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The Tennessee church shootings

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By Michelle Malkin  •  July 28, 2008 02:24 PM

I was unplugged over the weekend and am catching up on the horrible church shooting in Tennessee. Two churchgoers died and seven were injured as they watched a children’s performance yesterday in Knoxville:

The gunman was tackled by church-goers and taken into custody by police. He was charged later with first-degree murder, but police declined to give a motive for the shooting and the Tennessean newspaper said his motive remained unknown.

Jim D. Adkisson, 58, of Powell, Tennessee, was being held on a $1 million bond at the Knox County Detention Center, said Randall Kenner, communications coordinator for the city of Knoxville.

The gunman apparently concealed a 12-gauge shotgun until he entered the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church and then fired several shots before being subdued, police said.

Initial reports said the gunman targeted the church because he hated Christians. The latest developments have revealed a four-page letter he wrote expressing hatred towards liberals and gays.

Whatever his motives, this man committed evil acts in a house of God. He will be judged accordingly.

Bob Owens zeroes in on what’s important and gives thanks for small miracles:

While many in the political blogosphere will no doubt focus on the fact that Adkisson said he hated liberals and gays, the fact of the matter is that the didn’t target a gay club or local progressive political groups, he specifically targeted a church. He did so after expressing beliefs to neighbors in the past that he had an abiding anger against Christianity, an anger that appears rooted in his childhood. The church appears to have been targeted because it embodied at least three things this pathetic human being hated, not just the one or two things I know certain critics will single out as they view the world through their own warped prisms.

Adkisson had apparently planned to keep murdering church-goers until gunned down by police. He planned to keep killing innocents until he died in a hail of police bullets… suicide-by-cop. But he was instead tackled and restrained by church-goers just seconds into his attack as he attempted to reload after shooting his shotgun’s magazine dry.

The two people that died were 60 and 61. Those wounded were 38, 41, 42, 68, 69, 71, and 76. Though Adkisson walked past an assembled group of children outside the sanctuary awaiting their stage call, he did not fire on them. No children were physically injured, and no parents of young children were killed, creating orphans. There is reason to be thankful for that…Sunday was a horrible day for the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church, and there will be terrible days ahead as they seek to recover, and to heal.

But most will heal, and a day that could have been far worse was not, thanks to small miracles.

Amen.

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