A horrible example of what a powderekeg of isolation, harsh polemics and unchecked zealotry can lead to when ignited by financial pressures.Â We should always remember how Hitler gained power and brought down the Weimar Republic–“it’s the economy stupid”–has long been a mantra of ideologues looking for leverage.
Russell Kirk defined conservatism as the absense of ideology–we would do well to remember that fact, and why it is so important.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) â€” Three people wounded in a fatal shotgun rampage at a Unitarian church were in serious condition Tuesday, a day after a candlelight vigil tried to comfort congregation members and others attempting to “make sense of the senseless.”
Jim D. Adkisson, 58, an out-of-work trucker, is accused of killing two people and wounding six others during a children’s musical at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church Sunday morning. Children on Monday ended the service by singing, “The sun will come out tomorrow,” a line from the signature song from that musical, “Annie.”
A four-page letter found in Adkisson’s SUV indicated he picked the church for the attack because, the Knoxville police chief said, “he hated the liberal movement” of the congregation.
Three people who were shot were in serious condition and a fourth was stable at Tennessee Medical Center, nursing supervisor Susan Wilson said Tuesday. Killed were Greg McKendry, 60, and Linda Kraeger, 61.
An overflow crowd of more than 1,000 people attended the memorial service at the Second Presbyterian Church next door.
“We’re here tonight to make sense of the senseless,” the Rev. William Sinkford, president of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, told the gathering.
About 200 people were watching 25 children perform when authorities said Adkisson entered and fired three blasts from a semiautomatic shotgun. Still in the hospital were Jack Barnhart, 69, Linda Chavez, 41, and Tammy Sommers, all in serious condition, and Joe Barnhart, 76, who was stable, Wilson said. Two others who were shot were treated and released, and a seventh person was hurt diving under a pew, authorities have said.
Adkisson’s ex-wife once belonged to the church but hadn’t attended in years, said Ted Jones, the congregation’s president. Police spokesman Darrell DeBusk declined to comment on whether investigators think the ex-wife’s link was a factor in the attack.
Adkisson, who had been on the verge of losing his food stamps, remained jailed Tuesday on $1 million bond after being charged with one count of murder. More charges are expected.
The attack Sunday morning lasted only minutes. But the anger behind it may have been building for months, if not years.
“It appears that what brought him to this horrible event was his lack of being able to obtain a job, his frustration over that, and his stated hatred for the liberal movement,” Knoxville Police Chief Sterling Owen said of Adkisson.
A police affidavit used to get a search warrant for Adkisson’s home said the suspect admitted to the shooting.
Adkisson “stated that he had targeted the church because of its liberal teachings and his belief that all liberals should be killed because they were ruining the country,” investigator Steve Still wrote.
Adkisson was a loner who hates “blacks, gays and anyone different from him,” longtime acquaintance Carol Smallwood of Alice, Texas, told the Knoxville News Sentinel.