Shooter at conservative group's HQ was armed with backpack full of ammo, Chick-fil-A sandwiches

The Associated Press reports that a Virginia man has been charged in federal court in the shooting of a security guard at the Family Research Council headquarters. "Authorities found a box of ammunition and 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches in his backpack." There are sociopathic nutjobs on both sides, guys.

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  1. “There are sociopathic nutjobs on both sides, guys.”
    Isn’t that a little like saying that there are qualified scientists on both sides of the debate over whether anthropogenic warming exists? I mean it’s technically true, but… 

      1. …but it’s misleading to say so without acknowledging that one side outnumbers the other so much that the statement is nearly meaningless.

        There are only a handful of armed left-wing militia members being tracked by the FBI, while right-wing groups are estimated in the tens of thousands.

    1. This kind of confuses me.  Who are the sides here?  Wouldn’t the guy with a backpack full of Chick-fil-A seemingly be on the same side as the FRC?

    2. Agreed.

      Domestic US terrorists are only labeled with a political agenda if they are left-leaning.  It’s kind of like how when a criminal isn’t labeled, you know he’s white.

        1. McVeigh wasn’t left -leaning, but he also wasn’t labeled with a political agenda.  His politics were downplayed just as chgoliz is suggesting.

    1. Not quite so. According to the news report I read, he told the guard on duty that he hated their positions (or words to that effect), and shot the man. 

      Regardless, as Xeni stated, lots of loathsome crazies on both sides of the fence. And plenty of them that think wanton violence is justified to protect their pet cause, whether it’s saving the rainforests, anti-abortion, religions, etc. etc.  Now we just get to wait for the breathless coverage from the newspapers and their BS- soapbox editorials about what to ban so this never happens again. 

      I wonder if a person were ever to kill innocents and say he got the idea from newspapers…would they all jump to calling for banning themselves?

      1. I wonder if a person were ever to kill innocents and say he got the idea from newspapers…would they all jump to calling for banning themselves?

        If it was a result of a media outlet inciting hatred to violence then yeah, they probably should be dealt with.  Of course there’s motivation, mental state, and then means.  Usually only one side of the spectrum advocates for anybody having the right to access almost any kind of weapon, and with the shortest wait possible.

        1. “If it was a result of a media outlet inciting hatred to violence then yeah, they probably should be dealt with.”

          Two words: Fox News.

      2. I don’t agree with the arguement of “both sides do it.” I think conservatives use it to deflect from anyone asking why so many of them resort to lone gunman violence.

        1. It dosen’t matter if they’re left or right politically, or if they’re left or right handed, the only thing in common in these incidents is the “crazy”.

      3. I wonder if a person were ever to kill innocents and say he got the idea from newspapers…would they all jump to calling for banning themselves?

        If the sole purpose of newspapers was to kill, then yes.

      4. According to the news report I read, he told the guard on duty that he hated their positions (or words to that effect), and shot the man.

        The actual statement, “I don’t like your politics”, can go either way, so it still doesn’t clarify if he felt that they were too liberal.  Those sandwiches are making a lot of noise.

        I wonder if by now Chickafil owners are having any remorse at using their business as a pulpit for political/religious beliefs.  What a bunch of indoctrinated idiots.

        1.  Exactly, he could have been a libertarian, agreeing with some policies but hating others, or he could have been a far-right radical, wanting absolute freedom for all, no matter the cost.

          Or he could just have been a nutter, I mean who could eat 15 sandwhiches before they go off??

    2. * Jared Loughner described himself as left-wing.

      * After Kennedy was shot, initial belief was that Oswald must have been a right-winger. It turned out he was a communist who didn’t think Kennedy was liberal *enough*.

      NOTA BENE, before you get your hackles up: I don’t believe Lougher or Oswald shot anyone *because* they were progressives — they shot people because they were CRAZY.

      I’m not a progressive, but most of my close friends are. To a person, they believe conservatives are more likely to be personally violent than progressives, despite not having a shred of evidence to support this. They’re just sure it must be true.

      lllll Alaska Jack

      1. * Jared Loughner described himself as left-wing.

