Late this morning, an unnamed gunman opened fire at the Family Research Council's headquarters in Washington D.C., hitting a security guard in the arm before being apprehended. The guard is conscious and breathing after being transported to a local hospital. Fox News is reporting that the shooter shouted politically motivated statements about the FRC's policies and that a bomb squad has entered the FRC building. Let me be clear that only Fox News is reporting these things at this time.
I'm not religious, so I'm not going to waste any time offering prayers. It would sound stupid and disingenuous coming from me. However, I do value life very much, and I am glad this security guard, along with all those at the FRC have a chance to continue theirs. I am also thankful that on this particular day the families of those individuals don't have to know what it feels like to suffer the devastating loss of a loved one. Violence is never the answer, even when it comes against an organization whose employees have so often said that violence is the answer.
I think it is possible to have multiple thoughts on a given situation, even if those thoughts are apparently in conflict. Here are my two:
To the shooter:
You stupid asshole. What the hell possessed you to think that walking into a building and firing a gun was a good way to make your point? You are a pox on those of us who work so hard on behalf of our fellow LGBT individuals using discourse, debate, and science to debunk lies about us when they're promoted. Fuck you. My primary hope when something like this happens is that no one is seriously injured. Thankfully that has come to fruition. My secondary hope is that your attack wasn't stupid, but insane. That you're one person who isn't mentally healthy, and that instead of being an insult to pro-LGBT individuals, you're a victim of your own inability to receive the help you need. Finally, I hope you receive that help. (Update: Officials reporting that the suspect appears to be mentally disturbed.)
To the Family Research Council:
You stupid assholes. You don't deserve any blame for this incident. That would be akin to blaming a rape victim for wearing provocative clothing. The onus is always on the offender to not be a detestable human being. My hope for you is that you take a good hard look at some of the policies you've endorsed, namely support of the Ugandan 'Kill the Gays,' legislation, and opposition to hate crime and anti-bullying laws, and that you also find a better way to endorse your position because this is the thought that keeps running through my head: We have Matthew Shepherd, countless dead bullied teens, and LGBT brothers and sisters overseas being jailed or worse. You have a security guard (who I don't even know is affiliated with your organization outside of being posted there) with a non-fatal wound.
I sympathize with the fear that the FRC's employees now have to live with. I'm scared too. I'm scared my gender identity or sexual orientation will one day get me fired. I'm scared that I'll never have the freedom to marry my partner in any state, or the freedom to adopt children. I'm scared that hate groups will continue to encourage people to treat me like a monster, just because I don't exclusively like women. I'm scared that I'm going to find myself in the wrong spot at the wrong time and become another Matthew Shepherd. I'm scared because people think Christians are being persecuted even though I can head to Google and call up dozens of hate-motivated LGBT deaths in this country and I'm doubtful if I can find even one similarly motivated Christian death. Not that these things make the fears of LGBT individuals more important than yours, but they do make them more justified.
My final hope is that our fears dissipate together, that the draconian laws that oppress us disappear along with your belief that we're a threat to anything other than your own prejudice.