Right-Wing TN Church Shooter Is Fan of Oâ€™Reilly, Hannity, Savage
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On Sunday, 58-year-old Jim Adkisson entered the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church during a children’s performance of the musical “Annie Jr.” In a guitar case, he carried a shotgun and 76 rounds. Adkisson killed two church members, Greg McKendry (60) and Linda Kraeger (61), and wounded six more before he was wrestled to the ground as he tried to reload. What was Adkisson’s motive? From RawStory:
A report from the local Knoxville news details the findings from Adkisson's home, along with key statements from a document written by Adkisson related to an apparent motive behind the violent attack that rocked the suburban community:
"Adkisson targeted the church, [Investigator Steve] 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.'"
If any of that sounds familiar, it’s because you’ve been hearing the exact same claims coming from the right wing's most prominent stars and spokespeople for years. It’s all there: liberals are ruining the country, Democrats are letting the terrorists win, liberals hate America, the liberal media is bamboozling the nation.
Carol Smallwood, a longtime acquaintance of Adkisson’s, said he hates “'blacks, gays and anyone different from him,” which is also consistent with right-wing ideology. In a four-page note Adkisson left in his car, he explicitly noted his hate for the “liberal movement” — the Unitarian Universalist church is well known for its liberal stances on homosexuality, civil rights, opposition to war, women’s rights, and multiculturalism. While another major cause of Adkisson’s rage was his inability to find work and having his foodstamps reduced, Knoxville Police Chief Sterling P. Owen IV noted "[Adkisson] did express frustration that the liberal movement was getting jobs."
And how do we know that Adkisson was a consumer of popular right-wing thinking? Anticipating that he would be shot by police, Adkisson left the door to his house open to make it easier for authorities to enter. He didn’t want his motive and the ideology it sprang from to be a secret. From the Knoxville News Sentinel:
Inside [Adkisson’s] house, officers found "Liberalism is a Mental Health Disorder" by radio talk show host Michael Savage, "Let Freedom Ring" by talk show host Sean Hannity, and "The O'Reilly Factor," by television talk show host Bill O'Reilly.