In 2009, President Barack Obama was quick to condemn the shooting of late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller — just an hour or two after the incident took place. But the president was slow to respond to the FRC shooting and merely released a comment through his press office about the shooting of a security guard at a pro-life group’s office.
The White House released a comment and the White House press secretary Jay Carney has spoken about the shooting during an official press conference, but Obama has not made any comments of his own directly to the press on the shooting.
The White House took more than five hours to respond. Not until after 6:30 p.m. ET did the White House respond. Obama finally commented, saying “this type of violence has no place in our society.” But a CNN tweet indicated, “WH says Pres. Obama was notified at 1:18pm of the Family Research Council shooting by national sec. adviser John Brennan.”
Contrast that with the quick comments he made hours after the shooting of Tiller by a man unaffiliated with the pro-life movement.
“I am shocked and outraged by the murder of Dr. George Tiller as he attended church services this morning. However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence,” Obama said after the Tiller shooting.
Obama also directed the U.S. Marshals Service to offer protection to abortion practitioners, with the Justice Department saying it had “moved expeditiously to implement the Attorney General’s directive with the assistance of” abortion businesses. The Obama administration has offered no such protection for pro-life groups.
The Obama administration also announced, after the shooting, that it would launch an investigation into the killing of Tiller. The White House has announced no such similar investigation for the FRC shooting. The Justice Department announced the probe and said it would look into whether or not Roeder, if guilty, had any accomplices. He appeared to be a lone gunman when he shot Tiller, as was the case with the FRC shooting earlier this week.
“The Department of Justice will work tirelessly to determine the full involvement of any and all actors in this horrible crime, and to ensure that anyone who played a role in the offense is prosecuted to the full extent of federal law,” said Loretta King head of the department’s civil rights division at the time.
Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney wouldn’t say whether the White House believes the shooting was a hate crime.
“Yesterday, the president was informed about it by his homeland security advisor John Brennan,” Carney told reporters, according to a CNS News report. “He’s very concerned about the victim, the person who was shot and made clear to me and relayed this to the pool that he firmly believes that violence of that kind has no place in our society. This goes to the greater discussion we’ve had about violence in America and the need to tackle it.”
CNS indicates a reporter followed up by asking if Obama considers the shooting a hate crime and that Carney responded, “Those kinds of determinations will be made by the FBI, and I know the FBI is part of this investigation.”
The man who is alleged to have shot a security guard yesterdayat the offices of the pro-life group Family research Council has been formally charged and new FBI documents present more information.
A man posing as an intern shot the guard, Leo Johnson, at the FRC office located at 801 G Street, NW. Family Research Council President Tony Perkins confirmed the security officer was shot and said in a statement, “The police are investigating this incident. Our first concern is with our colleague who was shot today. Our concern is for him and his family.”
Additional reports show Johnson was a hero and worked with other guards to apprehend the shooter before more people were attacked. The suspect, a 28-year-old male from Virginia named Floyd Lee Corkins II, said, “Don’t shoot me, it was not about you, it was what this place stands for.” AP later confirmed that Corkins is a liberal activist who volunteers with a left-wing group in the D.C. area.
Now, Corkins has been charged with assault with intent to kill and with bringing a firearm across state lines. According to an FBI affidavit, Corkins allegedly said words to the effect of “I don’t like your politics” when he encountered Johnson.
“The FBI said Corkins had 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches, a Sig Sauer 9mm pistol, two additional magazines loaded with ammunition and an additional box of 50 rounds of ammunition when he came into the building,” according to a report on the FBI intel. “His parents told the FBI that Corkins “has strong opinions with respect to those he believes do not treat homosexuals in a fair manner.”
Corkins appeared Thursday in U.S. District Court in D.C. before Magistrate Judge Alan Kay. After 20 minutes of proceedings, the judge ordered Corkins held without bond in lieu of a hearing August 24 to determine that. The judge also ordered a mental evaluation of Corkins.
Meanwhile, FRC President Tony Perkins said Johnons’ surgery went well and he says he’s not a hero.
“I was at the hospital last night when he came out of surgery shortly before midnight. The surgery went well,” Perkins said.
“When I told him his actions were heroic in protecting his colleagues, he told me that he just reacted in the way he thought anyone at FRC would have responded,” Perkins added. “We are very grateful for the outpouring of prayers from literally around the world.”
Perkins also said left-wing groups calling FRC a hate group were wrong to have done so.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney swiftly commented on the shooting, saying: “I am appalled by the shooting today at the offices of the Family Research Council in our nation’s capital. There is no place for such violence in our society. My prayers go out to the wounded security guard and his family, as well as all the people at the Family Research Council whose sense of security has been shattered by today’s horrific events.”
This is the second time FRC, which used to be a part of Focus on the Family, has been a victim of violence. As Christianity Today reports, “In Colorado Springs, Focus faced a hostage situation in 1994 when a man walked into the building with a handgun, wore a vest he said contained explosive with a message on his chest in red marker. Kerry Steven Dore was a construction worker who was severely injured in 1992 when he fell from a Focus building. ”
“As told in Dale Buss’s Family Man biography of Dobson, employees and visitors were evacuated as Dore took two female receptionists hostage. Two male security guards offered to substitute themselves for the women, but he took them hostage as well. Four hours later, Dore gave himself up and was eventually sent to prison for 32 years for kidnapping,” it indicated.