        Do not recall this.  I do remember he was into the military and was into “Goldbug” ideas and government conspiracy ala Ron Paul and friends.  IIRC, this tenuous “left wing” accusation was leveled because of one of the books he had, one out of many books that represented many ideologies.

        1.  News reports in the week following Gifford’s shooting said that Loughner’s acquaintances said that he described himself as left-wing.

          As far as I’m concerned, this is definitely unsubstantiated hearsay. But again, in terms of my own beliefs at least, I just don’t think it matters. Even if is blood ran pure blue with progressivism, I don’t think that’s *why* he shot Giffords. He shot Giffords because he was NUTS. lllll AJ

          1.  I agree, but I remember watching his video ramblings and they were if anything: Goldbug/Ron Paul/Alex Jones -esque.  That is if they resembled anything at all.  That said, they were very incoherent and didn’t seem like they fit well with any particular ideology.

      2. Your friends are correct. There are far more active, dangerous right-wing militia members being tracked by the authorities than equivalent left-wing folks.

        We can take a look at the FBI’s counter-terrorism reporting if you’d like some proof.

        1.  OK, well, my initial reaction is skepticism. (Don’t be offended — I’m skeptical about *everything*! Especially things that seem to confirm things we already believe. If a progressive believes, in his heart of hearts, that conservatives must be violent and angry, he’s going to tend to nod in agreement with  evidence — even dubious evidence — that seems to support it.)

          So…

          I can’t help but notice that you seem to be defining “violence” very narrowly. Specifically, you seem to be supporting the proposition “Conservatives are more violent than progressives,” by defining “violence” as “membership in an organization which is both defined (by whom?) as a militia AND which is tracked by the FBI.”

          That’s a very unorthodox definition of violence! An outside observer might even say it seems specifically chosen to support one’s pre-existing notions.

          lllll AJ

          1. Fair enough. I like to make wagers when speculating about things with intelligent people. 

            How about a simple wager, for every government report that you can find that details active right-wing vs. left-wing extremists (who are considered a violent threat), I’ll pay you one dollar for each person in the left-wing estimate and you pay me a dollar for each person in the right-wing estimate.

            Would you take that wager?

            From what I’ve been able to find so far, the left-wing number is orders of magnitude smaller than the right-wing number. If you want to take the bet we can start comparing reports…

          2.  oh, definitely not! I don’t have the time, but even if I did, I wouldn’t take the bet. It’s not because I concede that conservatives are more violent than progressives — it’s because, again, we’re talking about two different things.

            My thesis is simple: “Widespread progressive belief notwithstanding, there is in fact no evidence that conservatives commit more acts of violence than progressives do. Or vice versa!”

            The approach you suggest — looking for then counting the number of government reports that detail active extremists, left or right — would not be helpful in this regard, for reasons which I think are pretty clear. It would be taking a huge, complex, fuzzy area (what counts as a progressive? what counts as as conservative? what counts as “violence”?) and trying to come up with meaningful answers by examining only a tiny, somewhat specialized little slice of it.

            Look, I truly, truly mean no offense — I’m really not that kind of guy. But I can assure you, I’ve had these kinds of discussions DOZENS of times with my progressive friends. It turns out, EVERY TIME, that they believe that conservatives are more violent because, you know, well, that’s just the kind of person those conservatives are. lllll AJ

          3. Well, if your argument is that there’s no testable hypothesis, I’d have to disagree, (an important thing to note here is that we are, in fact, talking only about a tiny specialized slice of either the right-wing or left-wing population) if your argument is that the beliefs of extremist right-wingers don’t necessarily apply to you, I certainly agree. However, unless you believe that the entire field of Sociology is a scam (which, I’ll admit, has briefly crossed my mind) then we do have ways of categorizing left-wing, right-wing and violent behavior.

            More importantly, I don’t believe that people with extremist right-wing viewpoints are more violent because of “who they are”, I believe that they’re more violent because they hold right-wing extremist viewpoints. 

