports that the shooter has an LGBT connection, The Human Rights Campaign has issued a brief and clear condemnation of the event. Kudos to them.

The Family Research Center is one of those outfits I don’t pay much attention to. They’re conservative, they’re (to my perception) a “religious right” sort of organization promoting their values concerning marriage-and-the-family, which is to say “traditional” values as they were rather commonly understood until pretty recently. In America, for now, they are legally entitled to do this.

From what I can tell from my twitter feed, though, many think of the FRC as a “hate group.”

Because these days, if you disagree with the conventional wisdom, you’re all about hatred. Why else would one disagree with conventional wisdom?

Tim Dalrymple writes:

For a bit of context, the Family Research Council received attention recently in the Chick-fil-A imbroglio. After Dan Cathy’s comments drew attention to Chick-fil-A and the Cathy family’s support for pro-traditional-marriage causes, the focus of same-sex marriage supporters shifted to the money that Chick-fil-A and the Cathy family delivered to Christian organizations through their WinShape Foundation. It was claimed that the WinShape foundation delivers “millions of dollars” to “hate groups,” though most of that money went to tame if traditional ministries such as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. The main group that was put forward as a “hate group” — because the Southern Poverty Law Center has identified it as such — was, you guessed it, the Family Research Council.

There will be more to say on this, but many Christian leaders, even if they were not big fans of the FRC approach, objected when the SPLC identified the FRC as a hate group. And it’s questionable in the first place why the FRC stood front and center as one of the organizations that received “millions” of dollars from the WinShape foundation, when the FRC has only — ever (I verified this with the organization) — received $1000 from WinShape.

I . . . know that same-sex marriage supporters have specific complaints against the group, and I will address those in an interview I’m going to post shortly, and let people make their own judgments. But surely gunmen trying to blast their way through lobbies is not the way we want to go.

Opposition to same-sex marriage — that is, support for preserving the traditional family unit — has been identified as “hate.” . . . I hope this inspires those opposed to the FRC to reconsider their overheated rhetoric.

Do check back later for Tim’s interview.

I too hope this near-miss will inspire some folks to pull-back on their rhetoric, but I think it unlikely. A lot of people in this Year of Our Lord 2012 have sprung gas leaks, and they’re just floating in suspense, waiting for someone to just strike the proper match so it all goes ka-boom.

And the seeming reluctance of the press to cover this story as it was breaking, and the many hours of presidential silence in its wake, do nothing to dissuade folks that ka-boom would be so very bad, after all, as long as it was against the right sorts of people.

And like Father Dwight, I am growing weary of people using “hate” when they mean “hatred”.

UPDATE: A half-hour or so after I posted this, Politico posted something from the White House:

The White House condemned the Wednesday shooting of a security guard at the headquarters of a conservative group.

“This type of violence has no place in our society,” spokesman Jay Carney said about the shooting at the Family Research Council, adding that the president expressed his concern for the injured guard.

I’m underwhelmed — this doesn’t exactly send a signal to “rein it in”. But your mileage may vary.

A little round up of reactions:

Romney “appalled”

FRC Shooter ID’d

First Tweets

Rep. Rebecca Hamilton: Prayers and concern for political partners. Hamilton is a Democrat, btw.

Oh, heck, Instapundit does it better than I do!

Jonah Goldberg: Press says the suspect “disagreed”. He shot someone!

Matt Schmitz at First Things: Gay Marriage Activists are not to Blame…

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Kirt Higdon

    Well done by the security guard. Unhappily we’ll probably see more of this from the gays, egged on by the SPLC.

  • Jennifer

    I’m also completely underwhelmed at the lame statement from “the White House.” Obama won’t put his name to this barely lukewarm criticism of violence — the “House” does the talking for him?

  • Peggy Coffey

    I rarely watch MSM anymore, but my father turned the tv on to watch baseball, and the national news was on. We didn’t hear anything about this shooting. Not a word. I suppose if it had been a conservative person walking into a gay center with a gun we would have had wall to wall coverage. We live in Ohio and we are being swamped in ads for both parties. My father is 87 and says this is the worst he has ever seen. Obama needs to tell his people to dial it back, his ads seem to be the worst here.

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  • http://Pathos Wild Bill

    This incedent just proves that there are way too many TOTALLY INSANE MORONS wandering around loose? What is really sad is when the next Lunatic decides to play can you top this such as the recent problem in Colorado. We as a society need to start talking to each other more instead of at each other! It can’t hurt?

  • Gail Finke

    I receive daily emails from the FRC, having gotten on their mailing list a year ago by way of another organization that signed me up. Their emails are occasionally interesting, so I haven’t unsubscribed. Like the Anchoress, I’ve always thought of them (if at all) as a “religious right” organization, which they pretty much are. However, thanks to the emails and a little poking around on their web site when I first started getting them, I’ve discovered that they do a lot more than proof-text the Bible to support their views. FRC is a serious enterprise that lobbies, works with lawyers, and works on legislation about issues related to marriage and family. They’re for real. They have what seems to be a serious, dedicated staff devoted to serious issues. When the Southern Poverty Law Center (which, in my liberal days, used to send me quarterly letters I perused until even then their stance on what constitutes a “hate group” made me uneasy and I asked to be taken off their list) called them a hate group, I was shocked at such a ludicrous statement.

    I have had emails and read things in comment boxes about the $1000 figure. What happened and is still happening to Chick-fil-A should be a stark warning to everyone. I’m perfectly willing to believe this guy is some kind of nut. But the public outcry, orchestrated threats, and attempts to damage a fast food restaurant because some of its many corporate donations go to groups that defend the actual definition of marriage tell me that it’s only going to get worse. No one’s going to ask you to worship an idol. They will make you afraid to say the truth. They will make it so that no one will hire you or do business with you if you say the truth. They’re already doing it.

  • Fr. Jay Finelli

    President say something? No, Christians are now the radical extremists. We’ve come a long way baby!

  • jy

    Peggey Coffey, my prayers go out for you and yours, since you are watching baseball in Ohio. As an Indians fan, I know how hard that can be.

  • thomas nawn

    we are a divided nation, my age is 73 i try to stay healthy, though my teeth are going old fillings, 2 candaites need to be specific on their plans for the nation though we do have separation of church and state, by the way not every person comes into this world a perfect person, only god has the final word and the good news is god is a loving supreme being and wasnts to love and tolerate each other, our lives will be very rich indeed

  • william harcourt

    Mad props to the injured security guard
    But your mileage may vary
    Who speaks like this? Not funny, not relevant, not clever.
    Why do I bother reading this blog?

  • Roz Smith

    Funny how the shooter begged the guard not to be hurt because it was nothing personal, he just disagreed with the FRC. Have we come to the point where those holding the politically correct viewpoint believe that allows them to take free shots at those who don’t? Also I see on Powerline that the shooter is a public school teacher.

  • James Stephens

    The Southern Poverty Law Center actually has classified the FRC as a hate group, so that is the source of this particular claim. A little Googling indicates SPLC objected to the FRCs linking homosexuality to pedophilia.

  • Peggy Coffey

    We’re a Reds family, have been for years, and they are in first place. They are 6 games ahead,as of today.