I'm a little late to the party on this one, but it strikes a very personal nerve with me. Just punch in "Knoxville Church Shooting" into Google and you can read all about it including several heated discussions on the subject. Many are condemnations of such behavior, but a few are examples of mindsets which lead people down the same disturbed path. This should serve as a wake up call to conservatives in this country planting the seeds of hate.
Mr. Jim Adkisson holds the belief (by his own personal statements to authorities) that all liberals should be killed. He left a four page manifesto if you will in his vehicle and from most online articles, I discovered the letter was a full fledged written expression of hatred for the liberal movement as well as homosexuals. Somehow his disgust with the liberal movement was also linked to his inability to acquire a job.
Why some in Knoxville and around this country are surprised this happend baffles me. I am all too familiar with the gun toting redneck movement in this country. They hide behind the right to bear arms and say horrible things behind closed doors about liberals, gays, and African Americans. Get these people in good company and they'll spill their evil guts. Put them in the public eye and they suddenly become good Christians. For the record, I have spent some time among the more rural community just outside of Knoxville and I must tell you this region and its residents have a very backwards theme.
In his home, several right-wing forms of literature were found including works (unconfirmed) by Bill O'Reilly, Michael Savage, and Sean Hannity among others. While I'm sure these guys will come out and say they don't condone such violence, behind closed doors, I'm sure something completely different is said.
Every liberal in this country should be very concerned about something like this happening to them. Mr. Adkisson is not an isolated incident. There is a growing very violent anti-liberal sentiment among the backwoods boys of this nation. Thing is, they aren't as backwoods as you'd want. They are your neighbors, barbers, and even soldiers sworn to defend this country. Take note that according to Knoxnews.com, Adkisson had served in the Army's 101st Airborne. I live in a part of the US where I am really scared for my life on a regular enough basis that tells me this country is in real trouble. I shouldn't live with this kind of fear because of my political beliefs.
For the conservatives who are so opposed to welfare, humor me on this one. This guy was unemployed and on food stamps according to a CNN article. Not exactly the kind of moocher you like to portray is he? For someone so strongly conservative, I find it conflicting that he would use food stamps. It only reminds me to point out that people on welfare and food stamps are not lazy bums on the couch watching cable television wasting taxpayer dollars. This guy had an associates degree in mechanical engineering and had also worked as a truck driver.
Some are trying to argue that had everyone in church been packing heat, this wouldn't have happened. Three things to point out in response. Church is the last place any of us would want or need a gun. Second, this guy was able to enter the church and begin firing before anyone even noticed he had a gun. Third, he was subdued without the use of a firearm. We shouldn't be using this example as a reason for right-to-carry. We shouldn't have to live in a society where we even think we need a gun at any given moment to defend ourselves. That's not to say I'm completely against guns. I have to have a 22 rifle handy with some bird shot to kill unsavory poisonous snakes out here in the country. I understand the need for a firearm in that context. There is however, a healthy balance between a nut like Ted Nugent and taking away guns completely. Common ground anyone? Unlikely. The ones with the guns would rather shoot the opposition first it seems.
I would pray for those involved, but I am not an advocate of prayer.