            If someone gets brought up as an extremist wahhabist muslim and is more likely to commit violence than a jain, it’s not because of “who they are”, it’s because of the ideas that got planted in their head when they were forming their own ethical boundaries. The fact that these boundaries can be redrawn means that it’s not something intrinsic and unchangeable about oneself.

            Ultimately, I do think that the extreme right is more violent than the extreme left (also important to note that I’m restricting that statement to the US), but does that mean I think you are more likely to do violence to me than someone else here espousing a moderately left of center viewpoint, no I definitely don’t. 

            It’s fallacious to extrapolate from “extremist Xs are more violent than extremist Ys” to “all Xs are more violent than normal”, and I don’t think that’s valid. However, that doesn’t mean that institutions and infrastructure that are messaging both moderates and extremists shouldn’t be held to account for inciting violence. Which, let’s face it, is where this discussion is headed.

          4. oh, definitely not! I don’t have the time, but even if I did, I wouldn’t take the bet. It’s not because I concede that conservatives are more violent than progressives — it’s because, again, we’re talking about two different things.

            tl;dr: I don’t actually have any basis for my opinion but no fuckin’ way I’m admitting I’m wrong to a bunch of pinko stooges like you.

          5. My thesis is simple: “Widespread progressive belief notwithstanding, there is in fact no evidence that conservatives commit more acts of violence than progressives do. Or vice versa!”

            Your thesis is incorrect.

            The approach you suggest — looking for then counting the number of government reports that detail active extremists, left or right — would not be helpful in this regard, for reasons which I think are pretty clear.

            The reason IS clear.  If you accepted this simple, straight-forward, and obviously valid methodology you would easily be proved wrong.

      3. I fear you may be confusing Communism with Liberalism, or perhaps self-titled Communist Governments (except at the time they called themselves a “Socialist Republic”) with actual Communism.   

        1.  I am definitely not — I have as good an understanding of the distinction as anyone. In fact, if you go back and check you’ll see that I didn’t use the term “liberalism” at all — I agree with many lefties (and I use the term fondly) that the term “progressivism” is more accurate.

          As far as communism, I have read Marx (several times), and am thus well familiar with the term “Dictatorship of the Proletariat,” and how confused and contradictory Marx himself was as to how this would actually play out. History itself has been pretty clear on this point — I don’t really feel the need to beat a dead horse. lllll AJ

  2. “There are sociopathic nutjobs on both sides, guys.”

    And there’s a side that mostly condemns this sort of violence, regardless of who the target is, and a side with many members that calls the other side inferior and only condemns violence when it happens to one of their own.

    Last night Brian Brown speaking to Soledad O’Brien called for civility. Instead of speaking to her he should have been addressing a mirror.

      1. I wish I’d thought to say that.

        Let me say what I should have said at the outset: Whatever the shooter’s opinions were they don’t justify any kind of violence. The use of force is a sign of mental illness, an admission of having lost the argument, or both.

        1. The use of force is…an admission of having lost the argument

          This. The shooter just destroyed a ton of credibility for social liberals, not to mention a living person with friends and family. It all makes me want to put down the blue foam finger and get back to my own modest life.

        2. Back in 2007, I was working as a security guard when I was attacked by a crazy drunk homeless man (who was a known bad-actor in the area) who repeatedly struck me with a meter-long section of steel pipe, before I was able to defend myself with deadly force.

          The homeless man was mad about something another guard did the previous night,  additionally, he was mad at me for “86’ing” (formal trespassing) him when he snuck back on property sometime later during my shift. The thing was, I was armed and he knew it as I’m required to open carry, so he came back again later and tried to ambush me by jumping out from behind a parked car. He succeeded in hitting me a couple of times, and my left hand, shoulder, and forearm were injured*.

          Fortunately, for me, he was so drunk that his accuracy with the pipe didn’t mach his rage, so he MERELY fractured my arm with a couple of glancing blows, which is on top of the cuts, abrasions, and nasty black and blue bruises everywhere. It was enough to put me out of work for a month,  I also still bear the scars on my arm and hand.  Despite that, he didn’t injure me enough to prevent me from defending myself with force, which I did!

