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July 29, 2008

Knoxville Church Shooter "Hated Liberals," Read Hannity, Coulter, and O'Reilly

Evil. But I resent the predictable attempt to blame the political right for this.

Police found right-wing political books, brass knuckles, empty shotgun shell boxes and a handgun in the Powell home of a man who said he attacked a church in order to kill liberals "who are ruining the country," court records show.

Knoxville police Sunday evening searched the Levy Drive home of Jim David Adkisson after he allegedly entered the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church and killed two people and wounded six others during the presentation of a children's musical.

Knoxville Police Department Officer Steve Still requested the search warrant after interviewing Adkisson. who was subdued by several church members after firing three rounds from a 12-gauge shotgun into the congregation.

Adkisson targeted the church, Still wrote in the document obtained by WBIR-TV, Channel 10, "because of its liberal teachings and his belief that all liberals should be killed because they were ruining the country, and that he felt that the Democrats had tied his country's hands in the war on terror and they had ruined every institution in America with the aid of media outlets."

Adkisson told Still that "he could not get to the leaders of the liberal movement that he would then target those that had voted them in to office."

The left is reacting to this horror with their typical nuance:

Who really killed those Unitarians? Was it the preachers who spread hatred and intolerance? The politicians who court and flatter them instead of condemning their hate speech? The media machine that attacks liberals, calls them "traitors" and suggests you speak to them "with a baseball bat"? The economic system that batters people like Jim Adkisson until they snap, then tells them their real enemies are gays and liberals and secular humanists?

If you ask me, it was all of the above.

You killed them, Pat Robertson. You killed them, Pastor Hagee. You killed them, Ann Coulter. You killed them, Dick Morris and Sean Hannity and the rest of you at Fox News.

With respect: The right has been complaining about the frequent calls for violence and celebrations of the deaths of Americans on the left for some time now. It's been a particular bee in my bonnet for as long as I've had a blog. Insane people do not need additional encouragements towards psychopathic behavior.

None of the right-wing writers cited has ever suggested such a monstrous thing as this. And yet this particular psychopath took their books as somehow suggesting he ought to gun down a hippie church. If such tame fare as Bill O'Reilly's Culture Warrior can inspire such violence, what to say about the calls of blood from the left?

Not to mention their casual apologism for a much more frequent sort of terrorist murder -- radical Islam?

Is political violence -- and incitements thereto -- categorically evil, or does the question turn on context? It really would help if the left would accept the former, and forthrightly announce it, and embarrass, expose, and castigate those among them apologizing for or even celebrating terrorism and politically-motived murder.

I know, I know -- no one on the left has engaged in this sort of monstrous murder. I disagree, but even conceding the point, if red-hot rhetoric is the cause of such violence, as this writer contends, is this writer not in fact engaging in worse? This idiot just accused Hannity et al. of being accomplices in multiple murder.

What message is being sent here?

Does the left really believe that among them are no mentally unstable people with access to guns or explosives?

The Christian Science Monitor blames the recession that isn't quite:

Attacks on the innocent – especially those in churches – may seem irrational and horrific to all but the attacker. But beneath the details can be a deep sense of victimization and scapegoating that may be tied to something as specific as hate based on race or sexual orientation or as broad as economic hard times.


"There's a whole category of mass killers who are seeking vengeance against a group of people who they feel are taking away their birthright, their opportunities, and making it difficult to succeed," says Northeastern University criminologist James Alan Fox, author of "Extreme Killing." "They don't see themselves as criminals, but ... as striking a measure of justice, winning one for the little guy. This case may show that [Jim Adkisson] perceived that society has been bending backward to favor disenfranchised groups so they're trying to get some justice for their own victimization."

Police say Mr. Adkisson, an unemployed mechanical engineer, left a note listing his own inability to find a job as one reasons for his attack.

With all due respect, this guy seems to be a lunatic loser, and almost certainly in the category of long-time unemployed/marginally employed.

And the left is even suddenly able to use the word "terrorism" here, minus the sneer quotes:

The shooting at the Unitarian Church in Knoxville, TN on Sunday that left two adults dead and seven wounded was an unequivocal act of terrorism.

Though the international community at the UN General Assembly has been unable to come up with a common definition of terrorism as it applies to existing groups there are broad elements of a definition that are widely held.

An act of terrorism is violence by a civilian or civilians against unarmed civilians for a political motive. Al-Qaeda attacking US servicemen in the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, or in the USS Cole, or in Iraq or even in Fort Dix, New Jersey is not terrorism. It is a guerilla attack. Al-Qaeda attacking civilians in US embassies in Africa or at the World Trade Center is indeed terrorism.

So is suspect Jim D. Adkisson's attack on civilians in the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church. Police found a letter in Adkisson's car expressing his " hatred of the liberal movement."

Even if this man hopefully acted alone it is chilling to all progressive people and groups, like the Unitarians. Are we free to express our views, indeed to allow our children to perform in a church play?

The left only seems to be able to call something "terrorism" when the terrorist in question can be used to further their own political ends -- and when other liberals are the victims. I agree this was terrorism, and obviously a heinous crime, and so forth; but can liberals get past the idea that it's only a crime when Blue State liberals are harmed? This jackass' concern for the lives and liberty of liberals only recalls Michael Moore's cri de coeur that Al Qaeda mistakenly attacked nice New Yorkers rather than the vicious Red Staters who deserved it.

A crime cannot be defined according to whether one has political antipathy towards the culprit and political sympathy towards the victim. The action itself, and not the persons involved, must be determinative. I would think this rather obvious.

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posted by Ace at 03:36 PM

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