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Civil rights group bristles at D.C. shooting criticism

4:15 PM, Aug 16, 2012   |    comments
Local and federal investigators work to gather evidence after a security guard was shot in the arm at the headquarters of the Family Research Council August 15, 2012 in Washington, DC. The shooter is in FBI custody and has not yet been charged, authorities said. The Family Research Council is a conservative organization that is against abortion and euthanasia and considers homosexuality to be a sin. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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By BEN NUCKOLS, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - An Alabama-based civil rights organization says it's outrageous for a conservative lobbying group to blame its rhetoric for leading to the shooting of a security guard.

The Southern Poverty Law Center responded Thursday to accusations earlier in the day from Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council.

A gunman who authorities say was critical of the council's positions opened fire Wednesday inside the lobby of its Washington headquarters, wounding a guard.

The law center in the past has called the council a hate group for its anti-gay views. Perkins says that rhetoric gave the gunman a license to shoot."

The law center called that claim outrageous and said the council had a pattern of "demonizing" comments.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Associated Press

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