          So… you were saying that I’m the one with the mental illness because I “lost the argument” because I used force to save my own life? I know you’re paraphrasing a Gandhi quote,  however in doing so, you’re ignoring that it was made in the context of effecting political change without violence, which has nothing to do with this incident with the left-leaning gunman or my incident.

          Pacifism in itself, is a noble ideal, but only in the face of deliberately not resorting to violence with violence when dialog CAN still work. However, what you said in you rather smug post is a contemptuous form of FALSE pacifism;  in that, you seem to feel superior than me, because apparently, you’ve lived your life with the good fortune in never HAVING to defend yourself from someone who will not hear your words.

          *”pics or it didn’t happen” Well, here’s a shot I took the next day when I was at the doctor’s office for treatment, the bruises got even bigger and darker over the next couple of days, but I wasn’t able to get a shot of them:

          1. Your story has nothing to do with Christopher’s comment. He said something in a specific context. If you choose to embrace it, that’s your problem.

      2. Exactly.
        “mostly condemns this sort of violence” = “also tolerates some degree of this sort of violence”

        1. I think you’re misinterpreting what I said. I don’t know anyone who is for gay rights who condemned this shooting who is in any way tolerant of violence. What I meant is that there may be some exceptions.

          On the other hand quite a few people who are opposed to gay rights who, when violence is inflicted upon LGBT people, remain silent because they feel the victims somehow deserved it, or speak out immediately to say that their past discriminatory statements–some of which directly advocate violence–in no way encouraged violence.

  3. Seriously, who gives a shit who’s on what side?  Wouldn’t it be simpler and more logical to take actions at face value without seeing everything through a red or blue lens?

  4. Christoper:

     Parsing your words carefully, both statements could apply equally to left and right.

    Both left and right have “many members that calls the other side inferior and only condemns violence when it happens to one of their own,” while still “mostly condemn[ing] this sort of violence, regardless of who the target is.”
      lllll AJ

    1. Alaska Jack, before you condemn both left and right as equally bad consider this: most LGBT people want to live their lives, marry someone they love, and enjoy the same rights as everyone else.

      One of the Family Research Council’s primary goals is to dehumanize LGBT people and make them criminals. The organization’s leader, Tony Perkins, has said,

      I worked with the State Department in anti-terrorism and we trained about 50 different countries in defending against terrorism, and it’s [homosexuality], at its base, what terrorism is, it’s a strike against the general populace simply to spread fear and intimidation so that they can disrupt and destabilize the system of government. That’s what the homosexuals are doing here to the legal system.

      I can’t defend acts of violence regardless of which side they come from, but if you’re going to continue saying that both sides are equally bad please show some evidence of that. Name the head of a prominent LGBT organization who, like Tony Perkins, is regularly invited onto talk shows and treated as an “expert” who condones and even encourages violence against straight people. If you can’t do that name one LGBT-rights organization that is classified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group.

  5. OTOH, I might be tempted to purchase 15 Chik-fil-a sammiches if I thought it might be my last (free) afternoon on earth…

  6. I’m sorry, screw false equivalence and screw the right-wing’s attempts to rewrite history. This guy is being held up as emblematic of anyone left-of-center/LGBT by the right-wing, a group that unswervingly refuses any and all responsibility every time one of their own follows their dehumanizing and violent rhetoric to a deadly conclusion. Okay fine, this guy is one of ours. He’s not a plant, he’s not a false flag. What he did was horribly wrong and he deserves to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. And what I’m saying now has all ready been echoed by loads of left-leaning groups across the country. Now show me an equal response on the right when one of theirs goes bugshit and kills a bunch of people. You know, a response that isn’t “He’s not a real ___” or “OBAMA FALSE FLAG MARXISMBLAARGG!1!”.

  7. I’m just left wondering why we keep arming crazy people.  Every time this happens, I wonder why.

  8. The word “both” implies that there are only two sides, total, which is fucking HILARIOUS.

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