Family Research Council President Tony Perkins Speaks Out Following Shooting, Points Finger at Southern Poverty Law Center for Labeling FRC a "Hate Group"
In his first television interview since Wednesday’s shooting, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins spoke out on America Live. The suspected gunman, 28-year-old Floyd Corkins, entered FRC headquarters and reportedly said, “I don’t like your politics” before shooting Leo Johnson, a security guard. Despite his injuries, the guard wrestled Corkins to the ground, preventing further injuries.
Perkins stressed that Johnson is not an armed security guard, saying, “It truly was a heroic effort as we know now that the intentions of this man were clearly evil and to do massive damage here at FRC.”
While Perkins acknowledged the Corkins is clearly to blame for yesterday’s violence, he believes that organizations such as Southern Poverty Law Center, who labeled the FRC as a “hate group” for their defense of traditional Christian values, provided him with the license to carry out such an attack. “I think it’s time for people to realize what the Southern Poverty Law Center is doing with their reckless labeling of organizations that they disagree with.”
He believes that such labels provide an opportunity and incentive “for people who are not right, that are imbalanced like Corkins, who comes in and literally had the intent of killing people here yesterday.” Perkins continued, “I am not saying that the Southern Poverty Law Center is responsible for the shooting. Mr. Corkins is responsible for the shooting. They are responsible for creating an environment that led to yesterday’s shooting.”
Perkins also revealed that the FRC was repeatedly referred to as a “hate group” in recent coverage of Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy’s comments about gay marriage, as the restaurant chain donated to the FRC a few years ago. Based on the evidence, it appears as though this played into Corkins' alleged attack, as he was reportedly carrying 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches along with 50 rounds of ammunition in his backpack at the time of the shooting.