Heroes (Greg McKendry of Knoxville)
Over the weekend a 58 year old man, David Adkisson, walked into a Unitarian Universalist Church with a shotgun and shot up a children's performance of “The Sun Will Come out Tomorrow”. Adkisson had been out of work for some time, his food stamps were running out, and he had started blaming his woes on liberals. It's a pretty short jump to thinking that this might have something to do with the hate that comes off of right wing talk radio, but that may not be what's really interesting about what happened. He managed to kill 2 people and wound 6 others (these counts are never all that stable until a week later) which is news in itself, but as American church shootings go maybe not enough to stay in the headlines for more than a day. The most underreported part of the story though is that the parishioners, at great risk to themselves, jumped on the killer, brought him to the ground, and disarmed him. In particular Greg McKendry 60, one of those killed, threw his body in front of others to keep children including his foster child them from being shot. I think even more impressive is the fact that the minister of the church still refuses to put in metal detectors or check weapons at the door. Who knew that the Unitarians were far braver and tougher than say Chuck Norris? I'm wondering if they'll start putting signs in front of Unitarian Churches “Yeah, we baaad! We've got the real faith-based initiative right here.”
As you know, the Supreme Court just affirmed that it's every American's fundamental right to defend themselves by having a handgun in church. On the other hand your government spying on you or torturing people, not so much. Had those Unitarians been packing, the psycho might have had to stop at just shooting two or three people. Instead, they just had to be ridiculously courageous with their bare hands. Why is it that every time they have these mass shootings in the U.S., none of these people who supposedly carry hangduns to protect themselves and others ever happens to be on the scene? When's the last time you saw a headline that read “Quick thinking NRA members stop mass shooting.”
Maybe they are on the scene and just don't have the guts that even a bunch of Unitarians (some would say that they're not even real Chirstians) listening to kids singing excerpts from Annie. Maybe it's because all those people with handguns are too busy blowing up abortion clinics and keeping their own kids out of the armed forces. In any case, where are all those defensive hand guns when we really need them? These folk have got to have the worst timing ever. They just never seem to be around when the real crazies (you know that tiny minority of gun owners) appear out of nowhere to shoot Amish kids, Virginia Tech, Northern Illinois, shopping malls in Kansas City, or who knows where else. After two generations of rhetoric from the NRA, I'm ready to see some results. Next time someone pulls out a gun in church, I want to see someone blow the guy away first. Enough of all this guns as self-defense talk. Let's see some of you actually prevent a high profile shooting.
Now, if I just happened to be a Sunni in Iraq and happened to read this story along with John McCain's claims that we are winning in Iraq, I'd be scratching my head and asking “Are they even winning in America? These are the guys who are telling us that we're murderous barbarians because we have sectarian violence?””
In the meantime, what I know is that some man shot up a church because the congregation supported the ACLU, tolerated homosexuality, they'd somehow prevented him from getting food stamps but not a shotgun with plenty of ammo (76 rounds). In the face of that gun, a bunch of these pinko liberals who are supposedly wrecking the fabric of American society jumped the guy and disarmed him. Interesting that this aspect of the story seems to have slipped out of the news so quickly.