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Thursday, February 07, 2013

Man uses gun to fight tyranny; conservatives suddenly not fans

Washington Post:

The shooter of an unarmed security guard at the Family Research Council headquarters last summer was on a mission to target organizations he viewed as anti-gay, and he obtained a gun days before he tried to carry out a plan to kill “as many people as possible,” according to newly disclosed court documents.

New details about Floyd Lee Corkins II emerged Wednesday in federal court, where he admitted to the politically motivated shooting at the conservative think tank in downtown Washington. Corkins, 28, pleaded guilty to three felony charges: a federal charge of transporting a firearm and ammunition across state lines and D.C. charges of assault with intent to kill and committing an act of terrorism while armed.

In the days before the shooting on Aug. 15, Corkins purchased a semiautomatic pistol, had it modified to be “more effective” and received training at a shooting range, court documents show. He drew up a list of four conservative groups and loaded a backpack with a 9mm SIG Sauer pistol, two magazine clips and 50 rounds of ammunition.

“Were it not for the heroic guard who tackled Floyd Corkins, he could have succeeded in perpetrating a mass killing spree in the nation’s capital,” U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen said in a statement. “This case highlights the dangers of access to high-capacity magazines that allow killers to inflict carnage on a mass scale in the blink of an eye.”

Here’s the thing: FRC is a hate group. They dispute that classification, but who wouldn’t? The truth is that their opinions of the LGBT community are indistinguishable from Westboro Baptist Church’s — the only differences are that their language and methods aren’t deliberately confrontational and they don’t protest funerals. Both believe gays are evil, both believe they have no place in our society, and both are on a holy crusade to stamp homosexuality out.

Corkins may be a lunatic, but FRC’s positions definitely fit the description of “tyranny.” They oppose extending rights to a certain demographic and would even strip people within that demo of rights they’ve gained. They would outlaw homosexuality entirely and put gays in reeducation programs they call “reparative therapy.” Their rhetoric often conflates homosexuality with pedophilia.

I’m going to keep repeating this until everyone gets it: the problem with interpreting the Second Amendment as a license to kill tyrants is the question of who gets to decide who’s a tyrant. And when is it OK to start killing them? Is it only acceptable to kill the tyrant once the tyranny has begun or is it cool to kill the tyrant to prevent the tyranny? In other words, do you shoot Hitler before or after things get really, really bad?

There is absolutely no way that you could argue that Corkins didn’t intend to kill himself some tyrants that day. Conservatives are really comfortable with the “license to kill tyrants” argument when the tyrants are lefties. When the tyrants are themselves… Well, that’s an entirely different (and wholly hypocritical) story.

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