The Family Research Council (FRC) is a loathsome organization. Sure, it bills itself as “the leading voice for the family in our nation’s halls of power.” But let’s be clear. By family, FRC means households headed by married heterosexual couples. “President Obama's Administration has aggressively promoted a homosexual agenda and sought to equate the homosexual lifestyle with that of the natural family,” wrote Peter Sprigg in one of many postings under the issues section of the organization’s Web site. He went on to express concern about the “social implications of promoting a destructive homosexual example.” Last month, the FRC flogged a much-reviled and flawed study that claimed “children of homosexuals fare worse on most outcomes.” And the Southern Poverty Law Center says that FRC’s “real specialty is defaming gays and lesbians” through “false claims ... based on discredited research and junk science.”

But upon hearing the news of the shooting at the organization’s Washington, D.C., headquarters, my first thoughts went to the people who work there.Was anyone hurt or, worse, killed? Who did this? Why? Actually, it doesn’t matter why. For what was done was wrong.  

The alleged shooter is Floyd Lee Corkins II of Virginia. He was a volunteer at the gay and lesbian community center on U Street in Washington. According to the FBI, Corkins, who was armed with a Sig Sauer 9mm pistol and carrying 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches, allegedly said, “I don’t like your politics” as he was confronted by security guard Leo Johnson. Johnson was shot in the arm in a tussle. But Johnson and others were able to wrestle Corkins to the ground.  

Whether from the right or the left, settling political disputes and arguments with violence is disgusting, shameful and wrong. We cannot condone such acts for one second. In the United States, we have a right to protest, to say what we think and to put power behind our convictions without fear of retribution from the government. But those who seek to boost their power through the barrel of a gun must be stopped and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. If he is found guilty, Corkins deserves whatever fate befalls him.