So, this seems to be about intolerance in general towards people and ideas that don't fit with the world of the shooter. These books were found in Adkisson's home: "
- Liberalism is a Mental Disorder by radio talk show host Michael Savage
- Let Freedom Ring: Winning the War of Liberty over Liberalism by talk show host Sean Hannity
- The O'Reilly Factor: The Good, the Bad, and the Completely Ridiculous in American Life by television talk show host Bill O'Reilly
In his manifesto, Adkisson also included the Democratic members of the House and Senate, and the 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America of Bernard Goldberg in his list of wished-for targets."
In previous posts I have written about the danger of the far right's language in ramping up hatred towards those who don't agree with their philosophy and political points of view. Sometimes people act on that language and hyperbole. The case of the man who shot several police officers in California on his way to shoot people at the "Tides" foundation, which Glenn Beck had been "yelling" about on his radio and T.V. shows is an example of liberal organizations that are, according to him, dangerous to our society. And somebody watching and listening conjured up an image of an organization whose people he wanted to shoot.
As long as we ignore what is right before us, as I wrote yesterday, these shootings will continue to happen in unexpected places. And instead of trying to change the language and the culture of violence, our elected leaders pretend it isn't happening. Instead of being shocked by shootings such as the Knoxville church shooting, some politicians push for laws allowing guns in churches. The idea is that someone could defend a congregation if only he/she had a gun. Surely that person carrying a gun for self defense, would have stood up, if in the right place, and aimed precisely at the shooter without shooting anyone else in line with the bullet, and accurately taken out the shooter. These are the scenarios in the dreams of those who would protect others and themselves in public places from public shootings. It is possible, surely, but the likelihood of it happening that way is slim. Just this morning, I read that the shoot-out on the streets of New York City resulted in one police officer shooting another. Had it not been for a protective vest worn by the officer, there would have been another death. That's what happens when people start shooting at each other in public places.
Sara Thomsen's beautiful song about a church shooting and intolerance conjures up tragic images with the words she has chosen. When I first heard her sing this piece in my church last spring, I was moved to tears; there weren't many dry eyes in the pews that morning. There was a hush when the song was finished as everyone took in the powerful words of the lyrics. Words like these should be more powerful than hateful rhetoric spewed daily in our country. Will they be? Could they lead to action in the direction of preventing gun violence rather than accepting it? Time will tell. While we are waiting, 80 Americans a day, including 8 children, die from a bullet.