July 28, 2008

Small Miracles

There was a shooting at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville, TN yesterday during a children's play. Two people have died, and seven more are recovering from injuries that resulted when an unemployed man with a long history of verbal hostility against Christians targeted this specific congregation because he also hated liberals and gays.

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.

Though he was found with 73 live 12-gauge shotgun cartridges, he was only able to fire 3 before being tackled while trying to reload. Most semi-automatic and pump shotguns hold 5 rounds of 12-gauge ammunition, unless plugged for bird-hunting. Those two additional shots would have taken less than a second to fire, and could have hurt several more people, at least. There is reason to be thankful that the previous owner of the gun was probably a bird hunter. There is reason to be thankful that Adkisson apparently didn't know enough to remove the plug.

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.

Update: Apparently there are some people who want to go on a shrieking political bender about this tragedy (both right and left), but that isn't going to happen here. Comments off.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at July 28, 2008 12:11 PM